|Year : 2006 | Volume
| Issue : 6 | Page : 445-446
Department of Pharmacology, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605006, India
Department of Pharmacology, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605006
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Singh J. Biowizard. Indian J Pharmacol 2006;38:445-6
Information gleaned from scientific research is dynamic and has traditionally been an intensely individualized pursuit of the people involved in it. The scientific community has realized that the nature of modern research methods warrant that all work should be subject to discussion in an open forum rather than being confined to a chosen few. The greatest impact of electronic and web based technology has been the dramatic improvement in the convenience of accessing and sharing information. Scientists can now share their work and have almost instant access to a large and rapidly increasing amount of information. The past few years have witnessed several developments that could make access to information for scientists a lot easier. These initiatives, with "Open Access" as a backbone, are being promoted by scientists, libraries, publishers, academies and societies.
Biowizard is a free web-based resource that aims to address the promotion of research collaboration with a goal to, "make the world's biomedical research information universally accessible and useful". The research portal is the brainchild of scientists, physicians and students and has been designed to overcome imperfections in the present manner in, "how science information is accessed, reviewed, shared, and archived". The website (http://www.biowizard.com) is a virtual Swiss army knife and consists a tabbed collection of tools, aimed at facilitating scientists working in the life sciences to streamline their routine work.
Two "wizards"; the PubMed Wizard and Lab Wizard aspire to make retrieval of literature and sharing of current research an effortless task. The PubMed Wizard is a proprietary tweaked version of the familiar PubMed service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that mainly includes citations from MEDLINE. The PubMed Wizard has the capability to rank, discuss, save, email and view citations based on the search criteria. These literature searches are therefore more relevant, interactive, appealing and tend to make for a continual peer review. Links to articles published in Bio-Med Central (BMC) and Public Library of Science (PLoS)-two highly acclaimed open access initiatives-are also available from the wizard.
The Lab wizard is accessible after a simple registration process following which the profile of the user is stored along with other relevant information. Tabbed pages help list publications, favourite sites, write a journal, bookmark and send or receive instant messages from other researchers interested in sharing their work. The My Page tab helps share the entries of other users in the form of interesting links and journal entries. The Lab Wizard is an ideal place for finding people who share common research activities and for requesting information.
In addition to the two wizards, other resources include news, forums and blogs. News, categorized under various sub-headings, is provided in the form of a dynamic feed from EurekAlert!- a service of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Forums are a virtual space for debate and comments on contemporary research topics by individual members. Blogs of leading scientists can be accessed and their views on new and emerging issues in various areas of research can be garnered from their entries.
Useful utilities and primers on biomedical research are available from the Tools tab. The Products tab links various equipment and supplies along with possible vendors and the facility for getting more information and price quotes. This could form a good starting place for hunting standard equipment and ancillary products.
Biowizard falls under the realm of a futuristic offshoot of open access sometimes referred to as "open discourse". This modality is especially suitable for scientists working in developing countries with little access to cutting edge information which leaves them powerless to participate in debates on current research topics. The PubMed and Lab Wizard can be used by almost everyone interested in searching literature and sharing information. Life sciences researchers working on contemporary issues will find Biowizard an invaluable means to collate and publicise their work.
[Figure - 1]