The Scientist Volume 16 | Issue 16 | 10 | Aug. 19, 2002
The Scientist on the Web
By Alexander Grimwade and Eugene Garfield
We have recently achieved two significant steps in the development
of The Scientist on the Web. In the past few weeks, we have
launched a new design for our Web site at www.the-scientist.com,
and the 16-year online full-text archive of The Scientist back issues
has been completed. Our newly designed site is, effectively, the
fourth generation of The Scientist presence on the Web.
In 1992--almost prehistory in "Internet time"--The Scientist launched
an experiment in cooperation with the National Science Foundation.
We provided a text file of each issue as it was published, through a
Gopher site. The idea of Gopher now seems as quaint as a
half-timbered house, but in the late '80s and early '90s, it was the
height of Internet sophistication, allowing the small number of users
of the Internet to search for and download useful text files from a
wide range of sources. We believe that through this service, The
Scientist was the first regularly published science periodical available
in full text on the Internet.
In 1995, The Scientist started its own Web site in partnership with
the library of the University of Pennsylvania. We laboriously exported
the text and graphics from our page layout system for the print
edition, and created handcrafted HTML pages. The site was hosted
on a server in the basement of the library and stood us in good
stead for several years.
In 2000 we moved our Web site to a commercial provider using our
current domain name. This change brought a more sophisticated
design and production system, allowed us to register users of the
site, and to send out contents page alerts by E-mail. We now have a
worldwide audience of more than 440,000, of whom more than
300,000 receive our contents alert.
Now we have changed our design again, to make the site easier to
navigate. We have developed a specialist site, at
www.biomedscientistjobs.com, devoted to career development and
job advertising, and we have added a daily news section, where
professional science writers in New York and London report on
breaking news in the world of science.
With the completion of our electronic archive, our earliest issues from
the 1980s are now available on the Web site. Since we had no
electronic version of issues from that era, we developed a laborious
procedure of scanning the pages from those yellowing printed
copies, running them through an optical character recognition
program, creating HTML files, and posting the issues through our
publishing system. We take considerable pride in being able to make
our entire archive available to anyone, free of charge.
Looking back at older issues provides a fascinating glimpse of the
concerns of scientists over the past 16 years. We strongly encourage
our readers to visit our site, not only for the latest news and
features, but also for the valuable perspective it offers on the
development of our field.
Alexander M. Grimwade (firstname.lastname@example.org) is
Eugene Garfield (email@example.com) is president and
©2002, The Scientist Inc.