Now we have article 2.0

ruby on rails by luisvilla*
I will participate in the Elsevier Article 2.0 Contest:
[Via Gobbledygook]

We have been talking a lot about Web 2.0 approaches for scientific papers. Now Elsevier announced an Article 2.0 Contest:

Demonstrate your best ideas for how scientific research articles should be presented on the web and compete to win great prizes!

The contest runs from September 1st until December 31st. Elsevier will provide 7.500 full text articles in XML format (through a REST API). The contestants that creates the best article presentation (creativity, value-add, ease of use and quality) will win prizes.

This is a very interesting contest, and I plan to participate. I do know enough about programming web pages that I can create something useful in four months. My development platform of choice is Ruby on Rails and Rails has great REST support. I will use the next two months before the contest starts to think about the features I want to implement.

I’m sure that other people are also considering to participate in this contest or would like to make suggestions for features. Please contact me by commenting or via Email or FriendFeed. A great opportunity to not only talk about Science 2.0, but actually do something about it.

While there are not any real rules up yet, this is intriguing. Reformatting a science paper for the Internet. All the information should be there to demonstrate how this new medium can change the way we read articles and disperse information.

We have already seen a little of this in the way journals published by Highwire Press are able to also contain links to papers published more recently, that cite the relevant paper. Take for example this paper by a friend of mine ULBPs, human ligands of the NKG2D receptor, stimulate tumor immunity with enhancement by IL-15.
Scroll to the bottom and there are not only links in the references, which look backwards from the paper, but also citations that look forward, to relevant papers published after this one.

So Elsevier has an interesting idea. Just a couple of hang-ups, as brought out in the comments to Martin’s post. Who owns the application afterwards? What sorts of rights do the creators have? This could be a case where Elsevier only has to pay $2500 but gets the equivalent of hundreds if not thousands of hours of development work done by a large group of people.

This works well for Open Source approaches, since the community ‘owns’ the final result. But in this case, it very likely may be Elsevier that owns everything, making the $2500 a very small price to pay indeed.

This could, in fact, spear an Open Source approach to redefining how papers are presented on the Internet. This is because PLoS presents its papers in downloadable XML format where the same sort of process as Elsevier is attempting could be done by a community for the entire communtiy’s enrichment.

And since all of the PLoS papers are Open Access, instead of the limited number that Elsevier decides to chose, we could get a real view of how this medium could boost the transfer of information for scientific papers.

I wonder what an Open Source approach would look like and how it might differ from a commercial approach?

*I also wonder what the title of the book actually translates to in Japanese?

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