Web Magazine for Information Professionals

BIOME: Progressing through Partnerships

Paula Manning reports on recent collaborations.

The BIOME Service has been very fortunate in building partnerships with other information providers within the life sciences field. The Service is itself the product of a consortium [1] led by The University of Nottingham. For example, The Natural History Museum is a major contributor to the Service managing the Natural Selection Gateway within BIOME. Through partnerships BIOME has benefited from the subject expertise of many staff as well as being able to participate in related initiatives and increase the range of services available from the BIOME web site. I reported on two international collaborations last year in Issue 24 of Ariadne [2]. The paragraphs below outline some of the recent BIOME partnership developments.

Wellcome Trust - Psci-com Gateway

Psci-com [3] is a gateway to public understanding of science and science communication information on the Internet. The Gateway is provided by the Information Services Department of the Wellcome Trust and offers practitioners, whose role is to raise awareness of science, a quick and easy way to find quality resources to support their work. In addition to providing a very useful catalogue of Internet resources, there is also an events calendar, a bibliography of current literature and a link to the Psci-com mailing list.

The service is currently hosted and accessed within the OMNI health and medicine gateway, but will soon be re-launched utilising the BIOME web design and navigational features. As part of this development a new 'hosted services' navigation bar will be added to the left hand side of the BIOME pages. The aim in undertaking these changes is to increase the consistency in site navigation between BIOME and Psci-com. In addition to the layout changes, greater access to the Psci-com Internet resource record collection will also be provided. As well as being able to search the Psci-com collection directly from the Psci-com website, the records will also be retrieved via searches conducted using the BIOME 'cross-gateway' search box on the BIOME home page and also via searches of the entire RDN using the resource finder on the Resource Discovery Network (RDN) web site [4].

NMAP Gateway and National electronic Library for Health (NeLH)

BIOME is very pleased to announce the launch of NMAP [5]. This is a new section of the OMNI health and medicine gateway focussing on the nursing, midwifery and allied health subject areas. The development of NMAP has followed the same partnership model as the parent BIOME service. It represents a unique collaboration between the professional bodies in the subject field to build a collection of records relating to quality, relevant Internet resources. Major Partners in the development of NMAP include The University of Sheffield and The Royal College of Nursing. A list of all the partner and contributor organisations is available from the NMAP Partnership page [6].

The shared aim to provide access to high quality information services has also provided a good opportunity for BIOME to collaborate with the NHS National Electronic Library for Health (NeLH) Project Team. This collaboration has also focussed on nursing. midwifery and allied health following the concurrent development of NMAP with the development of the nursing and allied health portals within NeLH. NMAP and OMNI records can now be directly searched from the newly established NeLH nursing and allied health portals pages [7] and BIOME has also received NeLH funds to increase the number of Internet resource records being added to the NMAP gateway. This aims to ensure that both the education and NHS communities benefit from the shared investment in the established service infrastructure at BIOME.

Vetsonline.com - Continued Professional Development (CPD) Database

A very recent partnership with Vetsonline.com [8] has allowed BIOME to offer direct searching of their veterinary Continued Professional Development (CPD) database. The database of courses, seminars and events can be searched by subject, location and date and will be accessible from VetGate [9], the animal health gateway within BIOME and presented within the VetGate page design.

The above initiative, like the Psci-com collaboration means BIOME can offer additional services for the benefit of users within the convenience of one web interface. The aim in providing these additional information elements also mirrors the aims of our Internet Portal Project - to offer easy access to a range of good quality services relevant to the subject communities. More information on the RDN Subject Portals Project can be found on the web site [10].


  1. BIOME Partners at http://biome.ac.uk/about/partners.html
  2. Psci-com at http://www.psci-com.org.uk/
  3. Manning, Paula "Biome news" Ariadne, issue 24, June 2000 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue24/biome/
  4. Resource Discovery Network (RDN) at http://www.rdn.ac.uk/
  5. Internet resources in Nursing, Midwifery and the Allied health Professions (NMAP) at http://nmap.ac.uk/
  6. The NMAP partnership page can be accessed at http://nmap.ac.uk/about/partners.html
  7. NeLH nursing and allied health portals pages at http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/
  8. Vetsonline.com at http://www.vetsonline.com/ (now Vet Times http://www.vettimes.co.uk/)
  9. VetGate at http://vetgate.ac.uk/
  10. RDN Subject Portals Project at http://www.portal.ac.uk/

Author Details

Paula Manning
BIOME Service Manager
University of Nottingham

Email: pm@biome.ac.uk
Web site: http://biome.ac.uk