Scientific Publishing and Developer APIs

Rafael Sidi loves to quote Bob Dylan’s song ‘The times they are a-changing”… Certainly in the scientific publishing developer APIs world.

For years there were APIs available from the scientific abstracts databases Scopus, WoS, PubMed, etc.

Last year Elsevier launched SciVerse Application Marketplace that provides developers APIs (Application Programming Interface) to build applications that will integrate into the SciVerse suite of products (ScienceDirect, Scopus, Hub). Some examples –

  • SciverNote:  allows you to save ScienceDirect article abstracts and/or references to Evernote®
  • Top Reviews:  find the most relevant review articles in your Scopus search results
  • iSpeech Audio Reader: This one is pretty cool – reads your ScienceDirect articles aloud
Check out the current Applications Gallery.
You may also want to check out what Nature will be launching soon. This appears to be limited to Search APIs, scientific bookmarking tool (Connotea) APIs, and the social networking site (Nature Network) APIs. There’s a nice presentation (embedded below) put together by Chandran Honour that lays out the api landscape in scientific publishing (Oct 25, 2011)
PLoS has already announced their APIs for search and Article Metrics earlier this year. Springer has announced APIs to their Images database, APIs to the metadata for their journal/book content and API to query their OpenAccess content.
There are probably several that I haven’t mentioned here.
These are exciting times and it will be interesting to see if some understanding develops across publishers to standardize APIs. In the end the goal is to enable researchers to create solutions that are specific to their needs and hopefully help advance scientific research.
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