Rules and Requirements

Winner Announcement and Prize
Open API Challenge Rules
Winner Selection/Tool Evaluation
Copyright and Protection of Intellectual Property
Technical and Operations Support
FAQs and Ad Hoc Questions


AGU has long been a proponent and leader in open data and open science, not only in our own publications and meetings, but also within the broader research community.

AGU is taking that commitment to the next level by introducing an Application Program Interface (API) that will open the door for scientists, developers, and others to create innovative applications that advance science and our mission.

To this end, we invite you to build innovative solutions on top of an open API of AGU Fall Meeting data that will advance the mission of AGU.

The AGU Fall Meeting is the world’s largest meeting of Earth and space scientists with a scientific program of more than 22,000 presentations―providing a wealth of scientific information across many disciplines and sub-disciplines. Each record has a title, abstract, author names, scheduling information (session, date, time), and other metadata. This information is now being made available via an API containing data from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Fall Meetings. Data for the 2017 Fall Meeting will be added in October to be ingested by these applications.

While there are some obvious applications of the data, AGU believes there are potential applications of these data that we have not thought of. We want help to think more creatively about the applications of these data.


Develop a web-based tool that adds value to the data from the Fall Meeting Scientific Program. The goal of the tool is to advance the scientific enterprise and AGU’s mission. Potential benefits that we seek from the tool include, but are not limited to:

  • Serendipitous discovery of relevant research
  • Discovery of new collaboration opportunities, and
  • Identification of emerging areas of science.

The test input are the abstract and session data from the 2014-2016 Fall Meetings, which are available through the API described below. The tool may incorporate any other persistent, publicly available data source or user input (e.g. Google Scholar, ORCID API, Mendeley APIs, LinkedIN APIs, public scientific taxonomies, and other resources).

Abstracts and scheduling information from the 2017 Fall Meeting will be added to this database in October. Winning solutions will be made available to be used with these new data before the 2017 Fall Meeting in December. The 2017 data will include additional fields:

  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of published research outputs related to the abstract, if available
  • ORCID iD (Open Research and Contributor ID) of at least the first Author, if available. (These fields are included in the test dataset but are blank).

All entries to the Open API Challenge must be submitted by 2 October 2017, 11:59 P.M., EDT. Late submissions will not be considered.

Winner Announcement and Prize

It is anticipated that the awards recognition ceremony will take place at Fall Meeting in New Orleans, and the winners featured on and in Eos Magazine.

Prizes are non-transferable by the winners.

Prizes will be awarded as follows:
1st Prize – $15,000
2nd Prize – $10,000
3rd Prize – $5,000

Each winning team will also receive up to four complimentary one-day passes to Fall Meeting to attend the award recognition ceremony.

Open API Challenge Rules

By entering the competition or accepting a prize, you agree to be bound by these official Rules of Engagement and agree that you satisfy the eligibility requirements below.

  1. Contest entries must solve the stated problem outlined in the Open API Challenge statement.
  2. Data for the competition will be provided via an API provided by AGU (access details below).
  3. Entries may be submitted by an individual or a team. All team members must be listed on the API request form on the website. The email address, and GitHub and Swagger usernames must be provided for each entrant or team member.
  4. Entrants must provide a multimedia tutorial of their entry to be considered for the prize. For example, a voice over PowerPoint presentation or a video. Maximum length: 5 minutes.
  5. All entries are subject to possible Q&A from Judges during the evaluation period.
  6. Entrants must provide final access to their entry on the Final Submission Form.
  7. Entries are subject to quality testing by AGU Staff.
  8. Software must be open source and licensed using the MIT open-source software license.
  9. AGU reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant or entrants who submit an entry that does not follow the guidelines provided in this document.
  10. AGU reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, suspend and/or modify the open API challenge at any time and for any reason.


Participants will be screened and approved by Open API organizers prior to the receipt of data. After verification of eligibility, AGU will allow access to the data.

  1. This competition is open to any person that is the age of 18 or older and not an employee of AGU, any of the judges, or close relatives or colleagues of any AGU employee or judge. Participants may not be in any country sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury or where otherwise prohibited by law.If you do not meet any of these requirements, or any of the eligibility requirements in these official rules, you will not be eligible to participate or win a prize.
  2. Winners are responsible for all taxes and prizes will be subject to all applicable withholding required by law. In order to receive a prize, winners may be required to submit the tax documentation requested by AGU or otherwise required by applicable law, to AGU or the relevant tax authority, all as determined by applicable law, including, where relevant, the law of the winner(s)’ country of residence.
  3. Open API Challenge organizers will determine whether an entrant is eligible for the competition and may disqualify at AGU’s sole discretion.


The test Fall Meeting abstract and session data will be made available via The data source for the entry must be the AGU-provided API. The entries are allowed to temporarily cache data for functionality.

The API provides access to:

  1. A relational database containing information on the abstract, including its index terms, authors and scheduling information (session, day, time).
  2. Elastic search of this data.
  3. API Documentation including the AGU Taxonomy, Data Dictionary, and Database Schema.

The API DOES NOT include email addresses or other contact information about authors.

Winner Selection/Tool Evaluation

The overall competition winners will be selected by a predefined panel of Judges (“Judges”). All individuals and teams competing in any challenge are candidates for the award.

By submitting any Open API Challenge entry, entrants release AGU, Sponsors, their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents, and advisors from any and all liability for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the decisions of the Judges.

The panel of Judges appointed by AGU will be evaluating entries based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of use, including responsiveness across desktop and mobile devices
  • Breadth of application
  • Novelty of insight and discovery
  • Documentation of code and of the application
  • Openness and extensibility
  • Scalability to thousands of simultaneous users

Copyright and Protection of Intellectual Property

a) Participants will not submit content that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property rights or other property rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the content and to grant AGU all of the rights granted herein.
b) Participants will not submit content that is unlawful or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense.
c) Participants will not post advertisements or solicitations of business.
d) All solutions submitted to the Open API Challenge: Scientific Program Data must be licensed using the MIT open-source software license.
e) Each entrant acknowledges and agrees that AGU is the exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to the API data sets. Each entrant expressly covenants that they will not take any action in derogation of AGU’s ownership and rights in and to the API data sets or that would constitute an infringement or cause loss of rights.
f) Entrants may only use the API data sets for the purposes of the competition only and for no other purpose. Each entrant acknowledges and agrees that the use of API data sets for any purposes outside the scope of the competition and these Open API Challenge Rules without AGU’s prior written consent constitutes an infringement of AGU’s intellectual property rights in and to the API data sets.
g) By participating in the Open API Challenge every entrant gives their express, worldwide, perpetual and irrevocable consent to AGU to use their image, likeness, name, biographical information, actions, performance, voice, material spoken, comments or otherwise any materials provided by the entrant relating to the API Challenge for marketing and promotional purposes. All such uses of the entrants’ image, likeness, name, biographical information, actions, performance, voice, material spoken, comments or materials by AGU shall be without any compensation to the entrants.

Technical and Operations Support

All questions are to be submitted to: All questions received will be responded to, anonymized, and posted to all participants on a weekly basis. AGU reserves the right to determine when and how to respond to any specific question.

FAQs and Ad Hoc Questions

A private community in AGU Connect will be made available to all participants. This forum will be available to ask questions of one another. Any documentation from AGU will be saved in this community.