Springer APIs- Fostering Innovation via API Contests

Ajay Ohri
Nov. 20 2012, 01:30PM EST

Springer is one of the leading publishers of scientific books and journals. It has had an OpenAccess API , and it has also sponsored API contests around the same. Three kinds of APIs are available by Springer.

  • Springer Metadata
    This API will allow application to query our database of journal articles and book chapters, retrieving the metadata for all the content that Springer publishes. Results can be returned using XML or JSON.
  • Springer Images
    This API allows your application to query images pulled from all Springer's content
  • Springer Openaccess
    This API allows you to query all open access content produced by Springer.

The two API contests by Springer have created the following mashups. Interestingly the winner of the second contest was KLEENK which was earlier known as Kontent Links , and had won the second position in the first contest!

  • Springer Quotes- Springer Quotes let's you search more than 80 thousand articles from Springer's open access journals. When you find a particularly interesting article you can create quotes from paragraphs or individual sentences. These quotes can be used to point fellow researchers to specific sections of articles or to reference these quotes within your own scientific work. It is available here and won the first API contest by Springer.
  • Kontent Links-The KontentLinks platform that won the second prize in the Springer API Challenge has been upgraded to a better version called KLEENK. KLEENK allows researchers to create smart connections between existing papers, books, images or anything else related to science. These connections, called kleenks, can be public or shared only with your research fellows and also they can be commented, rated and followed.
  • JournalSuggest- Journal suggest is a service for people who submit articles to academic journals. It is designed to help answer the following three questions: Which keywords should I select for an article / grant? Which Springer journal should I publish in? Which technique should I use in my article (from two options)?
  • CIRRA-ASOP -CIRRA is a semantic web application designed for providing contextual information services for the research community by using contextual information associated with sentences in research articles The key highlights of the application are : It uses supervised learning methods for identifying contexts associated with sentences in research articles and employs Sentence Context Ontology for deriving contextual data in Resource Description Framework (RDF) .SPARQL is used for querying RDF data
  • Blu - A search engine
  • Opacmo -is the Open Access Mortar — a mash-up of biological and biomedical terms linked to publications of the open-access subset of PubMed Central. Opacmo links open access publications to biomedical resources and provides a search interface for easy information retrieval and  also accounts for unofficial synonyms or common names that might be used instead of the officially accepted terms.

This is an example of API Contest creating great innovation and much better mashups than could be created by in-house or just open-community efforts. We applaud this effort and hope other API creators make even more contests for mashups and applications. API mashup creators may not be doing the glamorous job of making mobile games, but they are perhaps equally important to spreading knowledge on the web. (An example is the great work done by the contest API mashups which has the deadline of November 30,2012 and has upto 5000$ available in prizes ) Other API publishers can use contests to foster growth of mashups for enhancing the viability of a mashup ecosystem.

Innovation. Just an API Contest away!

(Disclaimer/Conflict of Interest- Springer publishes 7000 new books very year and the author has been published by Springer.)

Ajay Ohri is the author of R for Business Analytics and likes to write on Enterprise ,Cloud and Statistical APIs with an emphasis on interviews. Follow Ajay on Google+ and connect on LinkedIn

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