TITLE: Science and Development Network

Access: http://www.scidev.net

The Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net) provides a very easy to navigate portal to credible information about the social and economic impact of science and technology on developing countries. You can enter via one of the four regional gateways, Latin America, the Middle East, South and East Asia, or Sub-Saharan Africa or you can enter via one of the seven dossiers or subject areas. The subjects include the environmental topics biodiversity, climate change, and genetically modified crops. Other subjects are brain drain, ethics of research, indigenous knowledge, and intellectual property. Within each dossier you may find background information, news, feature articles, editorials, policy briefs, and book reviews. There are also links to related articles and resource links to key documents, events, extensive glossaries, and additional links. Gateways offer regional news and local perspectives.

SciDev.Net is a not-for-profit company funded by three international development organizations and the Rockefeller Foundation. Support also comes from Nature and Science and the Third World Academy of Sciences. It is run by a board of trustees, most of whom are from developing countries. It takes advantage of free and open access sources and online news sources to provide much full text. There are selected articles available from Science and Nature, for example, but some journal articles require subscriptions. A key feature of this site is the cross linking of information within the site. It is truly a web of information. Depth of information is provided through spotlight features on some topics and key documents. You can read "What's New," a summary of each weeks new content, in four languages, English, Spanish, French, and Chinese. There is also an e-mail alert option for these summaries.

This Web site provides an excellent way to get an overview of the issues and a centralized source for keeping up with the latest developments. There is a keyword search engine with an advanced search that allows you to limit by date, type of material, dossier, or gateway. The site was designed to bring authoritative information to a broad range of people including scientists, journalists, and policy makers. Librarians might find the book reviews helpful, although the number was limited and most seemed to be from Science and Nature. SciDev.Net would also be useful to undergraduates, especially those in interdisciplinary programs, like environmental studies.

Carol McCulley
Linfield College

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