...Scirus has announced it is partnering with FAST and the Elsevier Publishing Division to provide an additional free online resource for the scientific community that will create more of a portal community for the Scirus site. Scirus is now working to pull together relevant academic information on a particular scientific topic of interest to researchers on a single Web page. The new specialized Topic Pages are being designed to provide relevant, up-to-date information; encourage collaboration; and create new scientific Web communities. Beta versions of a few Topic Pages should be available soon at topics.scirus.com, with user tests planned for the coming months. The official launch is planned for later this year—estimated to be 3Q.
Each Topic Page will provide researchers with summaries of a specific topic written by an authority in the particular subject area, with direct links to relevant scholarly papers, abstracts and citations, supplemented with relevant Web sites and other online resources from Scirus. In the initial phase, Elsevier editors will select and invite authors for the Topic Pages. As more pages are developed, additional authoring options will be considered....
Scirus will use Elsevier's Scopus service to provide journal-related results in the Topic Pages as it covers more than 15,000 journals from 4,000 publishers. [Joris van Rossum, head of Scirus] stressed that Topic Pages would not favor Elsevier sources but would include the broader Scopus content....
Scirus searches many more sources, of course, including free Web information and proprietary content....The many special sources include preprints, eprints, patents, technical documents, theses and dissertations, and full-text documents from a number of projects and digital repositories.
When the Topic Pages product officially launches, it will provide functionality to allow scientists and researchers to alter the content and provide feedback, allowing each topic to be shaped by the suggestions made by the research community at large. The pages will be expanded to include capabilities such as the ability for researchers to link to their bibliographies and comment on other researchers' works. The developers hope that the Topic Pages will serve as a place to find peers, communicate with other scientists, upload and rate a wide variety of relevant sources, and help shape and influence the tools and information provided on the Topic Pages themselves....
A search launched from a Topic Page will provide results tailored to the topic and the community....Future search functionality in the product will leverage the results of other searches and the community feedback....
Dan Penny, an analyst at Outsell, Inc., pointed out the similarity of the Topic Pages to Wikipedia's display of content—with both aiming to provide comprehensive guides to a topic. However, he commented, "When it comes to providing a platform for informal communication between scientists, Topic Pages may find that emulating Wikipedia's success is more difficult." He suggests that the communication might fall "awkwardly between two stools: it is, after all, more formal than a comment in a blog, but less formal than paid-for content in a peer-reviewed journal." But, Penny said that Topic Pages might find success "in subject areas where there is a lively community and plenty of scope for discussion."
Peter Suber at 6/26/2007 03:22:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.