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News from the open access movement

Monday, August 04, 2008

Article sharing + social networking = Labmeeting

Labmeeting is a new online service combining article sharing and social networking.  The about page is less informative than Erick Schonfeld's description on TechCrunch (July 30, 2008).  From Schonfeld:

...Mark Kaganovich figures that [file sharing] will get [scientists to visit social networking sites]. After graduating from Harvard with undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and computer science two years ago, he set out to create Labmeeting. In May, 2008 he closed a $500,000 seed round from Peter Thiel, Kinsey Hills, and other angel investors. And since last week, Labmeeting has been open to anyone with a college e-mail account.

Typically, scientists have stacks of papers, protocols, and notes in their offices that they pass around as PDFs. Labmeeting is designed first and foremost as a document management site that allows scientists and students to easily upload all of those PDFs, organize them, search them, and share them. Scientists can create groups, and invite other members of their labs to create a common repository of papers that can be accessed from anywhere. The PDFs appear inside an embedded Scribd window (Kinsey Hills is also an investor in Scribd).

Says Kaganovich:

What we are trying to do is change the way information in biomedical research and the medical community is distributed and retrieved.

Scientists can recommend papers to colleagues, mark them up, create collections, and follow what other scientists are collecting. Each scientist gets a profile page. By interacting through their research, they are more likely to interact with each other. Labmeeting could also form of basis a community ranking system for scientific papers, based on who is reading, writing, and sharing them.

Labmeeting is free for individual scientists and students. Eventually, Kaganovich plans to charge subscription fees to corporate users such as drug and biotech companies.

From the page of terms: does not claim any ownership rights in the...materials...that you post to the labmeeting Services. After posting your Content to the labmeeting Services, you continue to retain all ownership rights in such Content, and you continue to have the right to use your Content in any way you choose. By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content on or through the labmeeting Services, you hereby grant to a limited [and non-exclusive] license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Content solely on and through the labmeeting Services....This license will terminate at the time you remove your Content from the labmeeting Services. The license does not grant the right to sell your Content, nor does the license grant the right to distribute your Content outside of the labmeeting Services....

Except for Content posted by you, you may not copy, modify, translate, publish, broadcast, transmit, distribute, perform, display, or sell any Content appearing on or through the labmeeting Services.... may delete any Content that in the sole judgment of violates this Agreement or which may be offensive, illegal or violate the rights, harm, or threaten the safety of any person....

Prohibited Content includes, but is not limited to Content that, in the sole discretion of [has any of 14 listed properties]....