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Neurosciences on the internet: www.neuroguide.com
  1. G Rees
  1. Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK; g.reesfil.ion.ucl.ac.uk

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    Neurosciences on the internet is a large and well established database of URLs, titles, and keywords of resources available on the internet that are likely to be of interest not only to neuroscientists but also to clinicians, patients, and their carers. Created and maintained by Neil Busis, a Pittsburgh neurologist, the database is now 10 years old and continues to be updated on a regular basis. The indexed resources are grouped under several arbitrary but clear titles to allow for browsing, and can also be accessed by a basic but functional search engine. The graphics and navigation around the site are basic but effective, but the real interest of the site lies in the assembled content. One of the advantages of indices compiled by humans (rather than automatically assembled) is that the resources indexed can be screened for quality and organised by relevance. This works very effectively in some areas of neurosciences on the internet. For example, the section on human neurological diseases provides a very effective way to directly find other websites and sources of information on specific disease entities. In other areas, the reliance on a human compiled index based on submitted information is less successful. For example, the documentation of the websites of academic institutes is only partial and limited, especially outside North America, and it might be quicker in this case to rely on an automated search engine such as Google. For those not directly searching a specific source of information, the site also offers the facility to play ‘neuroroulette’, automatically selecting a link from the database at random. My twist of the neuroroulette wheel led to the little known (to me, at least) website, The Lurkers guide to stomatopods (http://www.blueboard.com/mantis/). Although perhaps not directly relevant to clinical practice, it was undeniably interesting to read about predatory crustaceans and their visual system as a result of visiting Neuroscience on the internet! Neurosciences on the internet is probably the largest indexed database of clinical and basic neuroscience related URLs, and therefore a great resource in its own right for the clinician or scientist looking for specific sources of information.


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