To register for the Hypothesis Browser, use the “Create an account” option in the top-right of the page. You will be required to create a username, a public display name, and to register using your email address. Your account will become active once approved by the system administrator.

Once you have registered, you will be able to provide comments and contribute new hypotheses, as well as add information to existing hypotheses. You can edit your profile and change your password at any time.

The structure of Hypothesis Browser is presented such that hypotheses are ordered relative to a general field of study and a specific topic within that field, following this general structure:

Field Topic Hypothesis

This structure allows users of the Hypothesis Browser to easily navigate through different fields of inquiry and the topics that are prevalently discussed in such fields.

Every hypothesis in the Hypothesis Browser is presented with a counter-hypothesis. In some cases, this may simply be the null hypothesis (the logical counter to the hypothesis) or it may be another competing proposition relevant to that topic. Upon clicking on a hypothesis and its counter, a new page will open showing the competing hypotheses followed by a dropdown box that contains background information about the hypotheses. Following the background information will be the arguments that support or contradict each given hypothesis. All of the arguments are ordered into categories, to make searching through the arguments easier, as in the following example:

Categories and arguments

The argument and evidence that support the hypothesis on the left at the top of the page are displayed on the left. An argument and evidence that support the other hypothesis (the one on the right at the top of the page) are displayed on the right. In the case above, the two arguments are counters of each other, so they are provided as linked arguments. While not all arguments have counter-arguments, many do.

When the dropdown for “evidence” is clicked, it will show a summary from a relevant peer-reviewed research paper. Clicking on the line of evidence will then open a pop-window showing the abstracts and citations in several formats for the primary research in question, including links to download the citations in BibTeX and Endnote formats.

Although the Hypothesis Browser supports browsing for any user, only registered users can provide comments. Comment dropdown boxes can be found for each hypothesis, each argument category, and for each line of evidence. Inappropriate comments (i.e. those that don’t fit the information present or that attempt to spam or slander other users) will be removed.

Once you have registered for the Hypothesis Browser, you can contribute to the site by providing comments, adding evidence and/or citations for specific arguments, creating new arguments or counter-arguments with new lines of evidence, adding new categories for arguments, and by adding new hypotheses within specific topics on the site.

For adding new lines of evidence to specific arguments that already exist on the site, click on the “Add Evidence/Citation” text within the field of the argument. The following pop-up window will appear:

Insert adding evidence

All of the fields in red boxes above will need to be filled in order to add new lines of evidence. Once a relevant citation has been provided by the user, a search can be performed to find the relevant citation formats. BibTeX and Endnote citation formats can also be imported.

New arguments and counter-arguments can be provided just below the line for the argument category of interest. By clicking on the text for “Add argument [Pro]” or “Add argument [Con]”, a pop-up window will appear allowing for a new argument to be shared (this should just be one sentence outlining the argument). Each new argument must include at least one line of supporting evidence.

In order to create a counter-argument for an argument that already exists on the site, simply click on the yellow circle beside the argument that says “ADD COUNTER”. Once a new counter-argument and supporting evidence is provided, the yellow circle will be replaced by a grey link circle.

In order to add an argument category for a specific set of hypotheses, use the grey button labeled “Add Argument Category” at the top of the page (just below the competing hypotheses).

The curators for each set of hypotheses will review submissions for new lines of evidence to ensure that appropriate citations have been provided and that the line of evidence provided is supported by the primary literature that the user has linked. New arguments and argument categories will also be reviewed by the curators for the hypotheses.