Thursday, April 7, 2011

Elsevier Challenge: Another Big Step towards Open Data Movement

Nobody was happy after hearing that, along with a number of other data-related sites of the government such as and, are slated to be shut down due to budget cuts. The current annual budget of $37 million will be reduced to $2 million. It wasn't long ago when I had written very enthusiastically about the open data movement. In general, despite the fate of, the open data initiative is still going strong. Today, we have almost 25 cities in US who have opendata. Sanfrancisco's is another success story which has almost 60 applications built by the developers. What we really need, in this context, is more participation from the commercial world!

On a similar note - Today, I was contacted by Elsevier, one of the largest publisher of medical and scientific literature in the world about their open data initiative. I am more than happy to write about this great initiative from a well known commercial enterprise.They just announced its first worldwide challenge called “Apps for Science,” powered by ChallengePost. The challenge is designed to bring together developers and a community of 15M researchers to collaborate more efficiently via new and innovative apps.

This database comprises of more than 25% of world’s academic and scientific articles for the challenge. Now, developers can access Elsevier’s data catalog and APIs from its SciVerse Suite, a content discovery platform + developer network w/ 10M+ articles, an abstract database with 41,000,000 records and more. This video explains SciVerse Suite better:

Why should we care for it?

  • If you care about a cure for cancer, AIDS or any other deadly disease then it is an important step. We need to help scientists and support them with the best tools and information possible because better communication is equal to greater knowledge share which will result into innovation breakthroughs.
  • It will free up approximately 12 hours per week previously spent on collecting and organizing research (according to a 2007 Outsell survey of 6,300 knowledge workers).
What’s in it for developers?

You can build & host tools (free or fee-based) for a captive audience of 15M researchers & 10k research institutions on Elsevier’s Application Marketplace.

Judges include known names like Jeff Jonas and James Handler among others. 

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