A new website for rapidly sharing research

Added by Branwen Hide on 01 September 2009 17:19

I have been doing some background reading on open access and was alerted to a new initiative by PLoS, entitled PLos Currents an”experimental” site for posting preprints of papers on hot topics. The first ?Current? to be launched is PLoS Currents: Influenza, aimed at enabling a rapid exchange, of scientific results and ideas around the hot topic of ? you guessed it influenza! The site uses Google knol and provides open-access online resources for immediate, open discussion of new scientific data, analyses, and ideas All the content is moderated by an expert group of researchers before it is posted on the site and it is expected that the papers will later be published in peer reviewed journals. it is also important to note that that it can be permanently linked  to and cited in other publications.

This is the first time I have come across the term ‘knol’, and have subsequently spent a bit of time looking around the Google knol website. A knol is a ‘unit of knowledge’, and the site enables one to post defined units of information on any topic you wish. One of the interesting things the site enables you to do is state if you trust the individual to be an expert on the topic or agree that the document cite adequate and reliable references to support its claims. These ratings get converted to a rating system, which helps you figure out if the information is accurate and worth reading. As with all things Web 2.0 one can leave comments and discussions ensue.

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