2013 heralds a host of new features for Cambridge Journals Online, which will be revealed as the year progresses. One of the first to appear is potentially one of the most interesting and far-reaching things we’ve done to date.

We’ve released an API (Application Programming Interface) into Cambridge Journals Online. In short, and according to Wikipedia, an API is a “protocol intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other”. What’s worth pointing out is that CJO is not just a website, it’s a huge software application housing over a million journals articles, as well as their metadata and supplementary materials like video, images and datasets. So CJO is a large and complex beast, serving many disparate users, and ripe for the kind of development that we hope will arise from the API.

Releasing an API allows other pieces of software to communicate directly with the CJO application. It can power mobile apps, desktop widgets, and a whole host of new applications. With it we open some of our data up to the creativity and ingenuity of 3rd party developers, and hopefully find surprising new contexts for our content.

This is still in beta, and we’re only releasing very basic article metadata at first (Citation and Abstracts), but we’re committed to developing our API program, and to listening to developers. You’ll find a full set of instructions on how to register and start using the CJO API at journals.cambridge.org/developers. We’d love to see what you come up with. Surprise us!

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