Thomson Reuters recently completed the “Ideation” phase of a two-part Challenge series. In January 2013, Thomson Reuters launched Seeking Creative Use Cases for Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge which engaged over 830 Solvers from around the world and solicited over 177 solution submissions. This Challenge sought creative use cases for Web of Knowledge content, tools, and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that would enable users to engage in creative new behaviors, beyond what is currently possible with online research portals. Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge is an online research platform that provides a single point of access to premier multidisciplinary content alongside emerging trends, subject specific content, and research data to provide a multifaceted view of scholarly outputs. In this Seeker Spotlight, we again speak with Ellen Rotenberg (click here to view her first post), senior manager of product innovation at Thomson Reuters, about the results of the first Challenge as well as insights into the second Challenge, Expose Data Relationships Through Visualization of Thomson Reuters Web of Science Content, which launched today. [Ed note: View Thomson Reuters’ dedicated landing page which provides additional information about both phases of the Challenge series].
Hello Ms. Rotenberg – great to have you back on the program, and congratulations on the successful “Ideation” phase of your two-part Challenge series. Were there any common threads or themes which connected the solution submissions, and what differentiated the winning solutions from the rest?
Thank you! Within the 177 solutions we received, there were a number of themes that emerged including: improved access to content through mobile and next-generation web-based UIs; data visualization and analysis; and, improved search relevancy and results presentation. The three winning solutions rose above the rest due to the level of details included, as well as how well they met our published success criteria.
If you’d like to learn more about the winning solutions, please view the interviews that Thomson Reuters conducted with the Solvers.
An important component of your first Challenge was to engage Thomson Reuters’ users – researchers, scientists, students, scholars, information professionals, etc. – in new and meaningful ways. What’s their reaction been?
As noted in my last Seeker Spotlight post, our primary focus is delivering tools and services that will delight our customers, as well as deliver them the content, metrics, and analysis required to make informed decisions. We received a high level of engagement for this Challenge, illustrating the fact that Web of Knowledge has a passionate customer base, with a creative vision of where the discovery experience for scholarly content should be heading over the next five years.
As a first time practitioner of InnoCentive Challenges, how would you describe your overall experience throughout the course of the first Challenge?
Participation in the first Challenge was a rewarding experience. We’re very happy with the level of interest the Ideation Challenge received. The Challenge Evaluation Team, representing a diverse group of Thomson Reuters colleagues across geographic locations, selected the winning solutions based on published selection criteria, including technical feasibility and global reach. We were all impressed with the breath and depth of the submissions and are evaluating how to incorporate some of these into our development roadmaps and plans.
As you look to the “Build” phase of your Challenge series with Expose Data Relationships Through Visualization of Thomson Reuters Web of Science Content, what are some of the key attributes you’d like to see (or not see) in a winning solution?
The “Build” phase focuses on one of the primary themes uncovered in the first Challenge: visualization of data relationships for advanced discovery. Scholarly research generates a large amount of content and data, but it can be difficult to navigate relationships amongst various artifacts (e.g., scholarly journal articles, datasets, presentations). With this Challenge, we are looking for creative solutions that will allow for data discovery, as well as the ability to “see the forest through the trees.” Solvers should be creative and develop solutions that will assist in the discovery of trends and relationships in the data, keeping in mind that combinations of relationships and sheer amount of data we have in our system can make this a difficult problem from both a visualization as well as a data processing perspective.
For this Challenge, we are interested in seeing solutions developed to visualize data relationships in Thomson Reuters Web of Science, the world’s leading citation database and the flagship content set available on the Web of Knowledge platform.
Looking beyond this new Challenge, what can you tell us about your plans to further apply and/or develop the winning solution(s)?
Given the excellent response to our Ideation Challenge, our expectation for the Build Challenge is that we will be able to engage the expertise of technologists in our community, regardless if they are already familiar with our solutions. We have assembled a team of technical experts to evaluate the solutions for the Build Challenge. In addition to selecting a winning submission, the team will look at how best to translate the submissions into product enhancements and features, thereby accelerating our product development process.
Thanks for your time Ms. Rotenberg. Do you have any specific advice or guidance for potential Seekers as they consider running their own Challenges?
Running a Challenge is a significant, but highly rewarding, time commitment. I would advise potential Seekers to think about open innovation as a great opportunity to leverage the collective mindshare that InnoCentive and its syndication partners provide access to. If you have a well-formed problem, chances are good that there is someone outside of your company (or traditional partners) who can assist you in getting closer to a solution. Give it a try!