[Molvis-list] Re: please submit to biomoleculesalive.org

timothy driscoll molvisions at mac.com
Thu Dec 9 16:21:23 EST 2004

On 2004-12-09 (10:56) timothy driscoll wrote:

>Hello fellow mol vis developers,
>As the semester break approaches, I would like to remind everyone
>about our new peer-reviewed digital library for biochem and molbio
>resources, BioMoleculesAlive:

hello again,

Will McClure brought up an issue that other people may be considering; namely, why does BioMolecules Alive host copies of resources instead of simply linking to the original URL?

our steering committee had lively discussions comparing live-linking to outside resources versus hosting copies on our own server.  for most resources, library hosting has several advantages:

1. Link rot is not an issue.  If we simply linked to resources, someone would have to track down changed URLs, find out if the resource is gone or just moved, etc.

2. Quality control.  Hosting the resources at the library allows us to peer review them.  If we live link instead, there can be no peer review - a developer could make any changes to the material at any time.

3. Technical specs.  We want users to have access to resources that we are confident will work as advertised.  even if said resources may be a few months out-of-date.

4. No bleeding-edge code.  Similar to point 3 above.  We don't want alpha software, untested stuff, etc.

5. We can more easily track use stats if we host resources.  this is good for two reasons.  first, we can use these stats to support future grant proposals to support our efforts.  second, academics can use the stats as support for tenure and promotion.

all that said, every resource will include a link to the original site, so a user will be able to download the latest version.  and for some resources that are very complex, and that have proven longevity and support, we are working out an arrangement to live-link instead.

we are also working out a way for reviewed resources to be "updated" via a fast-track process - probably just editorial sign-off.

I hope this does not deter anyone from submitting their materials to BioMolecules Alive.  I will be happy to discuss this issue, or any others, either on or offlist.


Timothy Driscoll
molvisions - see, grasp, learn.
usa:north carolina:wake forest

"There's too much blood in my caffeine system."

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