Celebrate Liberation – A worldwide competition for open software developers & open data

Jul 6, 2011 by

UK Discovery and the DevCSI are running a global Developer Competition throughout July 2011 to build open source software applications / tools, using at least one of our 10 open data sources collected from libraries, museums and archives.

Enter simply by blogging about your application and emailing the blog post URI to joy.palmer@manchester.ac.uk by the deadline of 2359 (your local time) on Monday 1 August 2011.

What’s it about?

UK Discovery is working with libraries, archives and museums to open up data about their resources for free re-use and aggregation. DevCSI is working with developers in the education sector, many of who will have innovative ideas about how to exploit this open data in new applications.

This Developer Competition runs throughout July 2011. It starts on Monday 4 July – Independence Day, a good day for liberating data – and closes on Monday 1 August. It’s open to anyone anywhere in the world and there are several prizes long as you follow the simple rules

The Competition

  1. You build a software application / tool
  2. You must use at least one of our 10 data sources
  3. You may optionally combine our data with any other data
  4. Your code should be Open Source – available for others to use, perhaps at Github, Googlecode or Sourceforge
  5. You finish by 2359 your local time on Monday 1 August
  6. You make your final entry by blogging it and emailing the blog URI to joy.palmer@manchester.ac.uk (or send the details for us to blog)
  7. The judges will select the winners to be announced on 5 September, 2011.
  8. If your entry works, it will be linked from the Discovery and DevCSI websites
  9. You can ask questions at http://getthedata.org and directly to m.mahey@ukoln.ac.uk (DevCSI Project Manager)
  10. Tweet #discodev and #devcsi

The 10 Data Sources – Use one or as many as you like

We’ve gathered data from 10 sources in libraries and archives and museums, all licensed for you to reuse freely and to aggregate with any other data. The data describes things ranging from books and electronic journals to archival collections and museum artefacts. Some of the sources are from famous places, some are quite technical, some are very descriptive.

We created a directory (or catalogue) to tell you more about each resource, how to access the data (APIs etc) and what format it’s in.

Why not start by looking at this.


We are offering 13 prizes. Here are the three ways you can win a prize and bear in mind that your entry can win more than one!

  • Best entry for each dataset – there are 10 datasets so there could be 10 winners of £30 Amazon vouchers and an aggregation could win more than one!
  • Data Munging – Best example of Consolidating or Aggregating or De-duplicating or Entity matching or … one prize of £100 Amazon voucher.
  • Overall winners – An EEE Pad Transformer for the overall winner and a £200 Amazon voucher for the Runner Up.

Full Information

Read on to find out about

How to enter

  • Produce a browser based application that uses one or more of our data sources
  • Include the URI for your application in an introductory blog post (or a document which we can blog)
  • If you wish to provide any documentation, make it available either in your blog post or within the application web pages
  • An entry will be deemed to have been submitted only when an email pointing to the blog post (or containing equivalent text) and including your name and contact details has been received at joy.palmer@manchester.ac.uk
  • The closing date stamp for emails is 2359 hours (your time) on Monday 1 August 2011.

Judging Criteria

What will win? We are interested in entries that genuinely improve the utility of libraries, archives and museums for their users. Entries should be browser-based applications that make use of one or more of the listed data sources. They will be evaluated on FOUR broad criteria, which are loosely defined, in order not to constrain innovative and wide-ranging ideas.

  1. How easy is it to use?
  2. How useful is it?
  3. What potential does it have?
  4. How engaging is it?

These criteria are a guide to entrants and to judges, whose decision will be final.

Supporting Information

The following may be helpful

Looking for ideas? Check out previous competitions and entries

Rules & Small Print

  1. Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
  2. There is no limit to the number of entries that an entrant may submit.
  3. Entries may be submitted by an individual or by groups working together. In the latter case, a single email contact should be specified and any prize will be sent to this individual, with the expectation that it will be distributed amongst the group.
  4. An entry will be deemed to have been submitted only when a complying email has received at joy.palmer@manchester.ac.uk by the closing date of 2359 hours (entrant local tine) on Monday 1 August 2011.
  5. An eligible entry must include the following in a blog post or in a text file

Entrants(s) contact details

Introductory text including such as the data source(s) used

A link to the entry URL, which must be a web accessible application

Statement of any runtime requirements (such as browsers, Java, etc)

Any further information that might assist in making the most of the idea

  1. No responsibility can be accepted for entries sent but not received.
  2. Eligible entries must clearly make use of at least one of the listed data sources
  3. All prizes are available to any entrant, except the competition judges.
  4. None of parties involved in the Discovery programme or the DevCSI project nor the judges will be liable for any damage, loss or disappointment suffered by any person taking part or not being able to take part in this competition.
  5. Competition winners may be required to take part in publicity and to share their code for re-use under an Open Source licence.
  6. We reserve the right to amend these rules and prizes at any time and entry in the competition implies acceptance of these rules in their final form.
  7. The decision of the judges is final.
  8. United Kingdom law applies.



  1. What’s About - Library Projects - [...] the 6th July 2011 UK Discovery and DevCSI started running a competition to encourage the creation of tools/applications that make use of ...

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