Nov 21 2014

World Library of Science Seeks to Equalize Online Access to Education

UNESCO plans to aid educators and students in developing countries in using the digital resource.

A new, free online library wants to break down barriers to science education around the world.

The World Library of Science is a cooperative venture between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche; and Nature Education, a division of the Nature Publishing Group, publishers of the academic journal Nature, according to a Nov. 7 news release.

The goal of the WLOS is "to make science learning accessible to students everywhere in the world," according to the news release. UNESCO will train teachers and students in underdeveloped countries to use the online resource.

"As we continue to add to the UNESCO World Library of Science over time, we will help share scientific knowledge and the wonder of discovery with students and teachers all over the world," writes Mariette DiChristina, executive editor of the Nature Publishing Group.

The online library includes free access to more than 300 scientific articles, 25 e-books, and more than 70 videos. The site also includes a community hub for shared learning experiences. The site offers materials similar to those on Scitable, another free online science and tech community library hosted by the Nature Publishing Group.

Nature Publishing’s involvement in the WLOS partnership broadens the reach of its academic materials in an evolving online publishing world as open-access journals’ rise to prominence threatens the dominance of the standard peer-review publishing model.