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The University of Sydney and technical publisher Elsevier are holding the first official competitive hackathon for students and professional software developers.

The Sydney Hackathon gives teams of up to five, a 24 hour time frame to develop an application to improve content delivery for scientific, technical and medical publisher Elsevier, publisher of The Lancet and SciVerse Science Direct.

"The Sydney Hackathon is designed to encourage people make creative an innovative apps for science, using data from open application program interfaces (APIs)," said SUITS (Sydney Uni IT Society) president James Alexander said.

The inaugural Sydney Hackathon-being held this weekend - will offer cash prizes of up to $AU1500 to winning coders. Competitors retain ownership of any intellectual property developed during the event.

Entrants have from 2pm Saturday to develop an application of any kind as long as it's from Elsevier’s SciVerse and ScienceDirect platforms, which include over 10 million scientific publications from 2600 journals.

Developers and designers, students from any University in Australia or full time developers, are invited to enter the competition. ®

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