PLoS joins Mendeley as co-sponsor of the Binary Battle!

The Public Library of Science, the world’s largest Open Access publisher, has joined Mendeley in co-sponsoring the Binary Battle, the contest to build the best apps that make science more open using PLoS and Mendeley’s API’s. This brings the prize money to be won up to $16,000 plus other cool gifts and the opportunity to get your entries in front of a panel of influential judges from technology, media and science.

What is the Binary Battle?

The Mendeley & PLoS Binary Battle is a contest to build the coolest, most popular, and most useful application using Mendeley’s open database of over 90 million research papers, usage statistics, reader demographics, social tags, and related research recommendations or PLoS’s Search API which provides PLoS content for your desktop, web, or mobile application. You can find the full details on the Mendeley API Binary Battle page or read the announcement from PLoS.

What are the rules?

Applications will be judged by our all-star panel of judges on the following criteria:

  • How active is your application? We’ll look at your API key usage.
  • How popular/useful is the app? We’ll look at the number of sign ups on Mendeley and/or your application, and we’ll also have an eye on Twitter.
  • Does the application increase collaboration and/or transparency? We’ll look at how much your application contributes to making research more open.
  • How cool is your app? Does it make our jaws drop? Is it the most fun that you can have with your pants on?

Who are the judges?

Juan Enriquez – Managing Director of Excel Venture Management and CEO of Biotechonomy. Juan is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences.
Tim O’Reilly – Founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media which is changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. Tim also co-hosts the annual Science Foo Camp with Google and Nature.
James Powell – CTO of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading information services company. Still a nerd at heart, James is particularly interested in how technology gets applied to solve problems.
Dr. Werner Vogels – CTO of and former research scientist at Cornell University. Werner is one of world’s top experts on cloud computing and ultra-scalable systems.
John Wilbanks – VP for Science at Creative Commons. Seed Magazine named John a “Game Changer” among their Revolutionary Minds of 2008.

The Binary Battle is open to apps built previous to this announcement. Here is what our judges are saying:

Werner Vogels: “I am already seeing clear evidence that Mendeley is changing the face of science, and the Binary Battle is one of the reasons why. With tons of academic data, and all the computational power to handle it, I am certain that developers will provide innovative new ways to slice and dice and provide new insights.”

Tim O’Reilly: “I always tell developers to work on stuff that matters. It’s time to stretch beyond the consumer internet, and what better place to focus than on furthering the cutting edges of science?”

Juan Enriquez: “With the overwhelming amount of data and info available today, the challenge is how to sift, triage, find and ultimately use. May this battle determine and showcase some great contenders…”

When can I start?

The contest officially opens to submissions on Tuesday, March 8 and closes September 31st, 2011. Winners will be announced on November 31st. The winning application receives the Grand Prize of $10,001, and the the runner-up gets $5,000 + $500 in Amazon Web Services credits.
An extra prize of $1000 + this awesome Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter is available for the best mashup using both the Mendeley and PLoS APIs.

Register for your Mendeley API key now or get a key from PLoS and start hacking today.