Sweeping online changes by the journal Science make career support and news freely available

11/14/05

Based on a merger of ScienceCareers.org and Science's Next Wave, the journal Science today announced a new Web site that is believed to be the single most comprehensive, freely accessible source of online science-career support currently available for scientists, teachers, students, career counselors and the public.

The debut of free online career support coincides with a sweeping redesign of the Science family of Web sites and the journal's decision to make newly published content on its ScienceNOW daily news site freely accessible to the public. The Science Web sites are published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

"Altogether, these changes to the Science family of Web sites make a unique and rich array of science career information and science news easily available to anyone visiting the site. Science is pleased to be offering these resources to budding scientists, their mentors, researchers at various stages of their careers, and other members of the public who are interested in science," said Donald Kennedy, Science's editor-in-chief.

The newly tooled ScienceCareers.org offers job listings, a grants directory and other resources for the many facets of a young scientist's career, all in one place. Free to everyone and easy to navigate, the site also provides career advice, a CV database, meetings and events calendars, information about funding opportunities, advice on cover letters, interviews, career development, and more. Users will also find special topic portals, including the Minority Scientists Network and the Postdoc Network.

"All in all, on a single page you have I'm sure the richest set of career related tools available anywhere," said Jim Austin, editor of the new ScienceCareers.org.

Austin emphasized that the editorial content on the site will continue to be editorially independent, maintaining the rigorous journalistic standards of the former Science's Next Wave site and of Science's News department.

The Web site's launch occurs along with a new design for the entire family of Science Web sites (www.sciencemag.org), which includes the online version of the journal Science, the daily news service, ScienceNOW, Science's knowledge environments on signal transduction ("STKE") and aging ("SAGE KE"), and other resources, as well as the new ScienceCareers.org site.

The redesign began after a series of surveys, focus groups, and user testing revealed that user wanted to find content on these sites more easily and that they generally were overwhelmed by the volume of scientific information available today.

When the new, redesigned site launches, stories on ScienceNOW, the daily news service, will also become freely available. Science's news team posts three to five news stories at ScienceNOW every work day, covering new developments in science research, policy, funding, exploration and technology.

Recent headlines include everything from "Tightwad Primates" to "Nature's Super-Rubber Made in Lab." Users will be able to read these stories without a subscription for four weeks after each story is posted.

Until now, ScienceNOW's very loyal readership has generally consisted of working scientists, but its editors expect that students, teachers, policymakers and other members of the public will also visit the site regularly now that a subscription isn't required.

"We think ScienceNOW is a great device for improving public understanding of science and bringing the latest scientific developments to a much wider audience. We hope the site can be used for teaching purposes and bringing people into science," said Colin Norman, Science's news editor.

Traffic to ScienceCareers.org and the rest of the Science Web sites will also likely increase as a result of all the redesign and merger, according to Stewart Wills, the online editor of Science.

"It's a much more welcoming site, and we're hoping to attract new users we haven't had before," said Wills. "This is a good thing from the perspective of the AAAS mission. Being able to bring nontraditional audience segments into the orbit of the Science sites is a really nice opportunity."

Source: Eurekalert & others

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