openSNP Wins the Mendeley/PLoS $10001 Binary Battle: PaperCritic Takes Runner-up

By Mendeley, PRNE
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LONDON, December 1, 2011 -

Mendeley (, the world’s largest research collaboration platform, and the non-profit open access publisher the Public Library of Science (, today announced the winners of the Binary Battle, an innovation challenge to make research more open and collaborative. openSNP receives a grand prize of $10001 and PaperCritic wins $5000, with a special extra prize of $1000 awarded to rOpenSci for the best Mendeley/PLoS mashup.

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“I always tell developers to work on stuff that matters. It’s time to stretch beyond the consumer internet, and what better place to focus than on furthering the cutting edges of science?” said Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and one of five all-star judges involved in the competition.

The Binary Battle is an innovation challenge similar to the X-Prize, giving anyone access, for the first time ever, to a layer of social and demographic information about research, enabling research to be used by any application as a data source, like FourSquare uses location or Twitter uses status updates. This access was provided by the Mendeley and PLoS APIs. The winners were chosen by popular vote and a panel of judges including O’Reilly, Juan Enriquez, (Excel Venture Management), John Wilbanks, (former VP for Science, Creative Commons), James Powell, (CTO, Thomson Reuters), and Werner Vogels, (CTO, More information about the Binary Battle is available at

“We chose to implement PLoS and Mendeley early on in the development of openSNP as both are great resources to find the latest publications on SNPs,” said Bastian Greshake, a developer on the openSNP team. openSNP is a community-driven platform for publicly sharing genetic information, designed to enable crowdsourcing of associations between genetic traits and the physical manifestation of those traits, such as eye color or propensity for some diseases.

As Werner Vogels puts it, “openSNP is cool. I have uploaded my genotype, and it is interesting to see it at work.” For more information, read an interview with the openSNP team on the Mendeley blog.

About Mendeley

Mendeley is the world’s largest research collaboration platform, with over 1.3M researchers worldwide. Mendeley provides real-time statistics, trends by research area, and recommendations for related research based on its crowd-sourced database of over 130M research documents. Launched in January 2009, the company has offices in London and New York, and its investors include those who previously built Skype, and Warner Music Group.

About PLoS

PLoS is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization. Their mission is to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. Everything that they publish is open-access - freely available online for anyone to use. Sharing research encourages progress, from protecting the biodiversity of our planet to finding more effective treatments for diseases such as cancer.

Jason Hoyt


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