Science and academia have to date been a little slower to react to the vast changes going on in the business world as we move to the cloud, big data and third-party app ecosystems. Most academic online networks remain locked up by academic publishers with expensive licensing agreements for universities. But that’s starting to change. The science publishing division of corporate giantElsevier has created its own (closed) platform for apps to be built upon looking at the meta data around scientific journals. That data can range from how many times an academic paper is read, who reads it, and even to how influential each paper is considered to be in scientific circles.
On the other side is the three-year old upstart Mendeley . And the difference between the way it and Elsevier approaches the academic world is thrown into sharp relief today with the news that Mendeley’s third-party app eco-system is fast approaching three times the size of Elseviers’. This amounts to the difference between an open and closed approach to apps.