Exploring The Apps Ecosystem

This podcast and accompanying transcript from Beyond The Book, which originally appeared on that site on 8/7/11, are provided in their entirety by the Copyright Clearance Center. While this specific discussion deals primarily with academic and technical journal archives, it’s the first example we’ve yet seen of collaborative publishing between producers and consumers of written materials. Might this signal a coming sea change in the way nonfiction and reference materials are written and published?

As publisher of nearly 2,000 journals spanning the scientific, technical and medical (STM) communities, Elsevier serves more than 30 million scientists, students, and health and information professionals worldwide. In 2011, however, Elsevier’s customers are also its collaborators, thanks to a revolutionary view of application development.

“We don’t want to be just an information provider, but we want also to provide solutions to our customers, to our market,” explains Rafael Sidi, Elsevier VP of Product Management for Applications Marketplace and Developer Network. “And we don’t want to just build the solutions ourselves, but we want to go to the community, to collaborate with the community, and build the solutions together with the community.”

Envisioning a comprehensive “ecosystem” of apps, Sidi sees data as a shared resource. “We are letting [researchers] play with our data and build on top of our data stuff that they need to build. In the end, scientists and researchers know their problem better than us.”

Speaking with CCC’s Chris Kenneally in his Manhattan office, Sidi cited a variety of innovative application efforts, including for SciVerse, which offers developers access to Elsevier content, and the community driven projects AppsforScience Challenge and AppsforLibrary Idea Challenge.