NeuroBiography: A database of cognitive neuroscientists' lives & work
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About NeuroBiography:

Usage

I have been using and developing NeuroBiography: daily since about 2001. The most recent developments were caused by my Windows laptop crashing in November 2008 - I migrated from Windows MS Access to Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP (LAMP, via XAMPP). I feel very smug and content about this transition, and it has forced me to start putting it online.)

Primarily, it is used as a general reference, article, and work database to store notes and organise articles. Additionally, it contains neuroimaging coordinates, details of scientific awards and events, quotations, positions that scientists have held, information about journals, etc.

I also use it to keep track of articles that cite my work, and to maintain my webpages (Papers, Chapters, Presentations, Theses, Projects, Paper of the Week, etc).

NeuroBiography: is different from PubMed, other similar online resources, and other reference managers, in several important ways:

So, convinced or otherwise, this is NeuroBiography:. Search for articles, neuroimaging coordinates, or authors by following the links on the left. Contact me with any questions, suggestions, or whatever.

References

  1. Aerts R (2008) Digital identifiers work for articles, so why not for authors? Nature, 453(7198):979
  2. Enserink M (2009) Are you ready to become a number? Science, 323(5922):1662-1664
  3. Nature (2009) Credit where credit is due. Nature, 462(7275):825

Infrequently-asked questions

What is NeuroBiography:?

NeuroBiography: is a database of information about scientists' lives & work. It brings together information about selected neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers, alive and dead, with the books, articles, and theses they wrote, the presentations they gave, the places they worked, events, and quotations.

What is NeuroBiography:'s History?

The origins of NeuroBiography: are several. Initially, I began drawing up a time-line of various developments and schools of thought in Psychology. This was on a single sheet of A4 paper. I was twenty. Later, after most of my possessions were stolen in South Manchester, I decided an inventory of all my books was also required. More recently, when researching and writing essays, I developed the neurotic tendency to copy, type-out, and store hundreds of references for each essay, mainly to fulfill anal retentiveness, but also to get a clear picture of the field I was researching. Then, revising for my finals, the tables and timelines just grew in number until I had twenty or thirty files of information, all related in some way to a central set of themes.

The basic idea, then, was to bring all this information together in a single, efficient data structure. I have been pumping it full of facts ever since, but the greatest advances came in several phases:

Why Spend so much Time on NeuroBiography:?

A good question. I've always been interested in the history of the sciences that I work at, how they developed, who was responsible, what else was going on at the time in other fields. NeuroBiography: was a way to bring this kind of information together without unnecessarily long and flowery text to wade through.

More importantly, I use NeuroBiography: every day, to keep notes, organise my articles, files, and projects, and format reference lists for manuscripts. It is the single most useful weapon in my academic arsenal.

What's more, now that NeuroBiography: is online, I (will increasingly) use it to create many of my webpages, listing publications, abstracts, presentations, and projects. Within a few solid weeks of html, php, and mysql programming, I will have a fully-functional, dynamic, and minimal-maintenance website, in which NeuroBiography: is the engine.

Any Final Thoughts?

Well, this section used to be about how I would put NeuroBiography: online. That's done now, so I just have to develop it and use it. So, watch this space...