October 13, 2010
Merriam-Webster, the household name in dictionaries, launched the Merriam-Webster Dictionary API last week. The most trusted name in dictionary/thesaurus references has decided to make its resources available to developers through the new API. Merriam-Webster is making eight different resources available via the API.
Sometimes we forget what the real purpose of all this fancy technology is. And what is that? To make our real lives easier. Mashups often help with that, allowing us to do such simple things as find a good beer, our favorite music artists, where the streetcars are, or where a park is.
Scientific journals are providing greater access to published research by releasing new APIs. Cambridge Journals Online API and Public Library of Science Article Level Metrics API have both been released in the past several weeks. Meanwhile, the European Commission has just completed a public consultation on open access to research data ahead of a new wave of policy reform and their next big research funding round.