You might have heard about Futurity; it launched in beta in March, but did not have its official launch until a couple of weeks ago. Futurity, available at http://futurity.org, contains information on lots of research from lots of different universities.
Before you go to the front page, go ahead and visit http://futurity.org/about/. You’ll see a list of participating universities. There are a lot of big names here — participating institutions include Stanford, Duke, Yale, and Berkeley. So as you might imagine there’s a lot to see here.
From the front page you can look at releases in several different categories: Earth & Environment, Health & Medicine, Science & Design, and Society & Culture. Releases when I liked at it were all over the map, including things like “A better way to turn out turbine blades” and “Gene bends rules of brain development” and “It’s not a monster. It’s Frankencamera.”
The stories are more academic than the headlines would leave you to believe (thank goodness — the headlines are too “teaser-oriented” for my taste) and have a lot of information. Unfortunately I didn’t see any stories that had direct links to researchers/writers/academics; all the stories I saw linked back to a university news stories. Frustrating; how could you go to so much trouble to get so much social media on the site and then making readers jump through an extra hoop to get in touch with researchers or academics?
Each section has its own page, with lists of stories. Stories can be commented on, as well as submitted to Digg, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (Futurity has been seriously social media rev’d up.) You can sign up to get a daily digest of stories but I also appreciate the RSS feeds — there’s a general one and one for each category.
The site’s only been up since March, but I can already tell that I could spend a lot of time browsing this site. Despite my complaint about the links back to news sites, the general RSS feed’s in my browser and I’m looking forward to reading it.