Wondering what happened on PhysicsOverflow while I have developed the preliminary phase of PhysicsOverflows reviews section, Reviews I, I have looked on the host providers statistic and have done some queries in the event log of our database. Here are some numbers illustrating the pleasant activity on our site:
Number of visits in May 2014 (provider’s statistic):
As you can see, the number is slightly growing. The number of visits has been above 300 all the time approaching now 400 by end of the month. Maybe somebody has an explanation for the peak after the second weekend?
In the event log table of the database, 14’482 events have been logged in May 2014. Some interesting numbers are
- 4126 times, a user has logged in.
- 200 questions have been written.
- 353 answers have been posted.
- 1002 comments have been added.
- 4995 upvotes have been given.
- 86 new users have registered on the site.
I think this is really not bad for the second month after publishing the site. Maybe we will already have quite a number of submissions in the reviews section by end of next month? Interested? Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!
We have decided to launch the reviews section earlier, an its preliminary phase, Reviews I.
We don’t yet have all the fancy features that will come in Reviews II, such as the automatic paper imports, the fancy paper sorting system, and so on and so forth, but the preliminary version is here! So, how does Reviews I work?
Basically, since the plugins for mass-importing, daily importing, and importing by users aren’t ready yet, only administrators can currently create submissions. Users may request the submission of any paper for review, and claim authorship to a paper in the following threads respectively:
If an administrator can create a submission, why didn’t you just open this feature up to everyone?
Because the plugin isn’t perfect yet.
The main issue I see so far is that the plugin allows you to submit as submission to any section, including Q&A, Reviews, Meta, and even the section Closed Questions.
In the final version of the plugin that will eventually be available to all users, the plugin will only ask for the ArXiV paper ID, e.g. “1403.1254”, and other things like Paper title, Date of submission, paper URL, etc., will be automatically found by the plugin itself. This also prevents users from misusing the plugin to fake the date at which the paper was submitted, and so on. The plugin should also verify that a paper with the submitted paper ID exists. And even if people don’t misuse it, we should be able to advertise the reviews section as “Just enter the ArXiV ID to submit your paper.” : )
- Mass-import all physics papers from the ArXiV.
- Make a bot which imports all new physics papers on the ArXiV daily.
- Simplify and secure the plugin as mentioned above.
- Increase the maximum category depth to allow for a hierarchial tag system.
- Start mass-retagging all the papers. I’d stick to “mass-retag all new papers, and twice the number of old papers as new papers everyday”. Sorry Ron, but I don’t think it’s practical to rush through the entire ArXiV and put it in an elaborate tag system in a few hours. The community needs to be told “Retag every paper you see that you can.”.
And then there are plans for continuous development, including locally hosting contributions, locally editing contributions with a full-fledged TeX editor like ShareLaTeX.com, academic advertising of papers to pay for hosting, and so on.
So what are you waiting for? Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!
About a month and a week after we went public, PolarKernel has finished the first phase of the reviews section, all through a plugin, without touching a single line of Q2A core.
The “submission”-type post is nearly ready in that we now have a post type which is similar to that of a question but there are two voting criteria and the ability to add multiple authors. This is attached to a review type which is similar to the type of an answer but is called a review instead.
This was the first phase (out of four) of the development of the reviews section. This is probably the longest phase besides the fourth phase which is the ongoing development of the feature, including local hosting of contributions, and a TeX editor for local editing of contributions. The second phase of the reviews section is a plugin for the mass-creation of papers and another for the daily import of papers, and yet another for the manual import of papers.
I will now leave you with an amazing screenshot of the reviews section. This is a screenshot from a running offline site, not a mockup! (we know the styles aren’t perfect; we’ll fix them; don’t worry)
PhysicsOverflow public beta is online now since 17 days. After a turbulent start with some database issues on our host and spam attacks, now the site is stable and working fine. After an ongoing and continuous improvement of details, the section with Q&A on physics takes now the main part of activity on the site. Since we have gone online at 4th April, more than 150 new users have registered on the site and many of them are already quite active. The number of visits per day exceeded the number of visits on Theoretic Physics on SE since the first day, as can be seen in the following graphics:
This is great, since we aren’t even part of a huge network! Our questions per day is about 5.6 (excluding imported posts), which is a lot more than TP.SEs. However, as already stated, the site does not depend on these figures, there is no deadline, as it was on TP. Also the term beta does not mean that the site will go away, it means only that we have still much more ideas to obtain the full-fledged version of PhysicsOverflow.
Now is the time where the site gets shaped. If you participate now with your votes, ideas, opinions, questions and answers, you contribute to build a site with contours as you like them. Don’t stay outside, have a look at PhysicsOverflow, register there if you like it, or contribute here on this blog.
We are still a small team. However, we are working with full power to be able to leave the beta state and to complete the site, as intended. The main part for this will be the Review Section, as already announced in this blog. This is not only a reconfiguration of the site, it requires a considerable part of new development, because such a feature is not foreseen in the Question2Answer framework. In detail, the following main functionalities have to be developed:
- Integration of new pages, called Submission and Review.
- Two voting criterias, one for originality and one for accuracy.
- New page design, enabling display of a score value from the votings.
- Add feature to add multiple authors.
- Redesign of voting mechanism, distributing votes to multiple authors.
- Integration in the rep update and recount system.
- Adding and managing the required database tables.
- Increasing the category depth to realize hierarchical tagging system.
- Integration of score as new sorting criterion.
- Software for mass import from ArXiV.
- Software for daily import from ArXiV.
We are on the way with all that and look forward to realize these steps within a reasonable time. Stay tuned!
Dear PhysicsOverflow community,
today we seem to face (for the first time within a time period of about two months) some problems with the mySQL data base server on the host side. This lead to a short down time of PhysicsOverflow of about 10 min some hours ago, and to a new longer down time of an hour just now. This is very annoying, in particular as we have just started our public beta … :-/
So we apologize for this inconvenience, but all we could to is complaining to the administrators of our hosting provider, which is what Polarkernel did: