In an effort to make Harvard research more accessible to the public, a new Harvard Web site, Research Matters, was launched this week.
Its purpose is to direct the public to Web sites maintained by Schools and departments across the University that a reader might not ordinarily find without knowledge of Harvard’s administrative structure or nomenclature.
Because close to 75 percent of visitors to Harvard’s home page (http://www.harvard.edu) come from outside Harvard’s campus, the Research Matters site is organized into six basic categories that are intuitive for the public: Mind, Body, Society, Earth, Space, and Technology.
Research Matters, at http://www.researchmatters.harvard.edu, contains hundreds of stories about groundbreaking discoveries that can affect people’s lives. It is updated regularly with news about medical treatments, societal research, basic science, technological advances, and earth and space exploration.
“It’s a way to let people know what Harvard researchers are doing to make the world a better place,” said John Lenger, editor of Research Matters. “The range of projects going on is truly incredible.”
There are nearly 900 Web sites currently on the Harvard network. “Getting our visitors from our front door to the research information on other Harvard sites is the fundamental issue,” said Elaine Benfatto, Harvard University Webmaster and Web development manager for Research Matters. “We’ve cross-referenced and indexed information so you’re never in a vacuum. You can always find more related information by going further into the page.”
Research Matters is produced by the Harvard University Office of News and Public Affairs in cooperation with the communications offices of the University’s faculties and research centers. The site is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all the research projects undertaken at Harvard – which number in the thousands – but rather a gateway to information about topics that most spark the public’s interest.
A promotional magazine highlighting some of the stories in Research Matters will be distributed to government agencies that fund research, political and opinion leaders who help shape funding priorities, alumni constituents and friends of Harvard who actively support the University, as well as to a host of Harvard waiting rooms, public schools, and libraries where there is interest in Harvard research.
To receive a copy of the Research Matters promotional magazine, send your name and address to Evan Whitney via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.