Why is Elsevier holding the Apps for Science challenge?

Elsevier seeks to accelerate scientific search and discovery by stimulating the creation of software applications that enhance the research experience of 15 million customers from over 10,000 institutions. These customers include researchers, medical professionals, librarians and students accessing content that includes more than 10 million full text articles from over 2,500 journals and 11,000 books as well as over 42 million abstracts, citations and web content covering 18,000 titles from over 5,000 publishers.

What are the criteria for the winning applications?

Software applications will be judged on the Quality of the Idea (Including creativity and originality), Implementation of the Idea (including user experience and design), and Potential Impact on Elsevier customers (including improvement of research experience, productivity and workflow).

Do I retain intellectual property ownership?

Yes, all entrants regardless of winner status will retain Intellectual Property ownership of their application.

Can more than one person work on an application and receive credit for it? And if the app wins a prize, will the prize money be split among the creators?

Yes. If a team of individuals, a corporation or an organization is selected as a prize winner, the prize will be awarded to the group and it will be up to them to split or appropriately allocate the prize.

Can I enter more than one application?

Yes. There is no limit to how many times an eligible person or organization may enter. And, an individual may join more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization.

Who is eligible to enter the competition and from what countries?

Apps for Science is open to legal residents and corporations or organizations from the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia), Australia, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Individuals must have reached the age of majority in their state or country of residence.

Do the submitted apps have to be newly created for this competition, or can they be pre-existing applications ported to work on Elsevier’s SciVerse platform?

Submissions may be pre-existing applications provided they comply with all of the requirements outlined in the Official Rules, including that they must be built on the Elsevier SciVerse Software Development Kit (SDK). Any applications already available on the SciVerse platform are not eligible to enter.

How do I get started?

To Enter Apps for Science and start working on your app you will need to download Elsevier’s Software Development Kit (plugin for Eclipse) and get access to Elsevier’s APIs and premium content. To get started:
1. Sign up on or log in at using an existing ChallengePost account.
2. Register to participate in the Apps for Science Challenge by clicking here. You must agree to share your email address, first name, and last name with Elsevier in order to set up an account on their SciVerse platform and receive an API key and access to content.
3. Download Eclipse at and the Elsevier Software Development Kit at
4. To test and run your app, upload it to your SciVerse account

Who is Elsevier?

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, Reaxys, MD Consult and Nursing Consult, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai’s Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

What is SciVerse?

The SciVerse suite of search and discovery offerings provides the global research community access to a constantly expanding universe of content and solutions which can now be accessed in one platform. The suite currently includes ScienceDirect, the world’s largest source of peer-reviewed content containing more than 10 million articles, and Scopus, an abstract and citation database containing 41 million records, 70% with abstracts and nearly 18,000 titles from 5,000 publishers worldwide. The new platform also includes SciVerse Hub beta, which enables researchers to perform a single search across all of the SciVerse content as well as targeted web content with results ranked by relevancy and without duplication. SciVerse Applications beta, a new module within the suite, is a marketplace and developer network that allows the scientific community to build, find and use applications that enhance the SciVerse research experience.

How to I follow the Apps for Science challenge and get updates?

Sign up on and follow us on Twitter @SciVerseDev

Who can I contact if I have questions about the Apps for Science challenge?

Email us at


Is my submission required to use the Elsevier Software Development Kit?

No. SciVerse applications are built on OpenSocial standards. You can test and run your application online at via the MyProjects section. However, the SDK (available here: lets you create and test your SciVerse application offline which will greatly ease your development experience. There are also example applications available via the Get Started Kit.

How do I get access to Elsevier’s SciVerse APIs?

To get access to the SciVerse APIs you must first register to participate in the Apps for Science Challenge by clicking here. You will then be provided with additional details on accessing the APIs.

Where do I get access to raw data if I don’t plan on using the APIs?

To get access to raw data you must first register to participate in the Apps for Science Challenge by clicking here . You will then be provided with additional details on accessing content through your SciVerse account.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the Elsevier SDK, content or APIs?

For technical questions you can contact or Additionally, you can post questions via the SciVerse Applications Community Forum at

I understand the content and APIs provided for the challenge include premium Elsevier content. How long will the content remain available and API keys remain active?

User accounts and API keys will expire at the close of the challenge and SciVerse content will no longer be available to contestants. Submissions will be reviewed for approval for the SciVerse platform after the challenge. Contestants with approved submissions will have continued access to the SciVerse content and APIs.