John Timmer has a new story in Ars Technica on “Scitable:”
“Scitable aims to provide online, open access educational materials in the sciences. Anyone can browse the content or follow predefined courses, currently limited to the life sciences. But one thing that you won’t generally spot is ads. Can a resource like this stay free indefinitely? It seems like a lot of scientific publishers are betting that it can, since a number of other free services have launched in the intervening time.
According to Scitable’s Vikram Savkar, the answer is yes, although it’s not there yet. Within the past year, the company has gotten some sponsors on board. Some of these are biotech and pharmaceutical companies, which are very focused on the current bioscience material (New England Biolabs, for example, has sponsored a series on the restriction enzymes they sell). Presumably, this roster will expand as Scitable grows into more subject areas. But a couple of existing sponsors—Intel and Tata Consultancy—are involved simply because they apparently think they’re promoting a valuable resource.”
The full story is online here: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/12/building-sustainable-open-access-science-texts-and-tools.ars