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Elsevier announces 10 semi-finalists for the Elsevier Grand Challenge

Amsterdam, August 19, 2008 -- Elsevier, a leading global healthcare and scientific publisher, has announced ten semi-finalists in The Elsevier Grand Challenge, a competition inviting the scientific community to prototype tools innovating how Life Sciences information is used in online text databases. The ten semifinalists were chosen by a distinguished panel of judges from among over 70 excellent entries offering a range of approaches involving semantics, visualization, protocols, social networks, and citations. The semifinalists include:

  • Sean O'Donoghue and Lars Jensen, Germany, for "Reflect: Automated Annotation of Scientific Terms"

  • Timothy Baldwin, Lawrence Cavedon, Sarvnaz Karimi, David Martinez, David Newman, Falk Scholer and Justin Zobel, Australia and US, "Effective Search, Classification, and Visualisation of Information from Large Collections of Biomedical Literature"

  • Vit Novacek, Siegfried Handschuh and Tudor Groza, Ireland, "Teaching Machines to Teach Us: A Truly Knowledge-Based Publication Management"

  • Amr Ahmed, Andrew Arnold, Luis Pedro Coelho, Saboor Sheikh, Eric Xing, William Cohen and Robert F. Murphy, US, "Information Retrieval and Topic Discovery using both Figures and Captions in Biological Literature"

  • Stephen Wan, Robert Dale and Cecile Paris, Australia, "In-Context Summaries of Cited Documents: A Research Prototype for Academic and Scholarly Literature"

  • Roderic Page, UK, "Towards realising Darwin's dream: setting the trees free"

  • Jose Gonzalez-Brenes, Aabid Shariff, Sourish Chaudhuri and Carolyn Rose, US, "Automating the Generation of Life Science Protocols"

  • Glenn Ford, Sameer Antani, Dina Demner Fushman and George Thoma, US, "Tools to build and use Interactive Publications"

  • Michael Greenacre and Trevor Hastie, Spain and US, "Guided Tours in N-Dimensional Space: Dynamic Visualization of Multivariate Data"

  • Alexander Garcia and Alberto Labarga, Germany and Spain, "A tale of two cities in the land of serendipity: The semantic web and the social web heading towards a living document in life sciences."

"We're confident that we've gathered an exciting crop of projects," remarked David Shotton, Image Bioinformatics Research Group, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford and Elsevier Challenge Judge, "Some of these very creative ideas will undoubtedly enable scientists to explore, visualize and expose the meaning contained within biological journal articles more thoroughly and effectively, providing better accessibility to the underlying data contained within research papers. This Grand Challenge will give semantic publishing a kick start, to the benefit of everyone's research experience."

Emilie Marcus, Editor-in-Chief, Cell, Cambridge MA, noted, "As one of the judges, I was thrilled and inspired to see such a diverse and creative range of proposals for how to make the daily work of scientists easier and more productive. We await the semi-finalists' presentations in December with bated breath!"

"The semi-finalists will be given access to more than half a million life science articles, including their images and supplementary files in order to build their tool," said Noelle Gracy, Genetics and Cell Biology Publisher and Grand Challenge co-organizer. "Access to such a large and diverse body of work will give them the opportunity to scale up their ideas and really test them to see if they can make something that will change the way life scientists read, write, visualize--even think about--data."

Elsevier Grand Challenge Finalists will be announced at the end of the year will be invited to present vision papers to the judging panel and the public in February 2009. The first place winner will receive a cash prize of $35,000 and the runner up will be awarded a $15,000 prize. Additionally, contestants may be offered the opportunity to develop their tools in collaboration with Elsevier.


Contact: Noelle Gracy

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