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A platform where crowdfunded bounties are paid to people who translate scientific papers for general public

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 22, 2020
A website/platform where crowdfunded bounties are pledged for people to translate scientific papers into general public understandable language. Anyone could add links to the paper they wish to understand and attach a bounty/reward to it. Others could chip in to increase the bounty. Any academic could take the translating job (reserve it for 24 hours) and collect the bounty if the translation is fine (checked by peers).

All translated papers remain free and open to the public, right there on the website.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw23 days ago
This might be a bit off-topic, as it does not deal with the translation of papers directly, but https://sci-hub.do/ is a groundbreaking platform launched by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011.

Since its launch, she has been taken to court a number of times and continues to be attacked by the scientific community because her platform provides free access to millions of scientific papers. She's being ostracized by the scientific community of the world because she is providing these services for free, as opposed to alternative sources like Elsevier who monetize the copyrights to such papers.

While the site has been gaining popularity over the years, even though they continually need to change their domain name, it still hasn't received nearly enough recognition.

Alexandra has single-handedly provided a way for anyone with an interest in science to access these papers for free, effectively bringing science back to the people.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 months ago
Most non-experts would not know which papers might be useful for them. In that case, the platform can also help them reach the desired/ needed papers. Assuming non-experts do not know how Pubmed can be used to extract papers of interest and that the title of most papers is too technical (it involves names of genes and cell lines, scientific names of model organisms, scientific jargon that may not be necessary for the layperson to understand the underlying concept), the platform can have its own search algorithm that can send regular newsletters to the users (crowd) that include latest papers of their interest. Also, to get a better idea of what the paper talks about, at least the title can be translated into simple language (for free). The users can then decide whether they want to know more about what the paper talks about and may fund its translation. The title needs to be translated for free by an expert on the platform. The experts may receive some non-monetary rewards for spending the time doing it. Alternatively, the title can be translated by the authors of the paper at the time of submission of the paper for publication. Most journals ask for 2 titles - 1. the original. 2. a short title that explains the findings in brief. Having the authors translate the title for laymen is not something out of their way. The translation needs to be peer-reviewed by high-scoring experts from the field in a similar way they will review the translation of the entire paper.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 months ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni the platform could have several features. The user could also submit what they wish to understand and pledge a bounty to whoever explains it best. Researchers could then write up a quick learning course
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Anja M
Anja M8 months ago
This sounds really interesting and, more importantly, needed. Perhaps it would also attract professionals in certain fields who wouldn't be up to this idea otherwise, when they see there is a financial motivation, as well. This is really important since for the texts referring to the particular knowledge one also needs to be an expert in the field and know the source language very well. Also, it could attract students to specialize for this sort of thing while in their BA or MA studies. Not to mention there is always a wider audience in need of the texts in their mother tongues. For the quality insurance, I would suggest experts to be hired to check upon the translations or consult with the translator for some tricky parts. But that is to be developed on a longer run. :)
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni8 months ago
Loved it! Much needed, and completely doable! I have seen many blogs and news articles that misinterpret the results from a science article and many others missing the main point of the paper.