About Apps for Science

Apps for Science is a $35,000 software challenge to accelerate science. Elsevier is challenging software developers to help more than 15 million researchers, medical professionals, librarians and students navigate scientific content, improve scientific search and discovery visualize sophisticated data in more insightful and attractive ways, and stimulate collaboration.

Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, has opened their vast catalog of scientific content and provided APIs that enable developers to create apps that improve researcher productivity and workflow.

Developers are encouraged to collaborate with researchers to develop the best apps to enhance the customer experience. After the challenge, submitted apps will be reviewed for Elsevier’s SciVerse platform where developers can market their apps and gain revenue from 15 million users from 10,000 institutions.

Getting 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 AppsForScience.com or log in at AppsForScience.com using an existing ChallengePost account.
2. Register to participate in the Apps for Science Challenge. 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 http://www.eclipse.org/ and the Elsevier Software Development Kit at http://developer.sciverse.com/sdk
4. To test and run your app, upload it to your SciVerse

Take a look at this screencast which documents the process of signing up and creating an app. Please be aware that the Register to participate step is missing from the video.

About Elsevier’s SciVerse Content

Elsevier has opened up their SciVerse content and meta-data for the Apps for Science challenge, including 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.

The SciVerse suite of search and discovery products provides the global research community access to a constantly expanding corpus of content and solutions which can now be accessed on 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 Sciverse 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 is an application marketplace and a developer network where the scientific community can build, find and use applications that enhance scientific search and discovery on SciVerse.

Developing for SciVerse

Elsevier has a number of resources and documentation for SciVerse developers available at developer.sciverse.com

Please note: once you have registered to participate in Apps for Science you do not need to follow instructions on developer.sciverse.com for requesting access to SciVerse Applications Beta. You will be sent an email with separate instructions for the challenge.

Elsevier has created a Get Started kit with simple examples and instructions: http://developer.sciverse.com/getstarted. You are encouraged to browse the resources at developer.sciverse.com or follow some of the direct links below.

Download the SciVerse SDK: developer.sciverse.com/sdk

The SciVerse content can be accessed via two sets of APIs: SciVerse Content API and SciVerse Framework API. The Content API offers access to Elsevier’s articles, citations and author, affiliation and other meta-data. The SciVerse Framework API allows access to the context of the website where the application appears.

Learn about SciVerse Applications, the platform and users: developer.sciverse.com/learn
SciVerse Content APIs: developer.sciverse.com/api
SciVerse Framework API: developer.sciverse.com/frameworkapi
Start your application: developer.sciverse.com/start
Application Framework: developer.sciverse.com/framework
Integration Points: developer.sciverse.com/integration
XML Definition Files: developer.sciverse.com/xml_def
User Interface Guidelines: developer.sciverse.com/guidelines
“How to..” Guide: developer.sciverse.com/howto
Troubleshooting: developer.sciverse.com/troubleshooting
Example Applications: developer.sciverse.com/examples

Elsevier’s SciVerse platform is built on the OpenSocial specification which is used by over 900 million users. Using JavaScript and HTML5, a SciVerse app can access Elsevier’s scientific content as JSON or XML via RESTful APIs, and create a mash up with third party APIs and open data.
OpenSocial 0.9 specification: http://www.opensocial.org/Technical-Resources/opensocial-spec-v09/
JSON: http://www.json.org/
REST: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representational_State_Transfer
HTML5: http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/

Developer Links: http://developer.sciverse.com/links (reproduced here):

The following collection of resources can help you start building applications with SciVerse. The first section provides links to more information about the open source technologies that the SciVerse platform uses. Next, you will find a number APIs and data repositories that are only a random selection that you could consider in your application. Suggest your own links in our Community area!

1. Tools and resources to build your applications
• SciVerse applications are similar to applications on iGoogle. Both implement the OpenSocial specification. You find tips for coding applications (otherwise known as gadgets) in the links below:
o Google’s XML definition file – http://code.google.com/apis/gadgets/docs/reference.html
o Google’s Gadget API reference. This provides the general functions of applications (set height, make web service calls, etc.) – http://code.google.com/apis/gadgets/docs/reference/
• The SciVerse SDK is a plug-in for the Eclipse Software Development Environment. You can find more information about Eclipse and a link to download the software, here: http://www.eclipse.org/.
Google Analytics is a useful tool for tracking usage of your application.

2. A selection of APIs and data repositories to consider including in your SciVerse application
Data.gov – A repository of structured US Government data.
Data.gov.uk – A repository of UK Government data
Openlabs.go.jp – A repository of Japanese Government data:
Programmable Web – A comprehensive listing of APIs available online.
Amazon Web Services – Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), easy to configure hosting space
Google Code – Google’s official developer web site that includes links to a variety of useful APIs like Google Maps
• W3 Semantics, Linked Data and Ontologies: http://www.w3.org/standards/semanticweb/
• Raphael JS JavaScript visualization library: http://raphaeljs.com/
Bing Maps APIs – Microsoft’s map APIs

Open Social Resources


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