E-BioSci: Europe's gateway to the life sciences

September 06, 2001

E-BioSci is a new, next generation scientific information service initiated by EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) to meet the future needs of researchers in the life sciences and funded by the European Commission with 2,4 million Euro over three years. The service - aimed at establishing Europe's leadership in one of the most important and fast moving scientific fields of our day - will offer scientists and other researchers new forms of navigation through the dramatically increasing flood of biological information and factual data repositories. Rapid access to information plays a key role in advancing scientific research and innovation processes. In the field of life sciences, a flood of information is being amassed. However, it is no longer just the sheer amount of data that is problematic - the information is no longer held in just scientific articles. Large amounts are stored as multimedia material and in databases. Hence a major challenge for scientists is accessing this information rapidly and efficiently. EMBO's new trans-national project, E-BioSci, addresses these issues. It will allow users to navigate from a data record in either a bibliographic database, a biological sequence database, or elsewhere to the full text of a relevant journal article or other type of explanatory information. EMBO is undertaking this project as part of its mission to promote high-quality research activities in the life sciences. The E-BioSci network involves seven European partners from four countries with expertise in providing access to and retrieval of information in digital form. E-BioSci builds on the European partners' considerable strengths. It benefits from significant financial support from the European Community, but nonetheless its impact will be global. Ideas for the E-BioSci project grew out of discussions with many interested parties including scientists at the National Institutes of Health (USA).

"Our aim is to ensure high-quality, peer-reviewed, complete searchable combinations of information that would be made available on the desktop of every scientist throughout the world," explains Frank Gannon, EMBO's Executive Director. "This is an ambition that can only be achieved with the strong cooperation from many parties including in particular, the libraries, the scientists, the publishers, and the various funding agencies." EMBO is aware of this challenge and is confident that together with the partners that are associated with the project it will succeed and that the benefits will be widely felt for many years to come.
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E-BioSci Partners
CINES, National Computer Centre of Higher Education, provides the French research community with computing resources and services. (Montpellier, France) http://www.cines.fr CSIC, the Spanish Council for Scientific Research, promotes and carries out research and provides information, documentation and library networks to the resesarch community. (Madrid, Spain) http://www.csic.es

DIMDI, the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information, provides access to databases covering medicine and the life sciences. It also develops and maintains information management, retrieval software and IT infrastructure. (Cologne, Germany) http://www.dimdi.de

EDINA is a UK National Datacentre providing access to a wide spectrum of scientific information resources and to cross-disciplinary and general reference services. (Edinburgh, UK) http://edina.ed.ac.uk/index.shtml

EMBL-EBI The European Bioinformatics Institute is the central European node for managing factual databases in the Life Sciences. Additionally, the organization develops new concepts and technologies in bioinformatics. (Hinxton, UK) http://www.ebi.ac.uk

EMBO, The European Molecular Biology Organization, promotes molecular biology studies in Europe. EMBO's actions are funded by the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC). http://www.embo.org

ingenta plc maintains a global research gateway. It provides a free online search service for published content from reliable research sources not freely searchable elsewhere on the Web and is one of the UK's top 20 Web services. (Bath, UK) http://www.ingenta.com

INIST, institute for scientific and technical information, specializes in collecting, processing and disseminating scientific and technical information in different fields of science from around the world. (Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France) http://services.inist.fr

E-BioSci at EMBO
Meyerhofstrasse 1
Postfach 1022.40
D-69012 Heidelberg
Germany
www.embo.org
www.e-biosci.org

European Molecular Biology Laboratory

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