December 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 21)


Strong Points: Technical information
Weak Points: Way too techie

I like to think of myself as reasonably knowledgeable about how to find my way around a Web site, particularly one aimed at scientists. I’ve seen a lot of arcane and complicated approaches to presenting information, but I must admit to shaking my head in wonder at the “organization” of information at the Arabidopsis Gene Family Profiler. It starts on the opening page, which provides no instructions on how to use the site or on its contents. A few names (AGI number, Gene Name, BAC locus, and others) allow focused searches in respective databases for information, but, one wonders, will returned information contain? I found myself scratching my head and going in circles with information at every turn. Almost every search ultimately led to either a table of techno information I couldn’t decipher or a set of hyperlinked figures depicting various stages of the plants life cycle. I’m not a botanist, much less a specialist on Arabidopsis, so perhaps there is something to this I might understand if I were. As I see it, though, this one is strictly for practitioners (if even for them).

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