Authorea awarded with the Digital Science Catalyst Grant

We're a bit late with this blog post, but we're happy to announce that at the end of last year Authorea was awarded with the Digital Science Catalyst Grant and that we recently ended the program. Hooray!

What is Digital Science? Digital Science is an innnovative technology company, based in London UK, serving the needs of scientific research. Some software products developed at Digital Science include Figshare and Readcube.

What is the Catalyst Grant Program? Digital Science offers every year grants to help researchers and scientists take ideas from concept to prototype. Think of the program as an incubator for early stage ideas. Along with funding, Digital Science also offers the opportunity to work with their team to refine and develop the innovation. The program runs for six months and funds can be used for any purpose that serves the project, including equipment purchases, software licensing, travel and reasonable living expenses. You can find out more on the grant homepage.

What did Authorea do with the Catalyst Grant? Did you ever wish that a scientific article you are reading made available "the data behing a figure"? For example, you may be reading an article reporting data and predictions about the cost of publishing articles in open access journals and you may bump into the figure below (Beware, it's fictitious data!). Wouldn't it be nice if you could access the data associated with this figure as well as all the code that was utilized to make this graph? Yep, and luckily (thanks to the work we did under the Catalyst Grant) now you can!

Data-driven figures in Authorea If you hover on the figure you will notice a Launch IPython button. Click it and then select the file open-access-costs-notebook.ipynb. That will spin a dedicated virtual machine for you which will let you visualize AND run the code associated with the figure. The entire workbench that the author used to generate the image (the visualization libraries, the mathematical packages, the data, the commands and functions called upon the data) are available for your peruse. Cool, no? This is why we integrated Authorea with the IPython Notebook, a web-based interactive computational environment where you can combine code execution, text, mathematics, plots, etc.

How can I include IPython Notebooks in own Authorea documents?

  • Get your work done in an IPython Notebook. The main IPython site has a lot of documentation to guide you through installation and getting started with some interesting notebooks.
  • Once you have generated a figure that you want to include in your paper, add it to your Authorea paper (drag and drop it).
  • Click on the folder icon and browse to the figure folder which contains the image. For example, the image above is in figures/open-access-costs. In that folder, upload the Ipython notebook (.ipynb file).
  • Go back to the main view and your figure should have a "Launch IPython" link.
  • Done! Share your science with the world!

Conclusion We highly recommend the Catalyst Grant Program for early stage startups and we thank Digital Science for giving us the opportunity to work with them these past 6 months.

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