SciVerse Application Framework and Selected Scopus Apps

sciverse-buttonThe SciVerse Application framework is a suite of tools that enable third-party developers to build gadgets/plugins for ScienceDirect, Scopus, and SciVerse Hub (additional technical details at bottom.)

My role in this project was limited to Scopus specific components. I determined where the integration points would be and defined the contextual information made available in those locations. I also contributed my feedback on the specs of the Framework APIs as required. In addition to my work integrating the framework into the interface, I also contributed to the development of a number of apps both for Scopus and that used Scopus data.

relatediconOne of the earliest apps I sourced was PubMed Related Articles (not endorsed by PubMed).  This app used PubMed’s open APIs to replicate one of Pubmed’s most popular features on Scopus record pages. This demonstrated how an app can be used to create subject specific features that would otherwise not fit our roadmap. This app ranked in the top 5 of Scopus apps for number of institutional users, usage, and usefulness as tracked by a survey.

PANGAEAiconAnother early app was PANGAEA Related Data. This was an existing app designed for ScienceDirect. I inquired with the Product Manager who partnered with PANGAEA  to see if we could modify it for Scopus. Demonstrating the flexibly of the framework, it took less than 24 hours for it to go live in Scopus. The app searches PANGAEA for datasets associated to the article being viewed. If found, a map displays the locations where the data was collected. This is the earliest example of Scopus linking articles to datasets.

lipidsconI collaborated with the same Product Manager to modify Lipid Structures (beta) for Scopus. This app data mines the record being viewed for lipid structures, it then adds hyperlinks to all mentions of those structures. When a user clicks the hyperlink, information is displayed from the LIPID MAPS Structure Database (LMSD). This is the first example of data mining Scopus on-the-fly and linking to reference information on related data entities. This eliminates the need for lipids researchers to constantly switch back and forth between the two databases.

altmetriciconOne of the more exciting apps I helped launch is Altmetric for Scopus. Developed by, it displays altmetric data (social and traditional media mentions, Mendeley saves, etc.) directly in Scopus. Scopus was the first aggregator and is the only traditional citation database to integrate altmetric data. We were also an early launch partner and supporter of The SciVerse Application framework was the technology that enabled this offering.

orcid.orgAnother example of how the framework enabled us to stay at the front of industry trends is the ORCID records for this paper app that was developed in 4 hours by two members from Elsevier Labs on the day ORCID launched.


The application framework also enables us to be more responsive to specific customer’s needs. One example is the Curriculo Lattes app, which links from Scopus author profiles to the related curriculum in Brazil’s national Lattes Platform (I was not involved in the development of this app).

The above are only selected examples to demonstrate the value of the platform and highlight some of my contributions. For additional examples specific to linking articles to data, please see the following presentation: Raising visibility of local data collections through linking with international publication databases (Belgrade, Serbia)

Some additional technical details: What is the Application Framework? It consists of three primary components –  Framework API: The classes and methods that SciVerse has designed to enable you to interact with data in the product suite; Content APIs: A collection of APIs that provide direct access to Elsevier content using RESTful URL requests; Contextual Information: The background information pertinent to the page that the researcher may be viewing. Each page in the SciVerse product suite makes some contextual information about that page – such as the Document ID and the search request terms – available to applications.” (from; Note: It is based on the Apache Shindig framework.)

Originally published on: May 9, 2013