Open Questions: Best Science Sites

[Home] [Up] [Glossary] [Topic Index] [Site Map]

See also: Science news stories

Online periodicals

General sites

Indexes and "awards" sites

Question and answer sites

Disappointments



Online periodicals

Physics Today
This is the leading publication on physical sciences for a general audience. The entire contents of all issues since July 2000 is now online. The feature articles, focus stories on recent research findings, and book reviews are especially good.
Nature Science Journals
This is the home page of the Nature Publishing Group, publishers of Nature magazine and numerous other technical journals. Although subscriptions are required to access most of the journal material, there's a huge amount of free information and resources here also, especially the Nature Science Update, the Nature Physics Portal, the Nature Cancer Update, and the Nature Genome Gateway. The online feature articles include elementary surveys of a number of topics.
Scientific American
Tables of contents and selected articles from issues back to 1999 are available. (All articles back to 1993 are available in the Scientific American Digital section -- for a fee.) There is a good site search facility. The Ask the Expert feature is especially valuable for looking at individual topics by means of specific questions. The In Depth section each month provides 2 to 4 online articles that aren't included in the print edition.
American Scientist
Bi-monthly magazine of the Sigma Xi science honorary society. The archives are organized by subject area and contain full text of selected articles. There are abstracts for other articles, and most entries also include additional references and links. Good book reviews and shorter articles also.
Science News Magazine
Contains tables of contents for issues back to 1996, full text of selected articles online, site search capability.
New Scientist
Weekly magagine of science and technology news. Main site features include latest news, Site of the Day (description of one external site selected daily), Hot Topics (brief articles on popular subjects). Archives of contents of past issues are available to subscribers to the magazine.
Discover Magazine
Contains selected archived feature articles back to 1992. There is an archive of news articles organized by field. The Web Picks provide selected external links sorted by topic, and many articles have external links also. The Image Gallery has a few interesting images.
Technology Review
Emphasis on technology (of course) in various areas including computer technology, biotech, nanotechnology. Good articles, plus news and discussion forums. Selected articles available free of charge.

General sites

ScienceWorld: Wolfram Research's World of Science
Extensive collection of encyclopedia-style reference information on astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and scientific biography. The portion of this site devoted to mathematics (MathWorld) is outstanding and is currently the most complete. The work was begun by Eric Weisstein -- as "Eric's Treasure Trove of Science" -- and is now supported by Wolfram Research.
ScienceDaily Magazine
Exceptional site - daily news (from press releases), links, discussion groups, books, search capability.
PSIgate: Physical Sciences Information Gateway
Another exceptionally good site. "PSIgate provides free access to high quality Internet resources for students, researchers and practitioners in the physical sciences, specifically in: astronomy, chemistry, earth sciences, materials science, physics, and general science." There is a site map for easy access, and a detailed subject directory. There is a monthly online science magazine called Spotlight. Some of the many other features: links to articles on "hot topics", links to physics lecture notes, links to physics tutorials. There is a vast database of resource links, in such areas as astronomy, physics, and earth sciences.
Science-Week
Offers summaries of recent papers and articles on important topics online and by email three times per week. The site also has a good collection of articles and "symposia" on special topics.
BBC Science & Nature
Variety of resources at an educational/introductory level focusing on popular science topics such as space, genetics, robots, dinosaurs. The BBC also has a very good science/nature news section. Best features: no advertising, no "registration".
The Lab - Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Gateway to Science
Unlike the dreck-filled U. S. network also known as ABC, this one has quality content. The daily science news section is as good as the BBC's. There are also feature articles, an Ask an Expert section, and an exploration section that organizes stories by topic. There are some external links. Most content is available through browsable and searchable archives or the site map.
NASA Homepage
NASA operates dozens of quality sites on a variety of topics in the areas of Earth science, space science, biological sciences, aeronautics and astronautics, technology, and more. Most of them are accessible, one way or another, from here.
Space.com
Space.com provides news and general information about space and astronomy, of course, but it also has good general science resources. The weekly feature called Science Tuesday offers expository articles on many topics. (The same page is also the start of a directory of archived articles arranged by topic.) Mystery Monday is a somewhat similar feature.
Wikibooks Science Bookshelf
A very ambitious project to develop online textbooks for the sciences. Most individual books are still in a preliminary form, but some contain very useful information. Wikibooks is just one of a number of projects of Wikimedia, of which the best known is the Wikipedia.
naturalSCIENCE
A stimulating, eclectic mix of original stories and articles, science news, links to important general resources, book reviews, commentary, opinion, discussion forums, and reader feedback.
Hypography Sci-Tech: Gateway to Science and Technology
A "hypography" is a combination of "hyperlink" and "bibliography" - links to electronic documents. Major feature is collections of links on many science topics, with overview of each topic and brief reviews of linked sites. The main site also includes news articles, book reviews, discussion forums.
Science Notes
An annual print and Web-based publication of the Science Communication Program of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Each issue contains about ten high-quality essays of "science journalism" on a wide range of topics.
Serendip
The site is organized around scientific investigation of life and other complex systems. Specific areas are brain and behavior, complex systems, and biology. Also deals with science education and the relationship of science and culture.
FirstScience.com
Contains some interesting articles, many by well-known scientists. The selective list of external links is good too. There is a page of current news stories.
Science for the Millennium
Excellent site created by the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA). Contains a variety of multimedia exhibits. Main areas are Whispers from the Cosmos (radio astronomy), Spacetime Wrinkles (relativity), Cosmos in a Computer (cosmology), The Metacomputer (distributed computing), and Introducing Virtual Environments (virtual reality).
Science Line
Althouth this service has been discontinued due to lack of funding, much of the original content remains available. The main feature was the answering of questions about science submitted by readers. Questions, articles, and other features are archived by subject area. There's a good news story section called Cutting Edge.

Index and "awards" sites

Open Directory Project: Science
This is the top-level index of science directories. Also available at Google. Includes external links to similar directories. (The version of the latter at Google presents results in "page rank" order.) Basically the same lists are available at Lycos and Netscape. (But the advertising on these last two is a negative.)
Yahoo: Science
Yahoo's top level index of science directories. Includes external links to similar directories. Most entries are annotated. Entries are sorted alphabetically. Some categories have a separate list of "most popular" sites.
WWW Virtual Library: Science
The Virtual Library is the oldest index/directory of the Web. Each topic area is maintained by a different volunteer (so the quality and coverage is variable). See also the branch devoted to Social Sciences
Science Site of the Day
One site is selected for review each day (since July 2002). All fields of science are covered, and selected sites range through all educational levels. This is a quick way to locate some of the best science sites on the Web.
Scirus
Possibly the best search engine available for Web searches on scientific topics. It's fast and thorough, searching many databases not covered by most other search engines, such as eprint ArXivs and professional journals. An "advanced" search capability allows flexible control over search criteria and document locations. Scirus is oriented towards professional research needs rather than a general audience.
Galaxy: Science
A site directory like Yahoo. Entries usually include descriptive annotations. Site lists are not sorted.
Science Search
Site directory based on the Open Directory Project, with the addition of ability for anyone to rate listed sites.
Mathematical BBS
Very extensive, categorized collection of links, maintained by Josef Eschgfäller and others. In addition to mathematics, there are large sections on astronomy, biology, geology, medicine, and physics.
Top20Education.com
The site has excellent selected links to reference materials in many academic areas, including all major scientific fields.
Discover Magazine Web Picks
Annotated lists of selected sites in the following categories: Ancient Life, Anthropology, Mind & Brain, Astronomy & Physics, Environment, Biology & Medicine, and Technology.
Martindale's The Reference Desk
A general Web index with better than average science coverage and special emphasis on reference materials, such as subject dictionaries and listings of online course materials.
100 Top Science Sites
Selected by 100.com. Some selections are very good.
The Exploratorium's Ten Cool Sites
Ten selected sites each month. Previous selections in many categories can be viewed.
Frank Potter's Science Gems
Thosands of categorized and annotated links to science educational resources, through high school level.
Scientific American Sci/Tech Web Awards 2003
There are 50 selected sites in 10 categories. Selections were announced in May 2003. There were similar awards in 2002 and 2001.
New Scientist Web Links & Site of the Day
Extended descriptions of one site selected daily and categorized lists of past selections.
FirstScience.com Links
A selective collection of links arranged by subject area, with brief annotations.
Suite 101: Science Surfing
Provides occasional articles on sites in a given topical area, as well as general list of links. (This site has gone downhill since originally reviewed.)
Netsurfer Science Home Page
Weekly newsletter available on the Web and by email with extensively annotated listings of new Web sites from all branches of science and engineering
Dr. Matrix' Web World of Science
Diverse site that with sections on astronomy, space technology, mathematics, physics and cosmology, biology, anthropology, chemistry, technology, and general science. There are links for each topic, and awards to selected sites in many categories.
Academic Info: Science Gateway
Site is designed as a directory for academic resources at the college/university level. Coverage of scientific fields is broad but somewhat sparse in places. Good annotation of links provided.
SciNet Science Search
Hierarchical searchable directory of science with many categories. Entries have brief annotations. Has a list of "50 Most Helpful Science Sites".
SciSeek
Combined directory and search engine for science-related Web pages. Has a few other features such as reference material and discussion forums.
The Scout Report for Science and Engineering
Biweekly online and emailed newsletter listing new sites in science and engineering.
Geometry.Net
Provides Web searches for many topics, not only in mathematics, but also in physics, biology, computers, and technology. Search results are categorized, ranked, and annotated.

Question and answer sites

Directories

Virtual Reference Desk AskA+ Locator
Virtual Reference Desk is a U. S. Government-sponsored project to facilitate human-mediated, Internet-based information services for K-12 education. Their locator is the best available directory of such sites. It provides not just a site link, but a detailed description of the service, policies, and audience level.
Yahoo Science: Ask an Expert
Annotated links to sites that provide ask an expert services in various scientific fields.
Galaxy: Expert Links
Categorized site directory. Entries usually include descriptive annotations.
Pitsco's Ask an Expert: Science/Technology
Directory of sites that handle questions in many scientific fields. (But it isn't organized by topic.)
CIESE Educational Links: Ask An Expert: Science and Math
Directory of Ask-A-Scientist/Math-Expert sites, provided by Stevens Institute of Technology Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education.
The Science Club: Links to Ask A Scientist Sites
Hosted by The Science Club, an non-profit organization for elementary school science educaiton.

Q & A sites

Scientific American: Ask the Experts
Handles questions in nine areas. Questions are handled on the site, with archives of past questions and answers.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Ask an Expert
A relatively new feature, and so smaller than other expert sites, this one addresses a new topic each month. Answers are provided by Australian scientists.
AllExperts
Claims to be the oldest and largest free Q & A service on the Internet. Most scientific categories are covered, including a few pseudo-sciences. Questions are answered on the site.
Newton/ANL Home Page
This site is the "Newton BBS", hosted by the Argonne National Laboratory, primarily for K-12 education. Has an extensive Ask-A-Scientist feature covering most scientific areas. Archive of questions and answers goes back to 1991.
Science Line
Although not the only feature, the site's main attraction is the ability to submit questions on science by email or phone (if you wish to call the UK). Answers are archived by category. (The site is no longer active, but older questions and answers are still available.)
MadSci Network
Although primarily aimed at students in grades K-12, this site provides a Q & A service with a very large archive of entries that deal with questions from elementary through advanced levels. There is a search engine for the archives but no subject-oriented index. There is also a good directory of external science links in the MAD Library, including links to other Q & A sites.

Disappointments

The following sites were formerly listed somewhere above. Although they are still in existence, their quality or usefulness has declined. They may be worth investigating anyhow. Let us know if they seem to have shown any improvement -- otherwise let them know that they need to improve their content.
About - Science
About.com is a large family of subject-oriented Web sites each hosted by a knowledgable "guide". The portion of this network covering science includes most of the traditional areas (and a few less respectable ones as well, such as "astrology"). Each topic area contains original articles, discussion forums, and external links, as well as anything else provided by the guide.
Suite101.com: Science and Mathematics
Suite101.com is a family of subject-oriented Web sites (like About.com). Each area contains original articles, external links, and discussion forums. Other pertiment topics related to medicine, psychology, and technology may be found categorized under various other headings at the site.

Home

Copyright © 2002-04 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved