Making of the Unfold Research

July 11, 2020

You can check the final outcome here: unfoldresearch.com

Also, consider following it on Twitter: @UnfoldResearch


The insipration was drawn from:

Other sources that the inspiration was drawn from and some of the UI was shamelessly copied for the purpose of quick prototyping (#pleasedontsueme):

Some websites that I've known about that definitely have functional and UI overlaps, but that weren't used as an inspiration, but more as a "sanity check" and source for validation. Either way, it would feel unfair not to mention them:

So what do we learn these resources (first group)?

What does the second group of resources do right, and what wrong? How they fail?

the problem

digest and reproduce (transparency, credibility

the original idea

bind attempts of paper reproductions to the paper, make them easily discoverable from the place where you found the paper

couple digests of paper with paper also, make them discoverable and upvotable - improtant to quickly evaluate importance and/or quality of someone's digest

picture of whiteboard

Original idea on a whiteboardClean version of a whiteboard

the extension of an idea

browser extension + embeds

what to never implement

statuses / regular feed
this is not a social website, it's a repo
it is community-driven, but through contribution, not through chit-chat
create value - create opportunities for yourself

no prestige counters - h-index, impact factor, no academia-only (resarchgate)
ephasizing the right values and incentivizing people toward them

digest material, and reproduce and extends results - the way the science should work


  • 30sec
  • 2min
  • "easylearn" etc.
  • knowledge
  • science
  • projects
  • research
  • names of deities

not just science, but generally useful thing and theoretical speculations. + unfold

where do previous attempts fail

  • heuristics, no voting, only recommendations/favorites
  • comments, chit-chat
  • wrong incentives


things it does right

  • modularization / flexibility
  • custom DOI
  • tags
  • versions

things it does badly

  • overengineering - forking/templating
  • ui is very confusing and illogical (files, split sections), naming (wiki, registrations), (very) inconsistent styling
  • ranking heuristics...? no voting, wrong basis, not even favrites
  • comments, chit-chat

research gate

does right

  • n/a

does wrong

  • "only academics"
  • ranking heuristic, no voting
  • comments, chit-chat
  • wrong incentives, h-index, IF
  • UI is so badly utilized
  • UX is slow


does right

  • library (but basic af)
  • tags
  • groups

does wrong

  • way too paywalled, everything is pushing you
  • heuristics


does right

  • library

does wrong

  • chit-chat