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"We have developed SIPHS , a tool that leverages an online community in a different fashion: rather than searching for online documents, users search for community members with a particular knowledge set. We established SIPHS in response to a shared frustration. The Internet was designed to put people in touch, but it is quite difficult to identify individuals that possess very specific, often highly technical knowledge.

Members of SIPHS can search for peer-generated information, ask questions of other members, and provide peer support

The SIPHS community is currently comprised of more than 200 biology and biomedical researchers spread across 30 countries. Members of the community are tagged with their respective areas of expertise, and queries for information are submitted via an electronic message to experts in relevant fields. By enabling direct communication with knowledgeable and experienced individuals, refining searches becomes easier (as searching is no longer keyword dependent), background information is more quickly clarified, and new ideas are more rapidly spawned. In essence, this mimics the offline world in that the best source of information is often a colleague who has experience with the problem at hand. SIPHS is self-funded and, like all the tools mentioned in this discussion, free to use.

Other tools allow users to identify what other researchers are saying about particular pieces of information. Postgenomic , for example, identifies comments made on life science blogs that are pertinent to particular journal papers. Users search for a paper of interest and are returned a collection of reviews on the particular paper made by the life science blogging community. Authors can view what others are saying about their publications, and researchers can get an additional side of a paper's story. Often, hearing what a peer has to say on a particular subject can help piece together a puzzle or form a critical opinion." (