I will participate in the Elsevier Article 2.0 Contest

We have been talking a lot about Web 2.0 approaches for scientific papers. Now Elsevier announced an Article 2.0 Contest:

Demonstrate your best ideas for how scientific research articles should be presented on the web and compete to win great prizes!

The contest runs from September 1st until December 31st. Elsevier will provide 7.500 full text articles in XML format (through a REST API). The contestants that creates the best article presentation (creativity, value-add, ease of use and quality) will win prizes.

This is a very interesting contest, and I plan to participate. I do know enough about programming web pages that I can create something useful in four months. My development platform of choice is Ruby on Rails and Rails has great REST support. I will use the next two months before the contest starts to think about the features I want to implement.

I'm sure that other people are also considering to participate in this contest or would like to make suggestions for features. Please contact me by commenting or via Email or FriendFeed. A great opportunity to not only talk about Science 2.0, but actually do something about it.

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9 Responses to I will participate in the Elsevier Article 2.0 Contest

  1. Maxine Clarke says:

    Good luck, Martin. I look forward to hearing more about your ideas as they develop. I’ll comment at FriendFeed when I can.

  2. Andrew Perry says:

    I think I’ll give it a go too. Tip: “PLoS already provides it’s articles in XML format”:http://www.neurogems.org/fetchplos/ … they could be a nice set of documents to use for getting a head start, before September 1st … _(crossposted on FriendFeed)_.

  3. David Crotty says:

    Sounds to me like Elsevier’s attempt to crowd source the development of new approaches, rather than pay for it themselves. $2500 would be pretty cheap if they end up with something useful. I’d say don’t sell yourself short–if you can come up with something really good, you can probably license it to Elsevier and other publishers for a lot more than $2500.

  4. Martin Fenner says:

    David, you are of course right. But it is a nice opportunity to think about Article 2.0 and the features that work or don’t work. Commenting and rating of articles are for example features that look nice in theory, but don’t seem to used by any significant number of users.

  5. Chris Surridge says:

    Good on you. I have also been thinking about whether this contest could be used as a way to show what could be done with the literature if greater semantic richness than currently exists is injected into it. (Also trying to think how a non-programmer like me might get involved.)
    According to Peter Suber, Peter Murray-Rust is planning to enter too and possibly the “ChemSpider”:http://www.chemspider.com/ gestalt (whether separately or jointly I’m not sure).
    I’m not sure what Elsevier was hoping to get from this contest but it could prove to be a great way to showcase and test some Science 2.0 ideas. A bit like “CASP”:http://predictioncenter.org/ has done for protein structure prediction.

  6. David Crotty says:

    One other question–I don’t see any terms of service listed on the contest site. If you enter, does your entry become the property of Elsevier? Are you allowed to re-use or re-sell it elsewhere?

  7. Martin Fenner says:

    David, I guess that the terms of service will be posted when the contest starts in September. I wouldn’t like to participate if my entry becomes the property of someone else (unless I get paid for it appropriately).
    Chris, you are right that the contest is a nice opportunity to test some Science 2.0 ideas. What I haven’t seen yet is a link to the blog posts that talk about a specific paper. Online comments are a nice idea in theory, but I don’t think they are used much or will be in the future. I would like tools that make it easier to find related articles. Nothing new or exciting, but this could certainly be improved.

  8. Maxine Clarke says:

    The shortlist has now been announced, “see press release here”:http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authored_newsitem.newsroom/companynews05_00995

  9. Martin Fenner says:

    The “Elsevier Grand Challenge”:http://www.elseviergrandchallenge.com/ and the “Elsevier Article 2.0 Contest”:http://article20.elsevier.com/contest/home.htm are actually two different things.