Mashup Scentific Publishing in the Elsevier Article API Contest

Kevin Farnham, November 18th, 2008

Elsevier, the world’s leading publisher of science and health information, has announced the Article 2.0 Contest, which invites developers to create innovative applications related to scientific journals and articles using the Elsevier Article 2.0 API. The contest runs through December 31, and offers prizes of $4000, $2000, and $1000 (US) to three contest winners.

The REST-based Elsevier Article API provides methods for searching for scientific journals, articles, issues and images. The full text of articles is returnable in XML format. On their site, Elsevier has provided a set of sample applications to help developers get started in developing their applications. For more see our Elsevier Article API profile.

In a look at the contest, Kent Anderson of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, argues that the contest rules are overly constraining. One limitation is that the contestants will have access to a database of only 7500 articles. Still, Kent sees positives as well:

The judges are very well-selected — that’s the most reassuring part of this. Elsevier as an organization has been doing many impressive things lately, experimenting much more openly.

Scientific publishing is an well established business, grounded in traditions dating back a long time. Elsevier’s Article 2.0 contest opens the door for developers to have an impact on the future of scientific publishing, and earn cash prizes and recognition at the same time.

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