eLife Innovation Sprint 2021: Applications are now open

We welcome applicants that want to make an impact on our selection of projects at our Sprint 2021 event.
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The eLife Innovation Sprint is a two-day collaborative event where we bring together developers, designers, data scientists, researchers, product technologists, communication specialists and more to develop prototypes to change the ways we share and do research.

This year's Sprint will take place October 4–5, online and the themes we focussed on during our call for projects were:

  • support reproducibility in research,
  • promote diversity and inclusion in research,
  • improve publishing practices (in journals, on preprint platforms, etc.),
  • facilitate research collaborations.

During our call for project proposals, we received 18 submissions from all around the world. We are happy to announce that we have selected the following 9 projects to be worked on at the Sprint.

More detailed aims, plans for Sprint work and types of contributors for each project are available on our website. We invite everyone interested in contributing to these projects and passionate about open-source and research culture to apply to participate in the Sprint, by July 20.

  1. Visit the website to find out more and apply

Building tools for readable papers with clickable depth

Led by Milo Johnson

An open-source tool for writing readable papers with clickable depth. This tool would comprise two main modules: a hierarchical structure for organizing content and a suite of flexible content creation tools.

COAR Notify

Led by Paul Walk, Martin Klein

The COAR Notify project aim is to complete the development of a model for repository review requests notifications, building on the standard W3C Linked Data Notifications protocol and the W3C Activity Streams 2.0 vocabulary.

Database for multi-dimensional point-based article rating

Led by Cooper Smout, Dawn Holford, Paola Masuzzo

We propose to develop a central database for organising and storing multidimensional point-based article ratings. This database will serve two key purposes:

  • to amalgamate ratings from different preprint review platforms into a single location,
  • to help researchers/journalists identify and find peer ratings of articles/preprints.


Led by Manuel Lera Ramirez

Genestorian is an open-source web application to document genetic modifications in model organism collections. Genestorian will keep a laboratory inventory of strains, oligonucleotides and plasmids with sequence traceability, using a relational database, in silico molecular biology libraries, and genome databases and allow users to document strain and plasmid generation unambiguously on the browser through an intuitive web interface. It will also provide programmatic access through an API, and enable data exportation in a machine-readable format.


Led by Alexandra Freeman

Octopus is a platform designed to be the new primary research record where everyone coming with a new publication will be able to find the most closely related research question to link their new publication to.

R4E curriculum: for community-led reproducibility education

Led by April Clyburne-Sherin

R4E aims to apply an open-source development approach to community-led reproducibility education by creating and documenting a process of virtual collaboration of module creation from proposal, to review, to publishing.

Research group handbook

Led by Natalie Thurlby, James Thomas, Alastair Tanner

We aim to create a template of a research group handbook in GitHub and Jupyter Notebook, and add materials to help people use it.

Understanding repository structures through charts: a GitHub navigation tool

Led by Michał Krassowski

A code/data flow overview tool that can create an easy to use chart for understanding the repository structure given only its GitHub or GitLab URL.

VCMS: Virtual Conference Management System

Led by Simon Duerr

An open-source virtual conference management system (VCMS) to host smaller scientific meetings virtually at no cost.


We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at innovation [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

Do you have an idea or innovation to share? Send a short outline for a Labs blogpost to innovation [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

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