Shortscience.Org Allows Researchers To Publish Paper Summaries That Are Voted On And Ranked!

Sept. 2, 2018, 12:35 a.m. By: Kirti Bakshi


Run and managed by the Institute for Reproducible Research (IRR), a U.S. Non-Profit organization,, is a platform for post-publication discussion of research papers.

On, the research community, in order to increase accessible and reproducibility, can read and write summaries of papers that comprise of the perspective as well as the insight of other readers, why they liked or disliked it, and their attempt to demystify complicated sections. at present has over 800 paper summaries, all of which are searchable and organized by paper, conference, and year. Many regular contributors on the platform are expert machine learning researchers whose descriptions make papers and by extension the field of research, more accessible for all. Statistics are presented from the last year of operation, user demographics, and responses from a usage survey.

According to the results, it is indicated that ShortScience, by providing short, understandable summaries reflecting expert opinions benefits students the most.

Why do we need ShortScience?

Papers can be sometimes really hard to understand, for a variety of reasons:

  • Different communities have different nomenclature to describe the same concepts

  • There is a lot of jargon in papers.

  • Some ideas are very complex and to get a more complete understanding could use multiple perspectives

  • Some parts of ideas may be obscure so that flaws in papers cannot be found

  • Authors are encouraged to make the work seem as significant and important as possible for it to be accepted

  • Some read second-hand second hand knowledge as they do not have access to papers directly.

And asking multiple domain experts to explain is an excellent way to understand a piece of research but not everyone has access to an expert. Providing a solution to the same, provides a platform for experts and non-experts alike to share notes on papers. These notes, providing a variety of explanations to help everyone better understand are available to all.


The platform provides all its users with the below given three main features:

  • Post summaries/notes on papers (public, private, or anonymous)

  • Comment on summaries/notes

  • Search, browse by venues, and follow users


Now we know what ShortScience is, So How do we sum it all up?

Given below are the key points to help you do the same by providing a clearer and concise view with better understanding. Here you are presented with, which by making the ideas more understandable aims to make research more accessible:

  • aims to improve accessibility and reproducibility of research ideas.

  • The website has over 800 summaries, mostly in machine learning, written by the community and is organized by paper, conference, and year.

  • Reading summaries of papers are considered to be useful to obtain the perspective and insight of another reader.

  • Also, writing summaries turns out to be a good exercise to understand the content of a paper because when explaining it you are forced to challenge your assumptions.

  • Finally, by reading the latest summaries on their Twitter and Facebook pages, a user can keep up to date with the flood of research.

Not ending it right here, After one year of operation and the impact made by the site, as measured by survey results, 82% of users read summaries for papers that they would not have read otherwise. The project has also helped 87% of users to better understand the research papers that they are reading and 10.9% to directly reproduce the results of a paper.

With such results, It can be well said that the project has made a good impact on the machine learning community and we can expect it to return more of the same in the future.

For More Information: shortscience

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