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Show HN: Paperkast
121 points by dogancan on Aug 15, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 59 comments

Hello everybody,

I just wanted to share a link aggregator website: paperkast.com. It's a article sharing and discussion hub.

It's opened recently. I think it was a need for the academia. I don't think there is an online community for paper discussion. Twitter is good for publication sharing but there is no central discussion around a paper. It's all over the place. Seperately, we know that the link aggregation style has a good reputation. It's a good stimulation for discussion.

What do you think of it?

I was thinking of a similar thing for discussion about books as well.

Especially since the official site of a book is usuallly not suitable for that (no forum or separate login per publisher etc.)

Or in the case of Pragmatic Programmers not accessible, if you click on discussion forum at https://pragprog.com/book/swdddf/domain-modeling-made-functi... you get redirected to: https://forums.pragprog.com/fosta-sesta

Anyone else who is missing something like this?

I often wish I could connect with people who are reading or have read the same books as me. I think that's what GoodReads is for, but I haven't really looked into it.

Edit: looks like it's just for reviews.

Eh, no. GoodReads is more about connecting to your existing friends and sharing books between each other, not really designed for you to meet new people based off of your shared interest in books.

But as for the comment above yours, that is Goodreads. It doesn't sell the books, but is a central place to discuss books. Unlike Amazon.com comments, you don't need to verify anything to be able to comment on a book.

And lastly, it's kind of difficult to say that it's an independent source of reviews, considering that Amazon purchased GoodReads back in 2013, GoodReads offers Amazon-only discounts, and Amazon is always the preferred seller (while the rest of the sellers are hidden behind a dropdown).

I think you have groups on Goodreads that are intended for discussing a specific topic, book, or author's books. But I agree in that it's not really designed for meeting new people.

>I often wish I could connect with people who are reading or have read the same books as me

LibraryThing has that feature, although the algorithm is not super smart. When I first created an account, I put in all the books I could remember that I had read. Then I clicked on the link to find other users most like me. The top one had a whole series of books that I had read and completely forgotten to add to my catalog. It was uncanny - I couldn't think of any heuristic - they were all mystery novels, and I had almost none in my collection.

On goodreads.com you can review book yourself and also discuss with other reviewers. There are also groups (https://www.goodreads.com/group) which works like forum.

I personally prefer LibraryThing. Goodreads has been very diluted, and there is a rather large amount of rating inflation there - the rating of a book is almost meaningless now.

Me. It has been something on my todo list to develop for a little while now.

Likewise. If you’re (or GP) interested in collaborating on this I would be open to further discussion and can be reached via the email in my profile.

One piece of feedback I have is to be careful with tagging. What is physics to a biologist [1] is probably not physics to a physicist. If you want communities to build around this hub, then you need to be careful about flooding a small community with unrelated topics because a larger community is more active on the internet.

This looks neat otherwise and I joined.

[1] https://paperkast.com/s/mbiq74/maximum_entropy_model_for_pre...

Good point. I would say that as the community grows, there will be more and more tags and therefore specialization. Do you think it’s better to stick with broad tags like Physics or Genetics, rather than Synthetic Biology or Quantum Mechanics? I would say the latter would be much better.

Specific tags are good to carve out communities as they really are in academia.

I work in materials science, which there is a tag for, but I work in a super narrow slice of materials (it’s a broad field) and I imagine many others are the same. Even on a list of about 10 journals I keep RSS feeds for, I have a hit rate (of a paper I will read) if no better than 10%. And these are journals that I have already selected as “my flavor” of materials.

Specific tags are bad in that they could harm discoverability. It would be neat if the tags could be hierarchical. E.g. a tag for quantum mechanics shows up in materials science and physics so that the discoverability is there from the general tags, but the narrow slices are available as a filter.

Really great - I signed up.

One useful feature might be for the index to show one-sentence blurbs about each paper (in addition to the title of the paper itself). Unless I'm reading papers very specific to my subfield, I need some context to know what I'm looking at & why it's important. Otherwise I fear that only articles with the most accessible titles (or disciplines whose titles tend to be most accessible) will be clicked, read & upvoted.

I would hope that the nature of the type of people who read scientific papers is to avoid sensationalizing too much (like popular science journalism does).

Thank you very much for the feedback. Do you think it has to be in the front page -under each link, perhaps?

That's what I was thinking - maybe something under the link. Could be optional as well.

I'd been remembering how Marginal Revolution, which despite having a fairly educated/technical audience, still often writes its own link text when linking to papers: e.g. item #1 here https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/08/sa...

But obviously that would have a big impact on UX for submitters and readers which I haven't thought through in detail!

Signed up right away, love the idea!

One note, generally I think academic papers are heavier than articles on HN. Maybe the person sharing a link should be encouraged to add a note/summary/reason-for-sharing/personal-take-away

/r/TrueReddit has a submission statement rule, it's interesting even for the poster to think about why they found given article interesting enough to share

That being said, I'd be afraid it would discourage people from posting. And when it comes to papers, shouldn't the abstract serve this purpose?

Maybe the abstract should automatically be fetched when posting and shown with whatever the poster wants to add?

Exactly, that's why I think is really important for the authors of a paper to post the paper directly to paperkast. It'll be hub for their paper.

There is also https://paperhive.org/ which works really well with comments directly within the document.

Awesome site, love the brutalist design!

Edit: post to https://roastmy.site to get some design feedback if you like!

Definitely. But in general, the design of news aggregator sites is pretty minimalist which is so important as you don't want any disruptions.

True, but you never know what your users think could be improved until you ask ;)


I think it’s a Lobster installation, a copy of the old Joel on Software board.

It is

Interesting! My first thought went to fermats library, as that's doing something very (and quite well I think) but they don't have a voting system

Yes, Fermat’s library is amazing. But I wanted have a community exactly like lobsters and HN. It’s super easy to read and post.

TypeError in Home#index

Showing /opt/lobsters/app/views/layouts/application.html.erb where line #85 raised:

no implicit conversion of Symbol into Integer

Should be OK now.

I am still having similar issues: https://paperkast.com/feed

It looks like you are running the app in RAILS_ENV != 'production'. This is dangerous and not recommended

You are exposing internal error messages to users.

This is a great idea. It could really turn into a study group for new papers.

You might want to edit your post / title. I don't think I would have known that it was for academic papers if I hadn't have opened the link.

I was thinking that, for example, if there is a neat discussion going on about really detailed stuff in the paper (like one sharp peak in one of the figures or one value in a table), it can be really good resource for the reader of the paper as well. They can look around in the comments. Seperately, if they couldn't find it, they can just ask.

Getting a controller exception.

    Showing /opt/lobsters/app/views/layouts/application.html.erb where line #85 raised:

    no implicit conversion of Symbol into Integer

Should be OK now.

Wondeful! We need something like this. I hope it takes root.

Can't access your app. Looks like it has crashed.

Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock' (2)

Looks good now

This is nice.

But what I don't understand is why e.g. Google Scholar doesn't provide a service like this.

Excellent! May I suggest a tag for imaging research? And/or radiology?

Yes. Any user can suggest a tag by creating a post with ‘meta’ tag. And according to the comments from other members, it can be added.

Ah gotcha. Ok I'll do that then. Thanks

Any particular reason for the 100 character title limit?

Fixed to 150 characters. Thank you man!

Thank you! I really hope this takes off.

is this opensource?

not sure how many modifications were made but the About page states:

> Paperkast.com built on lobste.rs open source news aggregator system.

Funny, years ago a friend and I were trying to make something exactly along lines of lobste.rs but for scientific papers. https://github.com/seltzered/journaltalk was as far as I got.

Didn't get very far due lack of motivation and other parallel projects, but it's been neat to see things like this (and fermat's library, and peerpub, etc.) spring up over the years.

I know how you feel- It's always rewarding when you worked on something but never finished it- you knew it was a good idea when doing it-- then years later someone else does something very similar. No anger from it, not like they stole your idea- it just validates that your original idea was so good that it was just a matter of time until someone else did it. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

I have this happen all the time, but often I have the opposite experience and feel like I failed, lacked focus, missed an opportunity.

Basically like getting punched in the gut.

Not sure if that is good because it keeps me motivated to ship, or if your perspective / wiring is better.

Throwing an error!

Try resubmitting this as Show HN: Paperkast

It might get more attention

We've added that bit above. Thanks!

Thanks guys!


Show HN is for the author of a project. How do you know he/she is the author of this thing?

The about page lists a "Dogancan Ozturan" as the primary author and this post was submitted by a user named: dogancan

I think we're in the clear here.

Fair enough! In this case Show HN would have been the best way of posting this on HN. At the very least, the fact that the OP is the author should have been disclosed as soon as possible.

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