Physics students introduce open, collaborative annotation tool

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Physics graduate students Erik Bauch and Georg Kucsko have developed an online tool, Open Rev., for collaborative annotation of scientific publications.

Open Rev. enables open discussion about scholarly works, independent of publishers, on a free platform that is easily accessible. Users can upload a paper, highlight specific sections and generate related questions, which are then open for response and discussion among the user community.

Bauch and Kucsko have been testing, assessing and refining Open Rev. this past year with funds awarded through the HILT Spark Grant Program, intended to “spark” promising teaching and learning projects from idea to reality. In addition to this award, they also received the second prize at the 2013 – 2014 BRIDGE @ HGSE Education Innovation Pitch Competition, where teams of Harvard students and alumni present innovative solutions to current problems in education.

Open Rev. currently has 400 users and over 1000 public domain comments. Students and instructors have used the tool within several physics courses last semester in class discussion and to share lecture notes. All faculty, students and staff are encouraged to try the new platform this coming semester. For more information, assistance setting up groups, and/or learning more about the features, please contact the Open Rev. team at