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How the web can make keeping up to date easier

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Twenty-five years ago, Tim Berners-Lee, a software engineer from CERN - the European Organisation for Nuclear Research - changed communications forever. Scientists around the world wanted to exchange data and discuss results generated during their visits to CERN. So, Berners-Lee developed the foundations of the World Wide Web.1 Today, we rarely give the web a second thought: but it has transformed our access to information and our professional and personal communications. In particular, the internet has replaced libraries for most patients, professionals and the public researching diseases, treatments or drugs.

The web has also freed publishers from space limitations, allowing them to cover niche interests. Meanwhile, journal or magazine websites make staying up to date easier than ever and usually offer additional benefits. But you need to avoid traps - especially predatory publishers - that could catch the unwary.

A better experience
Text: In recent years, finding a research paper moved from flicking through dusty tomes on miles of shelving to a multimedia 'experience' in which the paper is only one, albeit the most important, element. Indeed, hard copy journals might soon only publish summaries that introduce the full online paper. Science already publishes some papers as 'Research Article Summaries',2 with the full article online. Similarly, articles, news items and websites of magazines such as Independent Nur


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