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[BEIJING] Frustrated by its scientists' ignorance of what is going on in their own community, China has gathered information about national research, equipment and databases onto a single website.

Science publications, resources on the popularisation of science, and information about the equipment and data that are managed by institutions and departments across the country, are now listed on the China S&T Resources Sharing Website. 

"Numerous scientific achievements, including data and facilities, have been made by continued investments from government," science and technology minister Wan Gang, said at the inauguration of the website.

"But these resources are not being well used. We hope this website will be used as a handbook for S&T researchers."

Li Xia, a philosophy of science professor at China's Central South University, says the project, administered by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), could help avoid duplications and increase efficiency in science spending.

"At least three ministries and departments — such as MOST, the Ministry of Education and the National Development and Reform Commission — are now investing in basic S&T research labs and there will surely be some overlapping investments," he says.

Hu Yongjian, an officer from MOST's National S&T Infrastructure Center, adds that the website — which is accessible to everyone — is part of a drive to promote the public's use of scientific information.

But not all information is free of charge. Peer-reviewed science journal papers, usually obtained by subscribing to commercial databases, are not included in the website.

The website was launched last month (September).