Mendeley, which bills itself as the world's largest crowd-sourced research database, today announced the Mendeley API Binary Battle, challenging developers to build an application on top of Mendeley's open database of over 70 million research papers, usage statistics, reader demographics, social tags, and related research recommendations.
The prize? $10,001.
Modeled after Last.fm, Mendeley seeks to use its social reference manager and collaboration platform to make research more productive and transparent. This challenge is all about creating applications that open up its academic data to others.
To claim the grand prize, the winning application should increase scientific collaboration, mash up research data with social media in novel ways, or simply impress judges the most.
"I am already seeing clear evidence that Mendeley is changing the face of science, and the Binary Battle is one of the reasons why. With tons of academic data, and all the computational power to handle it, I am certain that developers will provide innovative new ways to slice and dice and provide new insights," said Amazon.com CTO Dr. Werner Vogels.
"I always tell developers to work on stuff that matters. It's time to stretch beyond the consumer internet, and what better place to focus than on furthering the cutting edges of science?" said Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media.
The judging panel also includes Juan Enriquez, the founding director of Harvard Business School's Life Sciences Project and CEO of Biotechonomy, James Powell, CTO of Thomson Reuters, and John Wilbanks, VP for Science at Creative Commons.
"The irony of the Internet is that scientists created it, yet it has been underutilized in strengthening the academic community online. A 'Facebook for science data' has never been achieved. With tools like the Mendeley API platform, developers can bring academia back to the center of the Internet," said Mendeley Chief Scientist Dr. Jason Hoyt.
Submissions open today, 8 March 2011, and will close on August 31, 2011. More information about the Mendeley API Binary Battle is available at http://dev.mendeley.com