Have you ever had problems finding scientific water resources news, articles, videos, images, papers, etc.? Have you ever found interesting material over the internet that you wanted to share with others? No worries! Now, you can use WaterSISWEB.org. WaterSISWEB allows users to interact by posting interesting links, voting, and commenting.
WaterSISWEB is a place for the water resources professionals to share information. Scientists, researchers, students, and industry professionals can use this free community service to find what is new and popular in the water resources area and share, store, organize, and search the bookmarks of web pages in this area.
WaterSISWEB is the first website of the SISWEBS (Scientific Information Syndication WEBsiteS) family, dedicated to the water resources field. SISWEBS was originally founded by Kaveh Madani, a PhD candidate at University of California, Davis with collaboration of Kosha Mahmodieh, a graduate of University of California, Berkeley. "I started WaterSISWEB because I had the knowledge of water resources and I thought this is the best one to start with," Madani said in an interview with California Aggie. Madani, who is leading the WaterSISWEB team, started WaterSISWEB in May with other PhD students from various departments (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hydrological Sciences, Geography, and Ecology) at UC Davis. "We can bring the professionals and users in this field from all over the world together," Madani said.
The format of this bookmarking website is different than a blog. According to Madani "the difference between a blog and a bookmarking site is that a blog has a moderator to decide what is good and what is not. Here the users control the content. If they are interested in something, they post it there, but because the taste of one person may be completely different from the taste of the entire community, other users are given a chance to vote." WaterSISWEB is not run by the WaterSISWEB team, but by its users. Registered users can post links to water resources content on the web, and other registered users have the opportunity to vote for or against them to appear more or less prominently on WaterSISWEB. These users also have the opportunity to comment on posts, reply to comments, vote for comments, save posted links for later references, and even recommend what they find interesting to others who may not be WaterSISWEB's members. When a link is first submitted, it appears in the Upcoming (under review) section. It can then be prompted to the Top (front) page through a user-based ranking system. The numbers of positive and negative votes of users on each link determine the rank of that post. WaterSISWEB's team does not decide which links should become popular. Members' votes train a filter that determines which posts deserve to be seen by other visitors.
Currently, WaterSISWEB covers different water resources categories including Fluid Mechanics, Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Miscellaneous, and different types of links are posted on the website including News, Article, Paper, Video, Image, and Other. Users can post links under relevant categories with keyword tags to allow easy search access, as well as rate links by voting for them. Popular entries are kept in the top links section while posts that are completely irrelevant or that contain false information are removed from the site after getting enough negative votes from the users. Michael Campana, a regular WaterSISWEB user and a professor at Oregon State University who was interviewed by California Aggie, believes more categories are required to better reflect water resources. "There are a lot of tags, but because everyone assigns their own tags the classification is often inconsistent. That's the downside of having the users control the site." Campana said in an e-mail interview with California Aggie.
In WaterSISWEB links can be sorted by the region they belong to. Currently, the available regions are USA and all its states (e.g. California), Canada and all of Canadian provinces (e.g. British Columbia), Europe and European Countries (e.g. U.K. ), Asia and Asian Countries (e.g. China), Africa and African countries (e.g. Ethiopia), Oceania and its countries (e.g. Australia), Americas and American countries (e.g. Brazil), and Antarctica.
California Aggie reports that the website has been expanding with popularity since its debut in May. "I rely on the site mainly for serendipity," Campana said. "Lots of 'Gee, I didn't know that!' There are some things I never would have found on my own." To date, users from 88 different countries have visited the site, some of the most common being the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iran, Italy and Australia. Searches can be filtered to specific countries, states and even cities, Madani said.
Dane Behrens, a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering at UC Davis who has been working with the website since its beginning, recognizes its potential. "This site is important because it provides information on water-related topics that no other type of site can," Behrens said in an e-mail interview with California Aggie. "It allows anybody who is interested to post water-related items that they find interesting - so it works really well as a forum for current news and science."
Madani hopes to bring professionals and scientists together trough SISWEBS. "The goal is to make other SISWEBS", Madani said. "Future SISWEBS coming after WaterSISWEB might be dedicated to electrical engineering, dentistry, transportation and climate change". He said he hopes future teams of new SISWEBS will consist of a mix of professionals from around the world. “As soon as we have people who qualify and who are interested in dedicating their time and are credible, then we are willing to start [another SISWEB]". Madani hopes WaterSISWEB will serve as a model for more scientific resource sites.
To find out more about WaterSISWEB visit http://www.watersisweb.org. Everyone can register in WaterSISWEB for free to contribute to the water resources community activities and help other professionals in the area by sharing the useful information. For more information regarding WaterSISWEB, you can contact the SISWEBS Team.