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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 03 | Feb. 8, 2001

Database puts global resources at UBC researchers' fingertips

Virtual community will help boost peer collaboration

by Hilary Thomson, staff writer

Locating funding opportunities and research colleagues world-wide will be simpler for UBC's researchers and scholars, thanks to an international research database made available by the Office of the Vice-president, Research.

Called Community of Science, (COS) the Web site is designed for use by scholars in all disciplines.

Nearly half a million investigators worldwide in all fields of research and scholarship use the site to publicize research, collaborate with peers, locate funding and conduct research. The Web site also has links to industry that will help investigators to connect with the research and development community.

"This site helps to create virtual communities and promote collaboration between scientists," says Indira Samarasekera, vice-president, Research. "Research today is truly a global undertaking and the ability to communicate with peers is vital."

Features of the service include a database of funding opportunities with access to more than 16,000 grants in all fields of research. In addition, the site's Funding Alert offers a customized service that automatically e-mails individual researchers about funding opportunities that apply to their area of investigation.

COS also provides a portfolio of Web tools to create an online customized working environment. For example, COS Expertise allows individual members to post professional information and experience. The profiles appear on the Web site in a secure and standardized format.

Another Web tool, COS Workbench, is a customized Web-based workspace for professional development. Researchers can create a curriculum vitae home page and gain access to news specific to their area of interest, schedules of conferences, searchable information on hundreds of professional societies and meetings, calls for papers and other services.

Bibliographic databases, such as listings of U.S. patents and current published work in the biomedical, geological, agricultural and engineering fields are another of the site's features.

There is also an abstract management system for researchers to write material collaboratively or conduct peer reviews on-line.

The COS community comprises 400,000 members at 700 universities and institutions in more than 120 countries.

Twelve Canadian universities subscribe to the site including the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto and McMaster University. Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are some of the 180 U.S. member universities.

more information

The COS Web site, at www.cos.com, offers a comprehensive tutorial on how to get started. For more information, contact mlang@exchange.ubc.ca.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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