Researchers will be interested to learn of two new science-focused collaboration tools, 2collab and Scirus Topic Pages. These were announced recently by Elsevier, the science, technology and medicine publisher, which had a hand in their development.
Both sites are intended to help librarians and researchers better utilize the wide range of information resources available in the online world.
2collab is a classic example of “Web 2.0″. It works like a social bookmarking site where you can store and organize internet resources – such as blogs, websites and research articles - and share them with private or public groups.
Members of groups can evaluate these resources (by rating bookmarks, tagging and adding comments), or add their own bookmarks. Users could be research groups, colleagues, friends or students, who want to share, collaborate or network.
It’s free to browse public groups and bookmarks, which presumably will enhance the site’s usefulness for networking. But users must register their email address in order to access the full functionality – such as creating groups, adding comments, and adding bookmarks.
Scirus Topic Pages is a topic-centered communication and collaboration platform for scientists. Like 2collab, it’s a free service.
The main feature is a Wiki-like application allowing selected experts to provide an authoritative summary of their specialist area, including definitive reference lists of key published papers, citations, Web sources and other supplementary materials.
Alongside this is a search engine seeking to provide the latest and most relevant journal and web results for each topic.