Today marks the launch of an informal annotation coalition, organized by the Hypothes.is Project, a W3C Member. W3C is excited to be part of this growing effort of over 40 leading organizations in the technology and scholarly publishing communities, including W3C Members IDPF, MIT Press, and Wiley.
The partners in this coalition share a vision of how annotation can benefit scholarly publishing, and of open collaboration for integrating web annotation into their platforms, publications, workflow, and communities.
W3C sees an important role for Web Annotations as a new layer of user-generated content and commentary on top of the Web, and across digital publications of all sorts. Today, comments on the Web are disjointed and often disruptive; a unified mechanism for creating, publishing, displaying, and sharing annotations and other comments in a decentralized way can aid in distributed curation, improving the quality of comments that a reader sees for Web content, and improving the reading experience. In parallel, Web users want to organize and remember useful sites on the Web, and want to synchronize their favorite sites across multiple devices, or to share their thoughts about a site with friends or colleagues; Web annotations enable all this by allowing users to make highlights or detailed notes about a site, to add tags for categorization and search, and to share these links and notes across multiple conforming social media services. This is ideal for casual users, or for focused reading circles or classrooms.
In addition to standardizing annotation technologies, W3C is experimenting with using the technology itself. Our standards process includes public review of all of our specifications, and we have enabled feedback via an annotation interface on some of our specifications; the expectation is that it will be easier for readers to provide feedback, and easier for Working Groups to understand, respond, track, and process feedback that’s presented in the context of the specification document itself. if this experiment succeeds, we will spread this feedback mechanism across W3C’s specifications.
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See Also: New Video Today from Hypothes.is: “Voices from the Coalition on Annotating Scholarship”