Springer Nature Hack Day: Analytics and metrics to measure the impact of science

26 and 27 April 2018 in Berlin

What was the idea behind the third hack day?

On April 26 and 27 the third Springer Nature Hack Day “Analytics and metrics to measure the impact of science” took place in the library rooms of Springer Nature’s office in Berlin. Our international attendees from universities, institutions and companies as well as Springer Nature IT colleagues created an engaged and productive environment which made the event a great success once more!


What was the main theme?

It was all about analytics and metrics. Participants were encouraged to bring and work on their own ideas, or join forces with other teams. We also provided them with some ideas on what to work on, e.g. using metrics to create trend or gap analysis, create new or calculate alternative metrics to challenge existing metrics, or explore how analytics and metrics can help with solving Grand Challenges such as Climate Change, Sustainability or Global Health.

Who participated in the Hack Day?

More than 40 participants joined the third Hack Day, with a good balance of researchers, developers and publishing professionals that worked out very well. We started on Thursday afternoon and evening with introductory sessions, brainstorming and socializing. Friday was reserved for the actual hacking. This concept gave our attendees more time to acquaint themselves with the topics, the different working groups, and the available data sets.

What happened during the Springer Nature Hack Day? Watch our video

What has been developed?

After very productive 1.5 days, every team presented their accomplishments on the stage, and the whole group had the chance to vote for their favorite projects. Each participant had three votes, one per project / use case that had been presented in the following categories:

  • Most innovative idea
  • Best presentation
  • Best real life applicability

The winning teams

  1. The overall winner in all three disciplines was the “Disease Dashboard” from Springer Medizin, created by a large and very diverse group of participants. They focused on various analytics tiles that practicing doctors would need for a holistic look at a certain disease.  
  2. The “Semantic Entity Marker” was awarded the second prize. This team received a great score for the most innovative project: a Chrome browser extension that enables analytics by enriching articles with extra useful information from DBpedia, DIMENSIONS, Springer Nature SciGraph and UNSILO.
  3. The “Hot Topics Analysis” corporate use case finished up in the third place, with great insights discovering key topics that are being focused on by researchers in the Tech industry. The team combined the Computer Science Ontology terms with download and denial data from Springer Nature. 

There of course were other great projects as well.
If you're interested you can find more information in the results presentation.

What was the participants' feedback?

The feedback we collected from the participants as part of a survey shows that the Hack Day Series is an adequate format to foster collaboration within the research community. Some of the results included:

  • Event length: 100% said that 1.5 days represented the perfect amount of time
  • General rating of this Hack Day: 52,9% rated it “Very good”, 47,1% rated it “Good”
  • Data quality, data coverage and data APIs were rated as very good and adequate
  • Relevance: 82,4% rated the relevance of the Hack Day either “highly relevant” or “mostly relevant”
  • Recommendation: 100% would recommend the Hack Day to a colleague
  • Interest in future events: 76,5% would be interested in attending another Springer Nature Hack; 23,5% would consider to do so

Which data sets were available?

Participants could choose from an astonishing variety of different data sets we made available to them:

  • Springer Nature SciGraph: Over 1 billion triples (articles, abstracts, books, grants, conferences, etc.) available for download as Linked Open Data and via API.
  • Springer Meta(data) APIs: metadata feeds for almost 12 million online documents (e.g. journal articles, book chapters, protocols).
  • Springer full text API: access to full-text content for Springer articles and chapters
  • Bookmetrix API: Downloads, citations, readers on Mendeley, mentions, reviews for 465 thousand books and for 4.6 million chapters
  • UNSILO APIs: ‘Related’ returned top matching articles, ‘Metadata’ contains all the concepts that have been extracted from a given article
  • DIMENSIONS API: Links publications, grants, patents and clinical trials in a consistent network of over 128 million documents, connected by approximately 4 billion links.

About the Springer Nature Hack Day Series

Established in June 2017, the Springer Nature Hack Day Series aims at facilitating the collaboration between developers and researchers to develop new tools and services based on open data. The overall goal is to explore innovative and inspiring ways on how to advance discovery with research data.

We hosted two Hack Days in 2017: The first Springer Nature Hack Day focused on "Linked Open Data in Action", while the second Springer Nature Hack Day's theme "Advancing discovery with published research data" also included data from Scientific Reports.

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