It's a proven fact: scientists and researchers that work in physical science, Earth science, life science, computer science, and any other scientific discipline have benefited from Application Programming Interfaces or APIs. APIs work hand-in-hand with standards and open data to provide scientists efficient ways to conduct, manage, and share research.
APIs enable scientists to add data to software applications and share data amongst colleagues. APIs can also provide important machine learning algorithms for model-based testing and model learning, querying tools, data analysis tools, metadata and taxonomy methodology for managing large databases, and connections to project management and observational tools.
Developers looking to create applications for the scientific community should check out the ProgrammableWeb Science category for the best APIs to use. In this article, we highlight a few of the favorites, based on overall user traffic on the website.
1. Global Biodiversity Information Facility AP
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international group that works to make the world's biodiversity data accessible anywhere. GBIF enables access to over 44,000 datasets as part of a UDDI Registry. The GBIF APITrack this API enables users to retrieve species data, including plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms, plus species occurrence records with classifications and scientific and common names. Participants in the GBIF network can use a toolkit to efficiently publish to the Internet biodiversity data. The GBIF office is at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in the Zoological Museum.
2. ClinicalTrials.gov API
ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials. ClinicalTrials.gov APITrack this API provides a method for creating links to ClinicalTrials.gov or downloading ClinicalTrials.gov data in XML format. Obtain information including a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details about clinical trials being conducted throughout the United States and in many countries throughout the world.
3. Data Science Toolkit API
Data Science Toolkit (DSTK) offers free open data sets and open-source tools that are useful for data science. The suite of DSTK APIsTrack this API includes Geodict (geolocation) Text to Places, IP Address to Coordinates, Street Address to Coordinates, Coordinates to Politics, File to Text, Text to Sentences, HTML to Text, HTML to Story, Text to People, The APIs use RESTful protocol and responses are formatted in JSON.
4. Mendeley API
Mendeley is a platform that opens up science for everyone by allowing scholars from all over the world to collaborate. The Mendeley APITrack this API enables users to programmatically access reference materials and user information from the platform. API methods are available to manage catalogs, datasets, documents, files, groups, institutions, locations, annotations, academic status and more.
Explore the features of Mendeley. Video: YouTube/Mendeley
5. PLOS Search API
PLOS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians that aims to make scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. The PLOS Search APITrack this API gives developers access to data from the PLOS archive of scientific articles web, desktop or mobile application integration. It allows PLOS content to be queried via title, author, abstract, conclusions or any other field in the PLOS server search engine.
6. The National Center for Biomedical Ontology BioPortal API
The National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) enables biomedical researchers to access, review, and integrate ontological resources. The NCBO BioPortal APITrack this API provides a RESTful interface for accessing ontologies. Supported services include downloads, lists by specified criteria, search, access to terms and concepts, subtree extraction, and much more. API responses may be XML or JSON formatted.
7. SeismicPortal API
The Seismic Data Portal API aggregates data about European earthquake events. Listed services include EventID, which maps dynamically event identifiers to allow the identification of the same event between different seismological institutions. Also FDSN EVENT, which conforms to the FDSN-Event standards and provides all the EMSC event data available, plus Flinn-Engdahl Lookup, Moment Tensors, Rupture Models, Citizen Testimonies, and (near) Realtime Notification. Data is available in JSON and the specialized QuakeML format. API methods retrieve seismic events, location, magnitude, seismic waveforms detected, and projected arrival times at specified locations.
8. Open Science Framework API
The Open Science Framework (OSF) is a free, open-source research repository maintained by the Center for Open Science. The Open Science Framework (OSF) REST APITrack this API enables developers to access users, projects, components, logs, and files from the Open Science Framework. The OSF can be used to measure impact by monitoring the traffic to projects and files made public. With the OSF, researchers have full control of what parts of research are public and what remains private.
9. Trefle API
Trefle.io aims to deliver all plant information gathered from USDA, Tela Botanica, Tropicos, and International Plant Names Index (IPNI). The Trefle APITrack this API returns botanical data for plant species in JSON format. With the API, developers could build farming robots, gardening apps, and search apps with information related to plants of the world.
10. Clarivate Web of Science
The Web of Science is a platform to discover research literature. The Clarivate Web of Science APITrack this API supports searching the Web of Science Core Collection and retrieving article metadata in JSON and XML responses. This data can be used in public facing applications, institutional repositories, research networking systems and more. This API was previously administered by Thomson Reuters and is now offered by Clarivate Analytics, which provides analytics-powered solutions with the aim to accelerate the pace of innovation.