Friday, 22 July 2011

Build an app that makes science more open

Build an app that makes science more open
Wow just after I blogged about Web 2.0 failing to make scientists more productive .. here comes an app challenge!

Hmmm fresh outta ideas at 2 am .. will sleep on this ..

PLoS and Mendeley, the popular reference manager and academic social network, have teamed up to create a Binary Battle contest to build the best apps that make science more open using PLoS and/or Mendeley’s APIs (Application Programming Interface). There’s $16,000 in prize money to be won plus other cool gifts and the opportunity to get your entries in front of a panel of influential judges from technology, media and science that include:

Tim O’Reilly - Founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media which is changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. Tim also co-hosts the annual Science Foo Camp with Google and Nature.

Dr. Werner Vogels - CTO of and former research scientist at Cornell University. Werner is one of world’s top experts on cloud computing and ultra-scalable systems.

Juan Enriquez – Managing Director of Excel Venture Management and CEO of Biotechonomy. Juan is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences.

John Wilbanks - VP for Science at Creative Commons. Seed Magazine named John a “Game Changer” among their Revolutionary Minds of 2008.

James Powell - CTO of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading information services company. Still a nerd at heart, James is particularly interested in how technology gets applied to solve problems.

We have two APIs for you to mine in this competition. The PLoS Search API allows anyone to build their own applications for the web, desktop or mobile devices using PLoS content. The Mendeley API opens up a database of over 80 million research papers, usage statistics, reader demographics, social tags, and related research recommendations. Since Mendeley got this competition up and running before PLoS joined the party, you can see what some people have already made using their API. It’s also worth knowing that Mendeley are organizing two simultaneous Hackathons at their NY and London offices on Saturday June 11-Sunday June 12, 2011.

Here’s the lowdown on the amazing prizes:

  • Grand prize: $10001 + $1000 Amazon Web Services Credits
  • Second prize: $5000 + $500 Amazon Web Services Credits – an extra $1000 plus a Parrott AR Drone Quadricopter is available to the best combined PLoS/Mendeley app.
  • Last day to submit your app: September 30th 2011
  • Winner announced on: November 30th 2011

Entries will be judged on criteria such as: activity; popularity/usefulness; whether it increases collaboration and/or transparency and how cool is it (does it make our jaws drop!). Please note, we can not accept entries from PLoS or Mendeley staff or their immediate families, their investors or board members. To get started, developers need to get a key from PLoS, Mendeley or both. Don’t forget, the last day to submit your app is September 30th 2011.

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