Frequently Asked Questions
Contest #3: Open Data by Design
- How do I enter the contest?
- What are the key competition dates?
- What kinds of apps can I submit?
- What are the criteria for the winning applications?
- How will prizes be awarded?
- Can a submission win more than one prize?
- Do I retain intellectual property ownership?
- Can my app include advertisements?
- Can more than one person work on an application and receive credit for it? And if the app wins a prize, will the prize money be split among the creators?
- Who is eligible to enter the competition?
- Can I enter more than one application?
- Why do I have to upload a video and what should it contain?
- Does my App need to have store approval prior to the submission deadline?
- Does my application have to be new for this competition?
- What if I have questions about the featured APIs, standards or ideas?
- Are there any particular disclaimers I need to include?
- How does public voting work?
- Who can I contact if I have questions about the American Energy Data Challenge?
How do I enter the contest?
- If you do not have an Ideascale account, visit http://energychallenge.energy.gov and click "Register to Follow the Challenge" to create an account. You will be prompted to create an account by entering your name and email address. After you sign up on the website, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided. Use the confirmation email to verify your email address.
- If you have an Ideascale account, visit http://energychallenge.energy.gov and click "Log In." Enter your Ideascale credentials.
- Explore the featured APIs, standards and ideas provided on the http://energychallenge.energy.gov website. All submissions must use one or more of these Featured Inputs to qualify for a prize.
- Create a working Design that uses one or more of the Featured Inputs to solve a problem or create value.
- Before the August 11 deadline, visit http://energychallenge.energy.gov and confirm that you have read and agree to the Official Rules. To submit your application, click the "Submit" button and provide the following information:
- Submission title / app name
- A written description of the app and its key functionality, including instructions on how to install and operate the app, and system requirements required to run the app
- A link to the design (i.e. the location where the application can be accessed or downloaded)
- A link to a YouTube video of the design which demonstrates its key features and functionality (not longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length)
- At least one image (i.e. screenshot) of the design, included as an attachment
- Checkmarks indicating which Featured Input (or Inputs) are used by the application
- Optionally, submissions may include as an attachment a sample Green Button or other input data file to be used when judging the app
Note:It's important to include a video of your design. Some people may not have access to your design or design platform and will rely on the video. Be sure to create a video that clearly and concisely shows the purpose and intent of your design, as well as featured inputs used.
What are the key competition dates?
The submission deadline is August 11, 2014 at 9:00pm ET. All designs must be submitted by this time to be eligible for the contest. Designs may be judged at any time after the submission deadline, so it is important that the designs's key features and functionality be operational, especially for dynamic or animated designs by this deadline.
Public voting will occur between August 18 and August 29, with the public voting period ending on August 29 at 9:00pm ET. Winners will be announced in September, 2014.
What kinds of apps can I submit?
You can submit any app that is designed for the web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device, or any platform broadly accessible on the Internet. Your app must use one or more featured API, standard or idea, listed on the challenge website to be eligible for a prize. Beyond this, there are no specific requirements for what functionality your application must have. Judges will look for apps with a strong concept, good execution, and apps that use one or more featured input to great effect.
What are the criteria for the winning applications?
The judges will score entries using the following criteria:
- Strength of Concept: The application is new and interesting, and the idea has the potential to help solve a socially, environmentally or economically important issue
- Execution: The application is functional, works as demonstrated, is well designed, and is ready or near-ready to be deployed to real users
- Use of a Featured Input: The application uses one or more of the featured APIs, standards or ideas as a central component of the application.
How will prizes be awarded?
A complete description of the prizes available can be found on prizes page.
Can a submission win more than one prize?
Yes. All apps are eligible for the "Best Overall Application" prizes. Apps are also eligible for additional prizes based on which featured APIs, standards or ideas are used in the app. It is probable that the apps that win a "Best Overall Application" prize may also win a prize for their use of one or more featured inputs. See the prizes page for complete details.
Do I retain intellectual property ownership?
Yes, all entrants, regardless of winner status, will retain intellectual property ownership of their designs. However, by submitting the design to the Contest, you are granting the Department of Energy and other supporters of the competition the right to feature your submission (including text, video, images, and a link to your application). See the official rules for complete details.
Can my design include advertisements?
The challenge rules do not prohibit advertising in applications. Please note, however, that if the content of the ads is deemed inappropriate, your submission may be disqualified.
Can more than one person work on an application and receive credit for it? And if the app wins a prize, will the prize money be split among the creators?
Yes, teams are encouraged. If a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization is selected as a prize winner, DOE will award a single dollar amount to winning Team, by contacting the individual who submitted the entry. Each Team, whether consisting of a single or multiple Contestants, is solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among its member Contestants as they deem appropriate. DOE will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between entrant members.
Who is eligible to enter the competition?
The American Energy Data Challenge/Open Data by Design is open to legal residents, 13 or older, of the 50 United States (including the District of Columbia), and to legally registered corporations or organizations that are domiciled in the United States.
Can I enter more than one design?
Yes. There is no limit to how many times an eligible person or organization may enter. An individual may also participate on behalf of more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization. If you submit two or more designs that are substantially similar, the Competition Administrator reserves the right to disqualify submissions or require you to choose one submission to enter into the competition.
Why do I have to upload a video and what should it contain?
The Popular Choice award is determined by public voting. Some viewers may not have access to the desktop, web, or mobile platform you used to build your design, if not in a common format. A video helps ensure that all users can view and experience your app. The video will also be helpful to the panel of judges.
Your video should clearly and concisely show the functionality and purpose of your design. It must be less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length. You may create a screencast or use a handheld video camera to make your video, or choose any other method that captures your design's value and intent. Your video is not required to have audio, but narration may help viewers understand and appreciate your design.
Does my App need to have store approval prior to the submission deadline?
No, but your app should be submitted to the relevant app store (if applicable) for review by the submission deadline. Submissions requiring approval from a third party, such as an app store, in order to be accessible to the public, must be submitted to such third party or app store for review before the end of the Competition Submission Period. For any software platform that is not easily shared on the web before store approval, such as Apple iPhone, you may submit your working software app using a web framework designed for those platforms (such as PhoneGap), and provide the required link to a video of your working application. Alternately, you may provide instructions to DOE on an alternate method for testing and evaluating your application. DOE may request access to the Application in person or via device UDID provisioning to verify any criteria or functionality of your Application.
If accessing your application is not straightforward, it is recommended that you provide instructions for how to access or download your application in the submission description, or at the URL provided as the location for accessing your application in the submission.
Does my application have to be new for this competition?
No, your application does not have to be created uniquely for this competition. You may submit an application you have worked prior to the announcement of this competition, provided it meets all of the submission requirements outlined in the Official Rules. However, your submission cannot be substantially similar to a prior submission that won a prize in another Apps competition, whether run by the Department of Energy or another organization. This “no previous winners” rule does NOT apply to any "Apps for Energy" events organized by the Department of Energy between Jan 15 and March 7, 2014. If you have a question about your application’s eligibility, please email the contest organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I have questions about the featured APIs, standards or ideas?
The Featured Inputs page provides a more information about each featured input, including documentation and information about how to get access to the input (if applicable). Please explore these resources, and reach out to the contact points provided with questions about a specific API, standard or idea. If you have general questions, or have other questions concerning a featured input that you can't answer using the listed resources, please contact the Contest Organizers at email@example.com
Are there any particular disclaimers I need to include?
Yes, there is standard disclaimer that should be included in such a way that users must read an accept it. It is in the official rules, but here is the full text:
THE MATERIAL EMBODIED IN THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY OR THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE FOR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF PROFIT, LOSS OF USE, SAVINGS OR REVENUE, OR THE CLAIMS OF THIRD PARTIES, WHETHER OR NOT DOE OR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH LOSS, HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE POSSESSION, USE, OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
How does public voting work?
During the voting period, visitors to the site can vote for as many submissions as they like, but no more than once for a single submission. At the end of the public voting period, the votes will be tallied and verified to determine the Popular Choice award winner.
Individuals may not create multiple accounts for the purpose of voting for the same application more than once. This activity is monitored and all fradulent votes will be disqualified from the totals. Entrants found to be engaging in efforts to circumvent this "one account per person" rule may have their submissions disqualified from the contest.
Who can I contact if I have questions about the American Energy Data Challenge?
For technical questions about submitting an idea, or if you're having problems with the website, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For general questions about the challenge, send an email to DataInnovation@hq.doe.gov.
These FAQs are for Contest #3: Open Data by Design. You can view the FAQs for Contest #1: Energy Ideas Contest here.