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Online resources - Feb 27

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


First look at vast 'book of life'

Paul Rincon, BBC News
The first 30,000 pages have been unveiled of a vast encyclopedia which aims to catalogue every one of our planet's 1.8 million species.

The immense online resource is designed to greatly enhance our understanding of the world's diminishing biodiversity.

The creators of the database say it could have an impact on human knowledge comparable to that which followed the microscope's invention in the 1600s.

It is designed to be used by everyone from scientists to lay readers.

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) - described as the "ultimate field guide" - is to encompass all six kingdoms of life, and even viruses - which many researchers do not consider to be living organisms.

Those behind the sprawling database say it could help scientists assess the impact of climate change on animals and plants
(26 February 2008)
Related at New York Times: The Encyclopedia of Life, No Bookshelf Required.


Harvard Research to Be Free Online

Patricia Cohen, New York Times
Harvard University will soon begin posting research and articles produced by its faculty on the Internet free of charge. On Tuesday the arts and sciences faculty voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that would commit Harvard to open access - the movement to speed the exchange of knowledge by freely distributing research on the Web. “The chorus of ‘yeas’ was thunderous,” Robert Darnton, the director of the University Library, wrote in an e-mail message. “I hope this marks a turning point in the way communications operate in the world of scholarship.”
(14 February 2008)
There is a related longer article by Andrew Lawler in the 22 February issue of Science. Ironically it is behind a paywall. It is reposted here.

According to Peter Quimby:
... if anyone is seriously interested in following the development of open access literature on the web, the primary reporting newsletter is put out by Peter Suber (a librarian at Earlham College). Start with his blog or go to his Newsletter. And there is a directory of some 3000 open access journals at www.doaj.org/

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