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Apps for Libraries Idea Challenge

Recently I have been working with Elsevier Labs an a novel project to generate ideas on how they can improve the apps that work with their SciVal API. Thought I would post more here so that you can vote on the ideas that you like the best (there is a prize both for the ideas and for your vote).

See more at – voting for the ideas ends on Oct 28 so vote soon.

More on the project:

 The judges have selected ten finalists for the Apps for Library Idea Challenge –

The Apps for Library Idea Challenge launched in May.  Librarians were asked to describe an app idea, the value for users and a typical user/workflow in order to compete for prizes and hopefully see their app idea built and launched.  40 ideas were submitted and vetted by the SciVerse Applications team.  The international panel of judges then narrowed the field to ten finalists

We are now entering the next phase of the competition… the Collaborative phase.  We invite you to review the finalist app ideas and share your opinion (positive or negative) on whether such ideas are viable.  Such feedback will help evolve the app concepts and will subsequently inform the voting that’ll start on October 17th.  All eligible (substantive) comments will be entered into a drawing for one of ten gift cards for USD 50.  If you have any other questions or comments please get in touch with me (

In their own words, the finalists are:

Determining the number of authors per article

This application would count the number of authors per article per year in a broad topical search results set. For example, in the search set [(rna or “ribonucleic acid”) and (2000-2011)], what % papers have 1 author, % papers have 2 authors, % papers have 3 authors, up to what % have 10 authors, by year.

Journal Abbreviation Translator

Journal titles in the reference sections of papers are frequently presented in an abbreviated format (e.g. J Am Coll Surg for Journal of the American College of Surgeons (New York NY). Often it is necessary to ascertain the full title of a journal before, for example, searching for holdings on a library catalogue which do not generally include title abbreviations. This App will allow users to quickly and simply look up titles for given abbreviations, or vice versa within the SciVerse platform.

Journals/Conferences @ Your Fingertips

Identify the top 20 journal/conference titles relating to the user’s search results, by counting the no. of articles retrieved from each journal and provide a ranking for the top 20 journal/conference titles that these articles appear in. Automatically provide RSS feeds on the latest Table of Contents for these top 20 journals to the user.

JTOCs 2 Go

Set up and easily customize a journal table of contents service (presumably based on Scopus collection but ideally regardless of publisher or source platform). Links can be configured to an institutional license (OpenURL or Proxy) to enable full-text access and linked into existing apps such as Share, SciverNote, and Mendeley Readers (either individual citations or batch).

SciVerse Live Chat

The idea is an app that using live chat technologies connects library assistants with researchers.  The application workflow could be: 1. A library assistant creates an account (it requires institution’s IP range) and logins using the SciVerse live chat website. 2. When a researcher needs help, he simply has to click the “Live Chat” app. Then, he will be connected with a local library assistant. 3. During the session, the library assistant will be able to see information such as user’s query.

SciVerse Search with Support

Would combine the functionality of the SciVerse apps with the ability to IM a librarian if the library uses AIM or Meebo to provide instant message reference services. In the preferences screen, the user could add the screen name of the library’s AIM or Meebo account, and have it available when they need assistance.

Search Aid

This is to support search in SciVerse, Scopus, etc. and should be optional. When selected, each word in a query is checked against a thesaurus/dictionary for alternative terms. Alternative terms (synonyms) should be combined with OR in the query.

Visualization of Facets

Provide intuitive visualization of result sets, with drag-and-drop capabilities to combine concepts. Show relative size of sets based upon results, overlap of concepts, and citation relationship of concepts as space between sets.

Vocabulary Mapping

An application that would analyze a keyword search and generate some form of tag cloud with recommended controlled vocabulary terms. If this were somehow able to visually convey the number of records under each term, and the interrelation between them, I think that would be beneficial. I’m trying to describe something that would be a cross between a traditional tag cloud, like that of Delicious, and something possibly like either recommendation engine or AquaBrowser’s sidebar.

Yumetrics or SciMetrics

I would like to see a researcher be presented with his/her own hit/citation data, updated dynamically in the online continuum from pre- to post-pub, whenever they are logged into the website, which may mean being able easily/instantly to call it up through an app. Not only is the information of professional interest to the user, there is also a semi-tangible bit of stroking that is simply pleasing, thus giving the user a pleasant experience. The value of that cannot be overestimated.

Click through to see the full details, value for the user, typical workflows and images related to the ideas.  Don’t forget to add your comments.

Stay tuned for the voting and selection of the winners.  These will be announced at the Charleston Conference on November 2-5.

Digital Library Federation Forum Registration

It is not too late to register for the 2011 DLF Forum which will be held on October 31–November 1, 2011, with pre- and post-conference events on October 30, November 2, and November 3. The conference will take place in Baltimore, Maryland at the Hyatt Regency. Participation is open to all who are interested in contributing to and playing an active part in the successful future of digital libraries, museum and archives services, and collections.

Full conference and one day rates are available –

The Forum will feature a keynote address by David Weinberger (, in addition to workshops, research updates, working sessions, demos, and more.

For complete program details, please visit our Schedule page to learn more about our program –

Extended Deadline Early Adopters PhD Workshop at SC11

Early Adopters PhD Workshop at Supercomputing 2011, Seattle

Submissions extended till 31st August 2011

We cordially invite you to submit a poster paper to the Early Adopters Ph.D. Workshop 2011: Building the Next Generation of Application Scientists. The workshop will be held at the SC11 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, in Seattle, Washington, USA.

High performance computing (HPC) has become an essential tool to study real world problems of significant scale or detail, and is now applied in a wide range of fields. However, successfully applying HPC can be a challenging undertaking to newcomers from fields outside of computing/computer science. For example, a graduate structural biologist might not be thoroughly aware of parallelisation techniques, data management strategies or visualisation approaches.

This workshop provides graduate students who are adopting HPC an opportunity to present early stage research and gain valuable feedback. A group of expert reviewers with significant experience will be invited to come and critique students’ work and provide constructive feedback. The goal of this workshop is to help students identify shortcomings, introduce new approaches, discuss new technology, learn about relevant literature or define their future research goals.

This workshop is relevant to a range of students, include those that:
* Are from fields outside of computing/computer science and are applying HPC tools or techniques in their domain; or
* Are applying HPC to a field where it has not traditionally been used; or
* Are new to the field of HPC and wish to present their early research outcomes.

Domain-specific applications of HPC disciplines such as parallel computing, grid computing, workflows, data management and visualisation are all considered highly relevant.

Applicants are invited to submit a one page abstract for review by small program committee. Poster presentations at the workshop should be A1 size (or approximately 2 x 3 ft) in portrait orientation. 

This workshop is an initiative of the SC Ambassador’s program, aimed to increase SC engagement from international participants.

The Early Adopters Workshop successfully held in 2009 and 2010 at Supercomputing in Portland and New Orleans. Together, these two workshops have attracted almost 100 students from across Asia, USA and Europe, and as many reviewers. Please see the website for photos and details of previous events.

International Advisory Committee
David Abramson, Monash University
Wojtek James Goscinski, Monash University
Daniel S. Katz, University of Chicago & Argonne National Laboratory
Karen Haines, University of Western Australia
David Gavaghan, University of Oxford
Dieter Kranzlmueller, LMU Munich
Hong Ong, MIMOS Berhad
Depei Qian, Beihang University
Bernd Mohr, Juelich Supercomputing Centre
Ron Perrott, Queen’s University, Belfast
Jennifer Teig von Hoffman, Boston University

Expert Reviewers
Sadaf Alam, Swiss National Supercomputing Centre
Ilkay Altintas, UCSD
Gabrielle Allen, Louisiana State University
Mark Baker, University of Reading
Shawn T. Brown, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
Chris Hines, iVEC
Robert Ferraro, NASA
Ian Foster, Argonne National Laboratory
Karen L. Karavanic, Portland State University
Weidong Liao, Shepherd University
Amit Majumdar, San Diego Supercomputer Center
Louis Moresi, Monash University
Radha Nandkumar, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Manish Parashar, Rutgers University
Thillai Raj Ramanathan, MIMOS Berhad
Barry Schneider, National Science Foundation
Anne Trefethen, Oxford e-Research Centre
Geoffrey Vallee, Oak Ridge National Lab 

One page abstract in PDF format –

Key Dates
Abstract submission – 31st August
Workshop – Monday, November 14th, Seattle, USA (Time and date to be confirmed)


THATCamp Philly

Told some friends of mine I would put this out there:

THATCamp Philly is being held on September 23 to 24, 2011 in downtown Philadelphia (exact location to be determined).  Apply now to participate in this “unconference” where YOU get to determine what is on the agenda.  This intensive, innovative, participatory one or two-day event will include one day of technical workshops (Friday, September 23) and one day of interactive sessions (Saturday, September 24). The goals of this event include enriching essential, emerging cultures of collaboration and technology in the fields of arts, education, technology, museums, libraries and archives.

There are limited spaces-Apply now at if you:

-are interested in the digital humanities;

-wish to convene and cross-pollinate ideas and people in the greater Philadelphia region to develop strategies for improving access to and understanding of the humanities;

-wish to learn technical skills that use cutting-edge web-based solutions to expand the reach and increase the efficiency of humanities work;

-wish to build a collegial community where we can rely on our colleagues’ help, critiques, resources, ideas, and support;

-are techie and think that you can contribute to cultural institutions’ digital efforts;

-are NOT techie but wish that you were;

-are a student, scholar, or academic;

-are broke:  THATCamp Philly is committed to providing low-cost or no-fee access in order to encourage participation by those who often cannot afford to attend conferences! 

For more information, go to

THATCamp (The Humanities And Technology Camp) was started at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in 2008.  Over 40 THATCamps have since been held internationally since that time.

Google Books Settlement a No Go!

So the big news this week was the decision on the google books ammended settlement agreement. As we all know now, Judge Denny Chin made his ruling on Tuesday of this week. Here are some good sources I have been reading.

Judge Chin’s ruling –

HathiTrust Response –

ARL Response –

EFF Press Release –