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So. Many. Updates.

Your November 2020 PubPub newsletter
Published onNov 23, 2020
So. Many. Updates.

PubPub newsletter subscribers received this newsletter on November 16, 2020. You can view it here on Mailchimp. Consider subscribing to our monthly newsletters for updates about the platform, news from our communities, and things we’re thinking about.

Hello all,

We'll keep it brief here at the top since there are many platform updates and pieces of community news to share this month. It's a long newsletter, but bear with us and keep scrolling! Our team has been really busy developing a series of helpful, user-generated improvements. There are a range of community updates, from university press launches to a personal open book writing project, along with so many nice examples of features—old and new—employed creatively by all of you.  
Thank you for reading and for all of your continued feedback,
Your PubPub team

Twitter Embeds

At long last, you can embed Tweets and Twitter Lists (profiles, curated collections, and actual lists) into Pubs and Pages. Just select the “Media” icon.

Pub Cite Style Matches Pub Citation Style Setting

The style used for citing Pubs using the "Cite" button now matches the citation style set in Pub settings! So, for example, if you set the citation style to Chicago, you'll get a citation in the Chicago format.

When you click "More Cite Options," you'll see that the set format is listed as the default alongside common options like APA, Vancouver, and Bibtex. Additionally, if there is no Pub DOI, but there is a Collection DOI, the citation will use that DOI. This is particularly helpful when you want to publish a book with a DOI, and include it in citations, but not give each chapter a DOI.

This release makes it easier to add additional citation styles. If you'd like to request we add a citation style as an option, file a card on GitHub.

Item Labels and Referencing

PubPub can now automatically label images, videos, and equations. Item labels are automatically sequentially numbered, and appear beneath media blocks, above tables, and to the right-hand side of equations and are automatically numbered. To turn on labels, visit the settings of any Pub and enable the types of items you'd like to label.  You can also give item types a custom label if you'd like to use a different language, as well as group items so that they share the same sequence of numbers by giving them the same label (for example, if you want both images and videos to be labeled as "Figures," you can assign them both the "Figure" label). If you want to exclude an individual item from labelling, you can disable it with a new "Hide Label" checkbox in the item's formatting controls.

As part of this update, you can now create linked References to labeled items. This way, you can refer to References by their assigned number, and if you later update the Pub so that the number changes, the Reference will be automatically updated. References can be created with a new icon labelled with the "@" symbol in the editor toolbar. When the references toolbar button is clicked, an inline text node is inserted at the current cursor position. This is a Reference item. At first, the Reference will show the text "(ref?)", indicating that the Reference is not yet targeting anything. Clicking the Reference element will show a dropdown containing a list of targetable items. Selecting an item from the dropdown will update the Reference text to the label of the target. Inserting the "@" symbol in the Pub body will also open the same dropdown of referenceable elements. This list can be filtered by continuing to type after the trigger character. The Reference item becomes a link in the published Pub, and clicking the reference will scroll the browser to the target's position in the document.

Collection layouts

Now, Collections on PubPub act more like Pages. They have a layout, which lets you display the Pubs in a Collection using the same flexible, block-based layout system as Pages. We will continue to support linking Pages to Collections for the foreseeable future, but Layouts is available now by default for all Collections not linked to a Page. This means that you'll see the Collection's contents if you navigate to <community><collection-slug>. Note: existing Collections have randomly generated slugs, but they can be changed from Collection Settings; new Collections will have human-readable slugs mirroring their title).

Here's the new Collection Layout editor, accessible from the Dashboard > Collection > Layout tab.

Collections can now be used anywhere that Pages can, e.g. in the Community Navigation:

..and in the layout of other Pages and Collections:

Imports and Exports

Links to images and headings are now maintained when importing documents. Internal links are imported as standard hyperlinks (not References, although we are considering that at a later time). References are converted to hyperlinks when a Pub is exported.

Click-to-copy Linking

You can now link to almost any block element in a Pub using the same click-to-copy button that previously only applied to headings:

Page Edit Access

Another common gripe about PubPub is that it's very hard to access the corresponding Dashboard tab for a given Page, to quickly edit its contents. No longer! The Page editor is now two clicks away from any Page via the Dashboard dropdown:

Whew, that was a lot! Please play around with these features and provide us some feedback!

HDSR Issue 2.4

To kick off the rolling publication of Issue 2.4, the Harvard Data Science Review has published a special section on the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Articles span topics such as predictions, forecasting models, and polls. Issue 2.4 will also feature a special section on replicability in science, published in collaboration with the National Academies of Science.

TMB Issue 1

The first issue of Technology, Mind, and Behavior is now fully online. The journal, published by the American Psychological Association, features interactive elements in nearly all articles. The first article of Issue 2, "Combined Cognitive–Motivational Modules Delivered via an LMS," was published earlier this month, with more on the way. 

Databases, Revenues, & Repertory

A new volume of essays published by the MIT Press, Databases, Revenues, & Repertory: The French Stage Online, 1680-1793 is now live on PubPub. The volume, published in both English and French, makes wonderful use of our connections feature, to link between translations, as well as embedded interactiives that allow readers to flip through the Comédie-Française Registers that serve as the basis for the collection.

Phone & Spear

A new title published by Goldsmiths Press, Phone & Spear: A Yuta Anthropology by Miyarrka Media is a collaborative, artistic experiment with creating mutuality and inclusion in book form, while still allowing for distinctive, and sometimes divergent, points of view. Along the way is asks: what is a book? Phone & Spear is also a winner of the 2020 Bateson Book Prize, awarded to "honour the ethic of shared leadership and collective praxis that underpins many contemporary Black and Indigenous social movements, and to emphasise scholarship that moves the field forward collectively."


On the occasion of Wikipedia's 20th birthday, a new volume of essays by scholars, activists, and volunteers reflects on these years, in doing so reflecting that “free access” includes not just access to the material but freedom to contribute (and that the summation of all human knowledge is biased by who documents it).

Sonic Scope

Sonic Scope: New Approaches to Audiovisual Culture is a new peer-reviewed student journal based at Goldsmiths University. Their first issue is now live and their site on PubPub makes wonderful use of our page HTML blocks to customize their design. We recommend checking it out!


Projections, the Journal of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning published by the MIT Press, focuses on the most innovative and cutting-edge research in planning. Volume 15, its latest, features pieces on Practices of Health in Unruly Environments.


darkmatter is a journal committed to producing contemporary de/post-colonial critique that has found a new home on PubPub. While still in the process of migrating its back issues to their new community, darkmatter recently published a special issue on PubPub: Issue-15 (De-)Facing the dark face of Europe; the on-going struggle against blackface and anti-Black racist imagery.

SJBLP in print!

The Stanford Journal of Blockchain Law and Policy has just published the print version of its Vol. 3 No. 2. The journal was also recently featured by the Library of Congress.

People-First Growth

People-First Growth is a public book-writing project by Sarah Avenir and &yet. Sarah invites those interested to follow and participate in her drafting, which she calls "creating out loud." We love seeing PubPub used as a tool to engage community in process!

Do you have community news? Please share it with us at [email protected]  for inclusion in our next newsletter!

"To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks" by Eli Pariser in Wired

"Situating Open Data: Global Trends in Local Contexts" Edited by Danny Lämmerhirt, Ana Brandusescu, Natalia Domagala & Patrick Enaholo published by African Minds

"A Human-Centered Agenda for Intelligible Machine Learning" by Jennifer Wortman Vaughan and Hanna Wallach for Microsoft Research

"Kim Stanley Robinson on inventing plausible utopias" by Eliot Peper in conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson

Are you reading anything that might be of interest to the PubPub community? If so, we want to hear about it! Please share it with us at [email protected] 

Encouraging Preprint Curation and Review: A Design Sprint

ASAPbio is hosting a design sprint on the topic of preprint curation and review on November 13th and December 3rd. The organizers ask "How do we encourage existing peer reviewers and the broader community to participate in review and curation? How do we promote review of work beyond well-known authors and institutions? How do we convince the community to devote more of their effort towards preprint review? How do we reward evaluation of preprints?" You can register to attend one or both convenings.

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