I'm Alberto Pepe, founder of Authorea. Ask Me Anything.

The Authorea Team

On September 15th, 2016 Authorea CEO and Cofounder, Alberto Pepe, encouraged the Reddit science community to ask him anything. Below are a few excerpts from the AMA. Click here for the full thread.

Q. How does your platform compare to https://arxiv.org/?

Asked by slcotttt


There are some similarities and some differences between Authorea and arXiv. They are both content repositories for scholarly articles with a focus on preprints. A pre-print is the version immediately prior to what is published in a journal and it is owned by the author, not the publisher. I will mention some differences between the two platforms:

  1. PDF vs HTML. The most important difference is the format of the papers. Authorea believes in the "paper" of the future, a data-driven, interactive, web-native document. As such, content on Authorea is first and foremost HTML. You can export a PDF, Word, LaTeX, ZIP version of any article. ArXiv is a collection of PDFs.

  2. Collaborative editing. The arXiv is not a content creation platform. Authorea is. It allows many authors to write papers together.

  3. Data support. The arXiv had a short data pilot two years ago in which they invited users to deposit data with their articles. It was not successful. I believe that was the case because there was no incentive. The data deposited was not "actionable" in any way. Authorea supports data deposit inside a paper and currently makes sense of IPython (Jupyter) Notebooks and a number of Javascript-based visualization packages (d3.js, flotcharts, bokeh, plotly, etc).

  4. Altmetrics. The arXiv has refused over time to reveal alternative metrics, such as number of downloads as they think that they could be used to assess authors' rank and that they are subject to gaming. Authorea has the opposite mindset in this regard. We will publish, to reflect our mission to be transparent and open, all the information we store about documents.

PhD | Medical Imaging | Nuclear Medicine

Hi Alberto.

I've seen a couple of proposal like yours and I'm always left with a question. Currently there are just too many papers published, the only way to even know what's going on it's to use automatic algorithms that decide for you what titles might be relevant for you (i.e.: the Google thingy). Aren't proposals to make publishing much faster and reviewed afterwards by readers only going to make things much, much worse?