Online research just got easier

May 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Scrible facilitates annotation of web pages for research, archiving and collaboration

Earlier this week, Scrible launched its beta with the help of a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Scrible is simply a toolbar that a scientist or researcher (or anyone for that matter) can add to their browser. With this toolbar, folks can mark up web pages and share that research with others. Everyone does research online, but still uses those ancient methods to collaborate that research: printing out tons of pages, cutting and pasting information, formatting layouts etc. All that is gone with Scrible.

“This emphasis on annotating the Web at large is reminiscent of Web 1.0 startup Third Voice, which created public or community forums around web pages. Even Hotmail Founder Sabeer Bhatia tried this with BlogEverywhere,” said Scrible CEO Victor Karkar in VentureBeat. “Nothing wrong with that, but creating public discourse on the wide Web is a very different model involving different use cases, usage patterns and interactions, both with the content and among users.”

Scrible makes it easier to keep research coordinated among many. Folks can annotate web pages in multiple colors and save web research online without printing anything out. Not only can users than access this research from anywhere, but your research is easily searchable through keywords and neatly organized through tags. By far, our favorite feature is the array of  colors and highlighters, which allows you to categorize the information and add sticky notes for future reference. All this can than be exported into a word document, intact in the way you organized it without any needs for additional formatting.

The best part about Scrible? It’s currently free! A paid version is in progress, and Scrible is welcoming suggestions for features.

Along with scribble there are other tools like marginize and goozzy that also allow people to leave and share comments directly on the webpages that they visit. These can be used to spread the word about important new discoveries and make research, and researchers a little bit more social. The problem, of course is in choosing the platform which is right for you. Its off to the races with Web2.0 in science. What do you think we need to take science into the next century and how can the web help?

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