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Audemic: access research articles through listening

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Audemic: access research articles through listening Jose Rayo, CMO and co-founder. The Audemic logo appears underneath this text and a photo of two hands holding a cell phone with the Audemic app is at the right.

Preface: In the latest interview in our series on companies that are developing innovative ways to support your research, we speak with Jose from Audemic about how we can access research articles by listening to them in the Audemic App. We asked him about access and inclusivity in research and learned that technology is not only breaking scientists away from long hours reading articles at the computer screen, but it is also opening doors and bringing more people into the scientific world. Check out Audemic’s biweekly podcast, The Research Beat, to be brought even further in and hear about the daily lives of scientists!

Can you tell us about yourself and what led you to start Audemic?

Hi there! My name is Jose Rayo and I am Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of Audemic, a platform. I have to admit that my professional profile is a bit strange, because I am a corporate lawyer turned marketer! I think this fact speaks for itself but I would define myself as a constant learner and seeker of new challenges – at the end of the day it is what I believe makes us really grow as people… and now I am immersed in the exciting adventure that is Audemic.

I met my co-founders in Madrid when we were participating in a startup incubation hub. The four of us shared the view that there was a very clear problem: scientific research has the greatest impact on people’s lives but it is not accessible at all. So we asked ourselves: what can we do to improve this? How can we make people more productive in reading scientific content? This is how Audemic was born, with the intention of changing the way not only academics and researchers but also the intellectually curious read scientific articles using the full potential of technology.

How does Audemic help to increase access in science?

Accessibility is a very broad term and can be approached from many angles and at Audemic we do just that, creating new and friendlier ways to digest academic research.

The most obvious is perhaps audio, the world is moving to audio (audiobooks, podcasts, etc), because software like Audemic’s broadens the range of possibilities in which to consume these types of texts – you no longer need to be sitting in front of a PDF on your computer or on paper!

Another way in which we work to improve accessibility is the development of functionalities that help our users to maximise their academic performance even if they have learning disabilities or differences. Audemic delivers powerful accessibility features with the same ease of use as a podcast app, which increases uptake and decreases software training. For example, with Audemic you can switch to a dyslexic-friendly font, change the font size or even alter the order in which each section is read.

Are there any restrictions on what form of scientific articles I can listen to on Audemic—textbooks, theses, open access papers, my own research manuscript?

Audemic is designed to process any type of research paper regardless of the field, journal or model under which it has been published. This also includes other broader texts such as theses or research manuscripts, which can also be uploaded and accessed from the platform. However, it should be noted that Audemic is currently trained to process documents with the structure of a scientific article, so it may encounter some difficulties with more general texts.

I would love to create an article playlist while I’m listening—do you have plans to integrate Audemic with search functionality or reference managers?

I’m delighted that you have asked me that question because it’s an idea we’ve already thought about and are working on. There are several users who tell us that they use Audemic on a project basis and that sometimes they need to read huge amounts of articles but only want to listen to some sections. With a feature like this users could create a playlist just like they do in Spotify and add several articles to the queue.

The idea of including a search engine within the App is not something we are working on at the moment because we are focused on being as useful as possible for the user when reading and understanding scientific texts, but it is certainly an improvement that we have considered, especially considering the current strength of the open access movement. Making it easier for the user to search for the article and upload it directly to Audemic would be very powerful, and we are currently working on integrating with existing services that help users to find those articles.

We are constantly releasing new features in the App and one of the latest has been the integration with the Zotero reference manager. With this integration our users can now synchronise their Zotero account and automatically import all articles to be able to read and listen to them in Audemic.

In addition to improving access and making it possible to listen to research articles, Audemic has a podcast. Can you tell us about The Research Beat?

The Research Beat is a podcast promoted by Audemic at the beginning of 2022 and is aimed at telling the incredible stories behind people who are dedicated in one way or another to the world of science or research. We bring profiles ranging from PhD students to science communicators, researchers in industry to professors from around the world. The show, hosted by Jordan Kruszynski and of which we have already done 2 seasons, tries to bring the general public closer to what the guests’ day is like and how their work impacts our lives without us even realising it and also take the opportunity to address current affairs and how they believe they could improve things in academia.

Each week you can find an episode available on the main podcasting platforms so… don’t forget to subscribe! 😉

What is your vision for the future of Audemic?

Our vision for Audemic is to become a fundamental tool for academics, researchers and the intellectually curious, helping them to be more productive, collaborative and innovative across borders, regardless of neurodiversity or disabilities and throughout their careers. But, research papers are just the start, after that we want to go to case studies, legal documents, business reports. If you think about Notion, you think about smart note taking. If you think about Duolingo, you think about smart language learning. We want you to think about Audemic when you think about smart reading.

The four members of the Audemic founding team sit on a light green couch on the balcony of a dark atrium.
The Audemic founding team.

Acknowledgment

We would like to thank Jose for sharing his insight!

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