In the June issue of the Library Connect Newsletter, we invited librarians and information professionals to participate in the Apps for Library Idea Challenge 2011. We received 41 app ideas from 14 countries. The international competition invited participants to propose solutions to the challenges that they and their users face in the search and discovery process. The winners, announced in November at the 2011 Charleston Conference in Charleston, SC, are librarians Ke Khoon Low, National University of Singapore, and Andrea Szwajcer, University of Manitoba, Canada.
An international panel of judges selected 10 app concepts as finalists. The community was invited to comment on the finalists and vote for their favorite idea. Two grand-prize winners were selected — one by the panel of judges and one by community vote:
Judge's Choice Grand Prize: Journals/Conferences @
Low's app would identify the top 20 journal or conference titles relating to the user's search results, ranked by number of relevant articles, and deliver RSS feeds with table of contents for these journals.
Community Choice Grand Prize: JTOCs 2 Go
Szwajcer's app would enable users to customize a journal table of contents notification service with full-text viewing and sharing of articles in a clean, easy-to-read format.
Szwajcer describes discovering the challenge in a serendipitous way via a banner in Scopus. "My colleagues and I had been wrestling with the issue of JTOCS delivery. At the time I saw the banner, the issue was top of mind so I threw it into the ring. My colleagues and I now wait with anticipation for the development of this app!"
Low's inspiration came from her personal experience of conducting research, writing a thesis for her Master of Science in Information Studies, and publishing in a journal. "I have realized the importance of having as much aid as possible through the use of the customizable features of relevant databases while conducting literature review, and keeping abreast of current research trends and news," says Low.
Elsevier will collaborate with the idea creators to develop the two winning app concepts for inclusion in SciVerse Applications. Additionally, each grand-prize winner will receive €750 (approximately US $1,000). For more information on the winning ideas and the eight finalists, please visit the Challenge website.