Developers and researchers competed for $35,000 in Elsevier's largest app contest yet

Apps for Science

Elsevier is building an "ecosystem" of researchers and developers who can build apps that meet the challenges of science researchers. The Apps for Science competition was the latest initiative, drawing 380 registrants from seven countries. They competed for over four months from April to July to build apps on SciVerse.

"We want long-lasting relationships with these developers," said Vishal Gupta, Director of the Developer Network. "If you (as a developer) have an innovative idea, we provide you the tools, content and the platform. We want you to partner with us, build apps and make a difference for our end users."

Challenges like this are attracting experts from around the world: the talented developers whose ideas may ultimately be showcased by Elsevier, and the judges, who are leaders in their fields and can serve as advisors and development partners.

"We witnessed that research is done in teams and across ... organization borders," said Leo Sauermann, who developed the app "Refinder," winning second prize.

Twenty-seven apps were selected to be judged by a panel of seven experts, which chose winners for five of the prizes. The apps were selected for their capacity to help researchers "navigate scientific content, improve scientific search, visualize sophisticated data in more insightful and attractive ways and stimulate collaboration." In addition, a Popular Choice Prize was awarded for the app that received the most votes from the public.

The Apps for Science website has over 6,000 followers, according to the number of people who signed up to vote on the apps or keep up with contest news. The site has also drawn over 34,000 unique visitors. The Application Marketplace and Developer Network team has now implemented some of these apps on SciVerse Applications, where the apps are available to more than 15 million SciVerse users. The developers will retain full intellectual property rights to their submissions.