Simple API for JISC MOSAIC Project Developer Competition data

For those of you interested in the developer competition being run by the JISC MOSAIC Project, I’ve put together a quick & dirty API for the available data sets. If it’s easier for you, you can use this API to develop your competition entry rather than working with the entire downloaded data set.

edit (31/Jul/2009): Just to clarify — the developer competition is open to anyone, not just UK residents (however, UK law applies to how the competition is being run). Fingers crossed, the Project Team is hopeful that a few more UK academic libraries will be adding their data sets to the pot in early August.

The URL to use for the API is and you’ll need to supply a ucas and/or isbn parameter to get a response back (in XML), e.g.:

The “ucas” value is a UCAS Course Code. You can find these codes by going to the UCAS web site and doing a “search by subject”. Not all codes will generate output using the API, but you can find a list of codes that do appear in the MOSAIC data sets here.

If you use both a “ucas” and “isbn” value, the output will be limited to just transactions for that ISBN on courses with that UCAS course code.

You can also use these extra parameters in the URL…

  • show=summary — only show the summary section in the XML output
  • show=data — only show the data in the XML output (i.e. hide the summary)
  • prog=… — only show data for the specified progression level (e.g. staff, UG1, etc, see documentation for full list)
  • year=… — only show data for the specified academic year (e.g. 2005 = academic year 2005/6)
  • rows=… — max number of rows of data to include (default is 500) n.b. the summary section shows the breakdown for all rows, not just the ones included by the rows limit

The format of the XML is pretty much the same as shown in the project documentation guide, except that I’ve added a summary section to the output.


The API was knocked together quite quickly, so please report any bugs! Also, I can’t guarentee that the API is 100% stable, so please let me know (e.g. via Twitter) if it appears to be down.

Mashed Oop Multimedia

Just in case it’s of interest to anyone, we’ve started uploading videos of the opening sessions from “Mash Oop North” to Vimeo and the Internet Archive (see this blog post for links).

With the free Vimeo account, you can only upload up to 500MB a week, so it’s going to take a few weeks to get them all uploaded. However, you can find them all already on the Internet Archive.

As a taster, here’s Brendan Dawes (Creative Director at Magnetic North) strutting his funky stuff…

Mash Oop North – Brendan Dawes from Dave Pattern on Vimeo.

There’s also quite a few photos on Flickr (tagged with mashlib09)…