The Scientist  Volume 16 | Issue 16 | 10 | Aug. 19, 2002


                                 The Scientist on the Web

                                 By Alexander Grimwade and Eugene Garfield

                                 We have recently achieved two significant steps in the development
                                 of The Scientist on the Web. In the past few weeks, we have
                                 launched a new design for our Web site at,
                                 and the 16-year online full-text archive of The Scientist back issues
                                 has been completed. Our newly designed site is, effectively, the
                                 fourth generation of The Scientist presence on the Web.

                                 In 1992--almost prehistory in "Internet time"--The Scientist launched
                                 an experiment in cooperation with the National Science Foundation.
                                 We provided a text file of each issue as it was published, through a
                                 Gopher site. The idea of Gopher now seems as quaint as a
                                 half-timbered house, but in the late '80s and early '90s, it was the
                                 height of Internet sophistication, allowing the small number of users
                                 of the Internet to search for and download useful text files from a
                                 wide range of sources. We believe that through this service, The
                                 Scientist was the first regularly published science periodical available
                                 in full text on the Internet.

                                 In 1995, The Scientist started its own Web site in partnership with
                                 the library of the University of Pennsylvania. We laboriously exported
                                 the text and graphics from our page layout system for the print
                                 edition, and created handcrafted HTML pages. The site was hosted
                                 on a server in the basement of the library and stood us in good
                                 stead for several years.

                                 In 2000 we moved our Web site to a commercial provider using our
                                 current domain name. This change brought a more sophisticated
                                 design and production system, allowed us to register users of the
                                 site, and to send out contents page alerts by E-mail. We now have a
                                 worldwide audience of more than 440,000, of whom more than
                                 300,000 receive our contents alert.

                                 Now we have changed our design again, to make the site easier to
                                 navigate. We have developed a specialist site, at
                       , devoted to career development and
                                 job advertising, and we have added a daily news section, where
                                 professional science writers in New York and London report on
                                 breaking news in the world of science.

                                 With the completion of our electronic archive, our earliest issues from
                                 the 1980s are now available on the Web site. Since we had no
                                 electronic version of issues from that era, we developed a laborious
                                 procedure of scanning the pages from those yellowing printed
                                 copies, running them through an optical character recognition
                                 program, creating HTML files, and posting the issues through our
                                 publishing system. We take considerable pride in being able to make
                                 our entire archive available to anyone, free of charge.

                                 Looking back at older issues provides a fascinating glimpse of the
                                 concerns of scientists over the past 16 years. We strongly encourage
                                 our readers to visit our site, not only for the latest news and
                                 features, but also for the valuable perspective it offers on the
                                 development of our field.

                                 Alexander M. Grimwade ( is

                                 Eugene Garfield ( is president and
                                 founding editor.

                                 ©2002, The Scientist Inc.