LONDON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- British scientists say an Internet social networking tool meant to advance the science of natural history has generated responses from 1,100 registered users.
Called "Scratchpads," the social networking Web site was created two years ago by Vincent Smith, Simon Rycroft, David Roberts and colleagues at London's Natural History Museum as a means for natural historians to share data.
The researchers say Scratchpads allows natural historians to create social networks that promote the more effective use of painstakingly collected data that isn't efficiently used. They say more than 130,000 responses have been generated in the Web site's first two years.
"Our goal was to build a system that could motivate individual researchers in the generation, management and dissemination of their own data for their own needs, while empowering a wider constituent of potential users who are free to repurpose this information for other uses," Smith said.
The research that created Scratchpads appears in the journal Bioinformatics.