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Elsevier and the University of Sydney Announce Prize Winners of 24-Hour Hackathon

AMSTERDAM, October 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the University of Sydney, Australia's leading higher education and research university, today announced the winners of the 24-hour Sydney Hackathon .

From Saturday, September 24 to Sunday, September 25, participants developed software applications to improve delivery of scientific, medical and technical content using SciVerse Content and Framework APIs. The competition was organized through the joint effort of Elsevier, Sydney University's School of Information Technologies and the Sydney University IT Society (SUIT).

The winning applications include:

  • First place ($1,500): Tim Dawborn, Seb Pauka and James Alexander, of the University of Sydney, developed Presentify, an application that displays any SciVerse ScienceDirect article as an HTML5 presentation by automatically organizing content including section titles, images, charts and the summary text of an article.
  • Second place ($1,000): Sam Thorogood, an alumnus of the University of Sydney's School of IT, and Nicky Ringland a postgraduate at the School of IT, developed SciPlay, an application that quizzes readers of a SciVerse ScienceDirect article with questions based off of the content of that article. SciPlay also won the People's Choice award.
  • Third place ($500): TheMacademia application enhances search by displaying articles and videos relevant to a user's query. Additionally, the application enables users to comment on an article.

"The Sydney Hackathon not only tested the programming skills of participants, it tested their determination and endurance," said James Curran, Senior Lecturer in the School of Information Technologies, University of Sydney. "Despite lack of sleep, the students and developers remained enthusiastic throughout the competition resulting in truly innovative apps for science."

"We are very pleased with the innovative applications that were developed and excited to see the enthusiasm from the student research and developer community to develop solutions using our APIs and content," said Rafael Sidi, Vice President Product Management, Applications Marketplace and Developer Network, Elsevier.
The Sydney Hackathon is the most recent 24-hour hackathon hosted through the joint effort of Elsevier and a university partner. Similar collaborative challenges were conducted in Singapore at the National University of Singapore (August 12 - 14, 2011), the United States at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (February 5-6, 2011) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York (June 27-28, 2011).
SciVerse Applications and the Developer Network provide opportunities for researchers and librarians to collaborate with developers in creating and promoting new applications that improve research workflows. The Developer Network features a growing community of application developers who may gain recognition, prestige and revenue through their contributions to SciVerse Applications.

About Sydney University
The University of Sydney is a public university located in Sydney, New South Wales. Founded in 1850, it is the oldest university in Australia and Oceania. The University of Sydney is unique among Australia's leading universities in the breadth of disciplines it offers, providing wide opportunities for personal development and cross-disciplinary study that delivers unique insights and breakthroughs. The University of Sydney students and researchers come from all over the world and all backgrounds to prepare for a life of challenge and change.

The University of Sydney consistently ranks amongst the top three universities in Australia and Oceania. In 2010, it was ranked 37th in the world in the QS World University Rankings. The University of Sydney is a member of Australia's Group of Eight, Academic Consortium 21, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the Worldwide Universities Network.

About the School of Information Technologies

The University of Sydney is the first university in Australia to have a computing science department. In 2001, the Department of Computer Science was renamed the School of Information Technologies in recognition of the size and quality of the programs offered by and research conducted in the area.

The School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney is one of Australia's leading academic and research institutions in information technology, committed to excellence in research, teaching and consultancy. Research activities are strongly focussed in the areas of algorithmics and applications, enterprise computing, human centred computing and IT applications in health care. Much of the research is interdisciplinary and internationally collaborative.

The School of Information Technologies has a purpose built building with state of the art facilities, maintaining its position as a key teaching and research institution in the Asia Pacific Region.

About the Elsevier SciVerse suite

The SciVerse ( suite of search and discovery offerings provides the global research community access to a constantly expanding universe of content and solutions which can now be accessed in one platform. The suite currently includes SciVerse ScienceDirect (, the world's largest source of peer-reviewed content containing more than 10 million articles, and SciVerse Scopus (, an abstract and citation database containing 41 million records, 70% with abstracts and nearly 18,000 titles from 5,000 publishers worldwide. The platform also includes SciVerse Hub beta (, which enables researchers to perform a single search across all of the SciVerse content as well as targeted web content with results ranked by relevancy and without duplication. SciVerse Applications ( and Developer Network ( allow the scientific community to build, find and use applications that enhance the SciVerse research experience.
About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect, SciVerse Scopus, Reaxys, MD Consult and Nursing Consult, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai's Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media contact
Sandra Plasse

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