September 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 16)


Strong Points: Links to useful Indian databases
Weak Points: Too many rough edges

Take the collective efforts of 150 of the top scientists in India. Put the information about the plant, animal, marine, and microbial bioresources together into a massive collection of databases and you have IBIN. Serving thus as a central jumping off point to numerous Indian online resources, IBIN is an outstanding idea that reminds us of the power of hierarchy in information organization. Easy access to data on seven biological databases is provided, but the site does have its rough edges. For example, the term Browse is rather misused. In places, clicking Browse a database leads one to a page that either requires login information or that simply is a search engine. Worse, some links are dead. For example, clicking on the link entitled “Plants of India” leads to nowhere, unless you count an ad for an Internet provider as something valuable. The link to amphibia is also completely broken. The databases that are functional do, in fact, have much useful info. Too bad the rest of the site isn’t as helpful.

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