Amsterdam, 20 January 2009 – Elsevier today announced the launch of SciTopics, a free online expert-generated knowledge sharing service for the research community to quickly offer scientific, technical and medical knowledge on a variety of subjects. Designed as a perfect starting point for scientific research, the website integrates a content publishing platform with search functionalities and community features. SciTopics guarantees high scientific standards by incorporating a very strict editorial policy, safeguarded by subject specific editors. The service includes a continually growing number of pages with over 650 SciTopics pages today, from more than 800 scientists.
The site creates a starting point for researchers to gain an introductory overview of a particular scientific topic and serves as a collaboration resource where users can share their views and engage in discussions with other SciTopics members. SciTopics allows scientists to easily identify relevant players, journals, websites and science news services in the field. Thereby offering a channel for researchers to identify potential collaboration partners and help journal editors find suitable authors and reviewers for their publications.
Using keywords selected by the SciTopics page author, Elsevier provides links to the most recent and most cited published articles on the subject through Scopus, the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. Keywords are also used to identify links to relevant Web results and news through Scirus, Elsevier’s science-specific search engine. These external links, updated each time the page is viewed, allow for more in-depth coverage of the subject reflecting the most current information. SciTopics page authors also offer a list of references and suggested Web resources.
“The speed of sharing information that has been made possible by the Internet has opened up a new fast-paced content channel, however, it has created a sense of data overload as well as significant concerns over quality and accuracy,” commented Dr. Garry Corthals, SciTopics Subject Editor, Biochemistry & Genetics. “SciTopics will leverage the instantaneous and interactive nature of the Web, while narrowing the scope of content and offering the peace of mind that comes with authoritative and moderated material.”
SciTopics pages include a link to the author’s profile page including affiliation, research interests, a list of publications and contact details. Authors are invited by a SciTopics Subject Editor or Elsevier Journal Editor to write a summary on a scientific topic of their choice. Additionally, those interested in creating a SciTopics page may submit a suggested topic via the site.
“While inclusion in a traditional peer-reviewed journal is still regarded as the ultimate signal of scientific integrity, in addition, authors are also interested looking for faster, more informal, dynamic and interactive ways to share their knowledge and highlight their research,” said Michiel van der Heyden, Head of Product Management, Academic & Government Product Group, Elsevier. “We are excited to introduce SciTopics as a free solution to help researchers, authors and editors locate information quickly and collaborate with other members of the scientific community.”