May 29, 2022

Web Apps: Take a Look at the Winners of the Springer’s API Challenge 2.0

From Springer:

The challenge asks programmers to create new and original non-commercial applications that use Springer’s metadata and content APIs. The goal is to offer users new and novel ways of finding, visualizing and/or manipulating relevant data drawn from Springer’s large and growing content database.

After submissions were made, an interdisciplinary panel of judges evaluated the submitted works, ranking them on three categories: creativity and originality, user experience and design, and value and benefit. Winners took home $8,000, $4,000 and $2,000, for first, second and third place, respectively.

The Winners

First place was awarded to a familiar entrant, Kleenk ( While the name was new, this entry—previously known as KontentLinks—actually won second prize in the first API challenge. Kleenk offers an innovative way of exploring scientific content which allows researchers to create meaningful connections between various types of content (i.e. articles, book chapters, images, etc.), share, rate and comment on them, and finally explore the emerging content webs. This year’s submission was represented by an experimental search feature included in the Kleenk platform that lets users provide search terms, which Kleenk then leverages to query the Springer database, both general and OA, looking for the most important connections.

In 2012, second place went to Visual Navigator ( from the Institute of Computer Science, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Germany. Visual Navigator is a tool that allows Springer subscribers to search and explore images through visual similarity in real-time. Users search and explore images through visual similarities.

Finally, the judges awarded the third-place prize to Opacmo ( of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research ( Opacmo stands for “Open Access Mortar,” a mash-up of biological and biomedical terms linked to publications. For each query that is carried out through Opacmo and its interactive web-site, a query is also being sent to the Springer Metadata API. The results are then integrated in a comparative-analysis view that visualizes differences/similarities to the search results of Opacmo.

Metadata for more than 4.8 million documents from Springer journals, books and protocols was made available to the participants. Also available were full-text content, metadata and images for approximately 80,000 open access articles from BioMed Central and SpringerOpen journals.

The awarded applications are now freely available to end users for one year.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.