About Brevy

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The Gist

Brevy is a wiki for summaries of peer-reviewed research. Here we seek to make research more open, accessible, and understandable for the general public while providing tools to communicate and engage with academic works. Brevy does this by providing a platform to easily create, browse, organize, and discuss these summaries. No account or coding knowledge needed! There's more to say on this below, but here are a few highlights:

  • Research available to the public
    Over 1 million new pieces of knowledge are added each year as academic papers, and yet the world may have access to less than half of it! With much of our understanding in science and other fields hidden behind expensive paywalls, and moreover, with much of it written in a language only a narrow subset of a narrow subset of experts can understand, the general public often does not have a means of accessing the same knowledge they pay for and support. Brevy attempts to bridge that gap by providing short, plain-language summaries for lay readers and other interested stakeholders.
  • Research with more impact
    Good research often takes years of dedicated, hard work, and yet many research papers unfortunately remain uncited, are rarely read by others, and have little attention in the public domain. By providing a summary of these works, Brevy creates an easily accessible bridge to the work-- increasing its visibility and ability to be found online, fostering understanding, and creating a means to easily share its key ideas with others.
  • Research that's more engaged
    There's a lot of other ways to engage with research on Brevy! Ask questions and pose feedback on the talk pages. Curate and organize papers on the community hub. Rate the work's significance. Find download links. Create an expert summary version for academic use. Or even make summaries a class assignment to help get undergrad and early grad students involved in the literature!

We're New!

Please note that Brevy just went online this year, and we would still consider it in "beta" status. It's likely the site will remain without a large number of summaries for a bit and some of its functionality might change until we gain traction. Help us out to help us grow more quickly!

How It Works

Like Wikipedia, anyone can edit Brevy. Here, however, users submit short, easy to understand summaries of academic research through an easy-to-use form. No coding knowledge is needed, and Brevy automatically sets up a page that makes getting the gist of the research quick and painless. We encourage authors to add summaries of their own works but are happy to accept summaries from anyone who feels they can contribute. Users have the choice of adding a regular "Basic" summary aimed at a general public audience or an "Expert" version which can be longer and more complex aimed for academic use.

Since neither facts nor ideas can be copyrighted, we are able to share summaries in this manner. In order to keep the work here open, all user edits to Brevy are understood as licensed under the Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 4.0) allowing them to be shared and re-used.

Who is Brevy For?

Everyone

Brevy provides a quick, plain-language view of any research that has been added to our database as well as a host of other tools such as download links, discussion pages, research ratings, and a community space to gather and organize content. These summaries are intentionally kept short and organized for scannability to allow one to decide whether to pursue the paper itself further rather than having to read the whole article. The summaries are open for all and can be used as a bridge to learn more about topics of interest, find research for relevant stakeholders, share and discuss works of significance, or however else you may find it helpful!

Researchers & Professors

For researchers and professors, Brevy provides an easy and quick way to bridge your work to the public and create further impact-- increasing its visibility and ability to be found online, fostering understanding, and creating a means to easily share its key ideas with others. The summaries may also provide an easier entrance to understanding for those working outside of their core field (each summary allows for an "expert" version targeted in such a way also) or a way of determining whether to pursue a paper further in the case of not having a journal subscription. It also offers a nice class platform for assigning student reading of literature while contributing to a meaningful framework and open access.

Students

Students, especially graduate students, will likely find the plain-language summaries offered on Brevy as a useful guide to understanding as they begin in reading the full works required of them in their studies. Moreover, Brevy offers a useful means of keeping notes (in the form of summaries) as students study for exams. Students may also use the community hub to organize or curate summary content by topic and the talk pages for further discussion.

Other Educators

High school teachers and other educators may find the plain-language summaries offered on Brevy as a means to begin exposure to real works of research at an earlier age. It may also provide a convenient means of learning about new studies in their field.

Communicators and Journalists

Once Brevy builds up a substantial amount of content, it may serve as a convenient means to keep up with literature in one's reporting field and then provide a link for readers to investigate further. Furthermore, each summary page has a "critical response" section to help gain further nuance on the piece and to flag papers of dubious rapport. Help encourage researchers you know to add to Brevy so we can help you!

Who is Brevy?

Brevy is an independent, volunteer group of a few stubborn individuals who work on the project during their off hours (read "nights and weekends") along with the thankful contributions of users like you. As we grow, we'll eventually have an appropriate non-profit structure set up and continue to dedicate further time to the effort.

Finding Your Way Around

The navigation bar on the left contains most of what you should need, and the links on the top right of any page contains any user-specific links (such as Preferences). If this is your first time navigating a wiki though, you might want to check out the Intro to wiki page. Most questions about creating a summary are likely answered on the form used to make summaries, but you might still consider the Editing Guide for more details. For all else, try out the navigation links on the left or visit our FAQ page.