2017 Hypotheses bloggers annual Assembly summary

On April 27th, 2017 took place the third Hypotheses bloggers Assembly. This annual event is a unique opportunity to meet with the bloggers community and the Hypotheses team, to discuss both the platform, community and readership growth and structuration.

You may find here links to the full speeches and following questions and answers given during this edition of the assembly. As it all took place in french, this post summarizes each talk with the main items that were discussed.

Introduction – Marin Dacos (Cléo -Center for open electronic publishing- Director)

Click here for the video (in french)

Main points:

  • Reminder of what constitutes the Hypotheses platform ecosystem: it is part of the OpenEdition portal that also features a platform dedicated to journals (Revues.org), one dedicated to events in HSS (Calenda) and one dedicated to books (OpenEdition Books).
  • 71.4 million visits in 2016 for OpenEdition, with about 35 million unique visitors.
  • OpenEdition is a worldwide portal that doesn’t limit itself to a french public. Beyond France, it notably receives a high traffic from the United States, Europe and South America.
  • Open access is in progression on the OpenEdition platforms, as the proportion of limited-access content tends to decline.
  • The names of the OpenEdition platforms are changing, the regroupment of Revues.org and OpenEdition Books giving birth to OpenEdition Journals.
  • Since January 2016, OpenEdition is a national research infrastructure. It applied for the creation of a european research infrastructure named Operas, a project currently in the making.
  • The OpenEdition team in Marseille will soon move out for premises in better adequation to the team’s size. Those premises, that complement the ones in Paris, show the support of our tutelles (oversight bodies).
  • The OpenEdition catalog of Hypotheses blogs now counts more than 2000 research blogs. The objective set in 2011 in the “Excellence equipment” program for which OpenEdition was selected was to reach 1500 blogs by december 31st, 2019.
  • About 10 applications to open research blogs are received each week.
  • Hypotheses has a strong international dimension, particularly in Germany and Spain, and is developping towards other linguistic areas.

Overview of the current situation and future prospects of the platform – François Pacaud (Head of science blogging department)

Click here for the speech video (in french)

Main points:

  • The structure of the Science blogging department grew stronger as it recruited Marion Wesely to be in charge of the platform’s editorial management and bloggers community management. The other members of this department are Céline Guilleux (in charge of processing new blogs applications, cataloging them, and following the ISSN attributions), Michel Tamarin (platform maintenance and technical evolutions) and François Pacaud (training sessions, partnerships and platform coordination).
  • Partnerships : on a national (for instance with Inist) and international scale (notably with the UNED and Max Weber Stiftung). There is an ongoing partnership development in Portugal and Italy.
  • Training sessions : at the heart of our bloggers support mission. About 250 trainees attended in-person sessions in 2016 (in french, spanish, german and italian). There is now two training sessions levels to better answer advanced users needs.
  • Applications : during standard workload times (not counting holidays and problematic applications), the processing time is 48hrs. In 2016, 620 applications were received for 595 blogs created, which makes it about 5% refused applications or applications for which the applicant never followed up with our demands for more detailed informations. The application form  has been improved, with 19 questions removed. It exists in the 4 main languages on Hypotheses (french, english, german and spanish).
  • Catalog : the platform has reached 2000 catalogued blogs. We are working on a reversible archive status to identify inactive blogs in the catalog, while preventing this inactivity to be misinterpretated.

Update on the Hypotheses portals makeover and developments to follow – Michel Tamarin (Web project manager for Hypotheses)

Click here for the speech video (in french)

Main points:

  • Hypotheses portals : was a major project in 2016. The graphic theme “Magazine basic”, that was in use before, was unstable and obsolete and was replaced by the graphic theme “Hueman”. This change has notably increased the portals ergonomy, and they are now responsive (30% visits on Hypotheses are made from mobile devices).  The portals loading time has been reduced, as the constituent pages are 5 to 10 times lighter than they were before. The graphic theme “Hueman” is also available for the individual blogs.
  • Security and WordPress updates : about one WordPress update every 6 weeks. There is currently 32 plugins and 7 graphic themes to maintain on the platform. The updates are now seamless for the bloggers (no service interruption), thanks to the work of our system administrators.
  • New features : a LaTex plugin is being tested. It would allow bloggers to correctly write and display mathematical formulas on their Hypotheses blogs. A syntax highlighting plugin is also being studied, and would be useful to display computer code.

Hypotheses editorial management and valuation : overview and projects – Marion Wesely (Community manager & communication officer for the Hypothese platform)

Click here for the speech video (in french)

Main points:

  • Content valuation via editorial management : it is a manual process. Consists in a daily selection of blog posts and their republication on the Hypotheses portals (french, english, german, spanish and multilingual). Amongst those selected posts, one that stands out is regularly picked to make the headline after an iconographic work. This process is run by our partners for the german and spanish portals.
  • Social networks : blog posts that feature on the Hypotheses portals are relayed on Twitter and Facebook. Both those accounts are now administered and alimented daily. Publications reach up to 55000 people on Twitter and 3500 people on Facebook per month.
  • Revision of our support tools : the bloggers discussion list, for which archive consultation lacks ergonomy, will soon be topped up with a support forum. This will rend answers (given by the team and the community) to technical and editorial questions  more sustainable in time. The House of blogs is being revamped too, both with a redesign and an update of the tutorial published on it by the Hypotheses team. Finally, an online training session unit (in French) is being crafted as a partnership with Inist.
  • Anthology : talked about during last year’s assembly, the blog is now online. It features translated-into-english blog posts selected by the academic commitee and the Hypotheses team. Our Inist partners ensure the translation into english so as to provide a new gateway to Hypotheses for all english-readers.
  • INSHS newsletter : every edition now presents a chosen Hypotheses blog (the CNRS Humanities and social sciences Institute). The selection is made both by the Hypotheses team and the INSHS newsletter team. The text is written by the Hypotheses team.

Feedback – Jean-Baptiste Thierry (Editor-in-chief of the Sine lege blog)

Click here for the speech video (in french)

Main points:

  • A singular editorial object on Hypotheses, as this field is scarcely portrayed on Hypotheses.
  • Project evoluting since 2010, with the main idea of creating a personal space for reflection and experiment with new script formats diverging from the classical academic style.
  • The blog features 346 posts for 7 to 14000 visits per month.
  • The blog is backed up with social networks where the majority of the comments and discussions take place.
  • The blog is well identified by academic colleagues and students, with the collateral benefit of bringing publication proposals in scientific works and journals.
  • No fixed editorial policy and varied content : legal news, advices to students, (positive) book reviews, reactions to news
  • The blog’s academic recognition is still modest, but when it develops, it shouldn’t restrain the format freedom allowed on research blogs.

This post is a translation of this one (in french).

Featured image: Crowd by Mo Riza (licence: Creative Commons BY-NC)


Marion Wesely

Chargée de l'accompagnement des communautés et de la valorisation des contenus d'Hypothèses / Community manager & communication officer for the Hypotheses platform (OpenEdition)

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