Scientific Information Proliferates

Are you keeping up? Keeping up with the literature can be hard for scientists, but keeping up with developments in electronic publishing in the life sciences is even harder. The plethora of new names, Web sites, and services has grown dramatically in recent months. Here are a few highlights:

* PubMed Central is the barrier-free National Institutes of Health repository for peer-reviewed primary research reports in the life sciences. It began accepting journal articles in January 2000. Harold Varmus, former director of NIH, proposed such a service in May of 1999 (P. Smaglik, "Tangled in the Web: electronic distribution takes on diverse forms," The Scientist, 13[12]:1, June 7, 1999) and stirred up a hornet's nest of criticism and comment. The speed with which this initiative has been implemented even in a small way is astonishing, especially considering the involvement of the U.S. government. The service...

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