Wednesday 28 July 2010

Scientific papers as audio content?

We have started to experiment with reading articles and providing them as MP3 files or podcasts (see the facebook page or the blogpost). So far I found for myself a number of places where I like it - from gym to car. Perhaps we should make it mandatory that the camera ready version of the paper is the PDF, the source, and an audio file (e.g. the paper read by the author or a description of the work - I guess the authors reading their papers could improve some papers as the authors would be finally read what they write ;-)

Coming across this sign in a bookshop in Essen made me smile - especially as we look into ways that may making reading feasible while driving [1].

[1] Kern, D., Marshall, P., and Schmidt, A. 2010. Gazemarks: gaze-based visual placeholders to ease attention switching. In Proceedings of the 28th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 - 15, 2010). CHI '10. ACM, New York, NY, 2093-2102. DOI=

PS: to answer some of the questions about the audio files of research papers I got recently: Yes, I think it is nice to have real humans reading. Yes, I know that there are brilliant text to speech software (but as long as they do the Simpsons with actor's voices we are not there yet).