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Runner Up: Cyber crush

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Science  20 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5295, pp. 1988
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5295.1988c

In 1996, almost every scientific publisher sought an identity in cyberspace, joining the ever-expanding circle of online databases, usenet groups, and Web pages. Although some merely showed images of their pages online, others—spurred by competition from independent journals and tempted by the chance to go beyond the printed page—experimented with new ways to exchange information.

No one knows yet just how often researchers will reach into cyberspace rather than to their shelves, and growing pains still sometimes turn the Web into the World Wide Wait. But the experiments serve scientists in new ways. Physicists can download data sets too large to publish, thanks to a service of the American Institute of Physics. Medical scientists can watch three-dimensional (3D) videos on the electronic Journal of Image Guided Surgery, and Gene-COMBIS readers, like users of Science's Next Wave, can debate each other in forums.

Behind the scenes, library and database experts are designing searchable electronic repositories, bringing several fields closer to “online maturity,” which is defined by one journal editor as the point at which a researcher can write a credible review article—without leaving the office.

ADDITIONAL READING

News Stories:

  • E. Germain, “Fast Lanes on the Internet,” Science, 2 August 1996, p. 585.

  • G. Taubes, Special News Report: “Science Journals Go Wired,” Science, 9 February 1996, p. 764.

Special Issue:

  • “Computers in Biology,” Science, 2 August 1996.

Research Paper:

  • F. E. Bloom, “An Internet Review: The Compleat Neuroscientist Scours the World Wide Web,” Science, 15 November 1996, p. 1104.

Editorial:

  • F. E. Bloom, “New Online Tools for Scholars: 2,” Science, 20 September 1996, p. 1637.

Links:

For other online journals, see:

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