Open Annotations: OpenEdition Launches a Partnership with Hypothesis

Open Annotations: OpenEdition Launches a Partnership with Hypothesis

By |2018-12-28T23:14:49+00:00December 19th, 2018|

Logos for Hypothesis and OpenEdition Books.As part of the European HIRMEOS project, OpenEdition, the project coordinator, is launching a post-publication open peer review experiment. At the heart of the project is Hypothesis, an annotation tool that will initiate a new form of scientific discussion around social science and humanities monographs published on the platform OpenEdition Books.

Two types of annotation are therefore available on OpenEdition Books:

  • The classic version of Hypothesis is already integrated on OpenEdition Books (available for publishers who wish to activate it) and on the four other platforms participating in the HIRMEOS project (Ubiquity Press, The OAPEN Library, EKT e-publishing, Göttingen University Press). Thanks to it, Hypothesis will be able to be visible by default on publisher books, offering readers the possibility to write personal notes, create collaboration groups, or share public comments.
  • At the same time, OpenEdition is coordinating an experiment with open annotations. Publishers and authors who wish to go further in the use of annotations will benefit from customized settings within this framework thanks to the functionality of publisher groups, a newer Hypothesis capability used in this case for open peer review.

In the case of experimentation, researchers will be able to compare and contrast their ideas and enrich publications thanks to a line-by-line text commenting system. During the experiment, selected books will become an open forum for discussion between authors and readers: this will offer an opportunity to mobilize a scientific community around a recent publication, or to revive the debate around and interest in older publications.

The experiment will last until May 2019. Throughout the project, OpenEdition will support the actors involved by forming groups of contributors (the composition of which will depend on the selected books) — the cornerstone of the experiment — or by helping publishers to gain experience with the tool. At the end of the experiment, a report will be written and the functionality should be available on all books by publishers who wish to use it.

The partnership between OpenEdition and Hypothesis is based on the use of the publisher group feature developed by Hypothesis. With this feature, OpenEdition can request the creation of customizable and moderated annotation spaces (publisher groups) for each publisher participating in the experiment. The layers of annotations created can be totally open (anyone can view and leave annotations) or restricted (anyone can view annotations, but people must be invited to leave annotations). Each publisher will have a tailored annotation space (showing its name and logo). The open peer review experiment will take place within these publisher groups.

Contact Us

To learn more about adopting open annotation in your own publications, contact Heather Staines, Director of Partnerships at Hypothesis and subscribe to news from Hypothesis.

New capabilities

To support this growth, the Hypothesis product team has been releasing features to expand the possibilities for using annotation. One of our most powerful new capabilities is a richer groups model, which adds additional group configurations to our already existing private group option. As you can see in the table below, open and restricted groups now support use cases where annotations can be collected together with new options for who can view and add to each collection.

Our partners are already deploying these new groups, like the American Society of Plant Biologists, which is using an open group to add conversation and additional material like peer review reports, companion articles, and author biographies to its publications on the Highwire platform.

The table above describes the configurations and permissions available to readers and annotators of the Public Layer and Open, Restricted, and Private Groups in Hypothesis.
Public Layer Open Group Restricted Group Private Group
Who can read annotations? Anyone Anyone Anyone Only logged-in group members
Who can post annotations? Any logged-in user Any logged-in user Only logged-in group members Only logged-in group members
Who can join? N/A as anyone who is logged in to Hypothesis can annotate in the Public Layer N/A as anyone who is logged in to Hypothesis can annotate in an Open Group Invite only Invite only: Group creator can share a link for users to join group

Thank you

Everything at Hypothesis happens only thanks to the support we receive from our partners, funders, and community. Thank you for being a part of our first five million annotations!

We look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming events our team will attend, including:


HIRMEOS (High Integration of Research Monographs in European Open Science) is a European project aimed at enriching five humanities and social science publishing platforms (OpenEdition Books, Ubiquity Press, The OAPEN Library, EKT e-publishing, Göttingen University Press). The project is focused on the coordinated integration of five types of services including: identification standards (ORCID, DOIs, Funder Registry), a peer review certification service (DOAB), a semi-automatic indexing functionality (NERD), and a statistics service. The fifth service is online annotations. HIRMEOS is a strand of the H2020 programme and is part of the construction of the OPERAS infrastructure.

Logo for OPERAS.
Logo for HIRMEOS.

About OpenEdition

OpenEdition (CNRS / Aix-Marseille University / EHESS / Avignon University) is a national research infrastructure whose mission is to promote open electronic publishing. Consisting of four platforms for publishing books, journals, research journals and scientific announcements, the OpenEdition portal is currently home to more than 700,000 humanities and social science publications in various languages, most of which are in open access, and receives over 50 million hits per year around the world. The OpenEdition Books platform currently contains over 6,000 references from more than 80 publishers.


OpenEdition: Claire Dandieu, Project Editor

About Hypothesis

Hypothesis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and spread of open, standards-based annotation technologies and practices, enabling anyone to annotate anywhere. Our mission is to help humans reason more effectively together through a shared, collaborative discussion layer over all knowledge. Hypothesis is based in San Francisco, CA, USA, with a worldwide team.

Hypothesis has developed its open source annotation software in collaboration with many partners and sponsors, including specific projects to augment groups and authentication capabilities with eLife, to enable annotation on EPUBs with NYU, the Readium Foundation, Evident Point, and EPUB.js, and many others. We thank our partners and community for working with us to advance standards-based, interoperable annotation for all.


Media: Nate Angell, Director of Marketing
Twitter: @hypothes_is

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