Open Access Helper

“There are more than 25 million Open Access versions of otherwise “paywalled” scientific articles, however they are often not easy to find.

Open Access Helper for iOS & macOS is designed to help you get easy access to these documents, with a lot of help from some amazing APIs….

Open Access Helper is designed to make finding the best Open Access location easy. Whenever my app comes across a DOI, it will query the APIs of & to see if an Open Access copy is available elsewhere.

The App is free and Open Source and I have no intention to change that….”

OA Switchboard initiative: progress report July 2020 – OASPA

“Delivering the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)  for the OA Switchboard initiative is almost a reality. With August around the corner, there will be a solution available to streamline the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information between funders, institutions and publishers. This offers the potential to provide a breakthrough in the transformation of the market to enable Open Access as the predominant model of publication.

The MVP has been shaped throughout the 2020 project, overseen by OASPA and the Steering Committee, in close collaboration with representatives of all stakeholder groups. To this end, numerous individual and group meetings have taken place, open to anybody who wants to contribute to this industry-wide intermediary solution, that aims to provide standards, infrastructure, and back office services. Every month we’ve provided an update or report to ensure full transparency and allow everybody to participate. It has been amazing to experience how so many people, with such a variety of interests and representing a wide range of stakeholders, selflessly have shared their time and expertise to collaborate towards essential open source OA infrastructure – for the greater good of progress in scholarly communication….”

A Public Data Archive for the Italian Radio Telescopes – NASA/ADS

Abstract:  The amount of data delivered by modern instrumentation and observing techniques is bringing radio astronomy in the era of Big Data, and the nowadays widely adopted Open Data policies allow free and open access to data from many radio astronomy facilities. A fundamental ingredient to enable Open Science in the radio astronomical community and to engage also public participation (the so called Citizen Science) is thus the availability of public archives in which data can be accessed and searched with modern software tools. A web-based, VO-compliant public archive has been built to host data from the Italian radio telescopes managed by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The archive main features consist in the capability to handle the various types of data coming from the different observing instrumentation at the telescopes; the adoption of a policy to guarantee the data proprietary period; the accessibility of data through a web interface and the adoption of VO standards to allow for successful scientific exploitation of the archive itself in the data mining era. We present the progress status of the public Data Archive for the Italian radio telescopes being developed to provide the international community with a state-of-the-art archive for radio astronomical data.


The MAST API: Accessing Space Telescope Data Programmatically – NASA/ADS

Abstract:  Best known as the archive for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is a multimission data center which provides public access to data from a wide range of astronomical missions. Throughout its history MAST has provided a variety of interfaces which enable both interactive and programmatic discovery of archive data. In this paper we will present the web service API (Application Programming Interface) for MAST, and associated Astroquery Python module. The MAST web service API aims to facilitate access to MAST data by providing a consistent, predictable, and flexible interface, that can be accessed using any language with the capability to send/receive HTTPS requests. The associated Astroquery API provides an intuitive streamlined interface for Python users that removes the need to craft and parse HTTPS requests/responses. In this paper we will discuss the method for building and executing MAST queries, and parsing the output, both in the web service API and using Astroquery. We will give examples of common API queries, and discuss integrating MAST API queries into an analytic workflow. We will finish with a discussion of the future of the MAST API.


DRIS+: Enhancing the euroCRIS Directory of Research Information Systems (DRIS)

“The DRIS+ proposal aims to enhance the euroCRIS Directory of Research Information Systems (DRIS) and to make it automatically searchable via a dedicated API.

This improvement is a follow-up action to the euroCRIS-led 3-month METIS2OpenAIRE project that was awarded funding by OpenAIRE in early 2018. This project allowed the first institutional CRIS (METIS at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands) to expose and test its metadata feed against the CERIF-XML Guidelines and to undergo the first test validation against a minimally sufficient validator developed by euroCRIS.

As the number of test-harvested CRIS system increases and the opportunities grow for expanding this OpenAIRE data provider role across vendors and solutions, the enhanced DRIS is seen as a key element to streamline the process for metadata harvesting from the OpenAIRE portal….”

Announcing the CC Catalog API, Version 1.0

The Creative Commons Catalog Application Programming Interface (CC Catalog API) gives developers the ability to create custom applications that utilize CC Search, a rich collection of 330 million and counting openly licensed images. We have spent the last two years gathering this data from a diverse set of 28 sources, ranging from curated collections assembled by the Met Museum to user-generated content on Flickr. 

Integrating the API into your application will give your users access to the largest collection of openly licensed images ever released on the internet.

While the API has been publicly available for some time now, the release of CC Catalog API, Version 1.0 marks a new milestone in the stability and reliability of the tool and a guarantee that we will not change the existing interface without ample warning and a long sunset period. It’s also important to note that the API is open source and the code is available under the MIT license on GitHub

Applications of the CC Catalog API

One of the best ways to understand what capabilities can be enabled by the API is to look at already existing applications. For example, every time you visit CC Search and type something into the search box, your browser is talking directly to the API to fulfill your request!

CC Catalog API (screenshot)An exciting milestone for us was seeing Google Summer of Code participant Mayank Nader implement his excellent CC Search Browser Extension, which uses the API to put CC Search at your fingertips via your browser. Other community-built applications include the CC Search WordPress plugin by the Greek School Network and Curationist by the MHz Foundation.

We think there are ample opportunities to integrate the API into your own applications. For example, CC Search could be particularly useful for content management systems to help users find images they can use royalty-free. Another possible application is in image editing programs, which would give users easy access to images where derivative works are allowed.

How to use the CC Catalog API

The API is free to use and open to the public. Anybody can visit the API homepage and start making HTTP queries. Still, we strongly encourage you to follow the instructions for signing up for an API key, which will impose fewer restrictions on your use of the API and give us a way to increase your rate limit if needed. We may impose stricter rate limits on anonymous consumers in the future, but registered users will always have preferential access.

We’d love to hear any feedback you have about the API and about the applications you are building using it. Please email us at

Deprecation of the pre-release version of the API

If you have already started building on the API, that’s great! However, if you are making any calls without “v1” in the URL, you need to update your application to use the new version. Starting in July 2020, we will be sunsetting the pre-release version of the search API. The Version 1 release is largely compatible with the original pre-release version; see the release notes for a full list of breaking changes.

To stay up-to-date on the latest tech developments and resources, including new versions of the CC Catalog API, follow @cc_opensource on Twitter and visit the CC Open Source website!

As the nonprofit organization behind CC Search and the CC Catalog API, please consider donating to Creative Commons so that we can continue building the open access tools and platforms the world uses to share. Thank you! 

The post Announcing the CC Catalog API, Version 1.0 appeared first on Creative Commons.

NOW AVAILABLE: DSpace 7.0 Beta 1 –

“The DSpace Leadership Group, the DSpace Committers and LYRASIS are proud to announce that DSpace 7.0 Beta 1 is now available for download and testing.  Beta1 is the first of several scheduled Beta releases provided for community feedback and to introduce the new features of the 7.0 platform. As a Beta release, we do not recommend installing this version in production. Rather, we ask that you consider installing it in a test environment, try it out, and report back any issues or bugs you notice….”

The Personal Genome Project-UK, an open access resource of human multi-omics data | Scientific Data

“Integrative analysis of multi-omics data is a powerful approach for gaining functional insights into biological and medical processes. Conducting these multifaceted analyses on human samples is often complicated by the fact that the raw sequencing output is rarely available under open access. The Personal Genome Project UK (PGP-UK) is one of few resources that recruits its participants under open consent and makes the resulting multi-omics data freely and openly available. As part of this resource, we describe the PGP-UK multi-omics reference panel consisting of ten genomic, methylomic and transcriptomic data. Specifically, we outline the data processing, quality control and validation procedures which were implemented to ensure data integrity and exclude sample mix-ups. In addition, we provide a REST API to facilitate the download of the entire PGP-UK dataset. The data are also available from two cloud-based environments, providing platforms for free integrated analysis. In conclusion, the genotype-validated PGP-UK multi-omics human reference panel described here provides a valuable new open access resource for integrated analyses in support of personal and medical genomics….”