Researchers will be able to track down relevant peer-reviewed journal articles via the web after leading publishers joined with Google to launch a unique search engine this week.
The CrossRef pilot scheme has the backing of Nature , Blackwell, Oxford University Press, John Wiley, Annual Reviews and four other publishers with the prospect of more joining this year. It will enable researchers to search the full text of journal and conference proceeding articles free of charge.
Ed Pentz, executive director of the independent CrossRef association, said the scheme broke down barriers between publishers for the research communities.
"Up to now, anyone trying to search on full text has been faced with two unsatisfactory options: either search one publisher's contents or go for a general trawl through the web," he said.
A general search of the web for sleep, memory and mice, for example, yields more than 80,000 results - an unmanageable total. CrossRef found about 300, which gives the researcher a more focused and relevant selection.
The search engine will involve current journal issues and back files held by the participating publishers.
Details at: www.crossref.org