22 Sep 2004

What is it?
Cordis — stands for Community Research and Development Information Service. It is the gateway to the European science community.

Who developed it?
The EU, who else?

Who is it for?
Scientists and researchers across the EU. It would presumably also interest those currently working outside the EU who are thinking of coming here to work.

What information does it contain?
Among other things: details of key EU funding schemes such as the Sixth Framework Programme; a find-a-partner facility for researchers looking to put together an international research team; and information on national science and technology programmes. The search facility is quite effective and helpfully groups results under different headings. The site is translated into four other major European languages apart from English.

How does it look?
Like many EU sites, it is heavy on content but light on design and structure. It has two news ticker-tapes: one running vertically, the other horizontally, and both distracting. Some of the sections are ambiguously titled. What is ‘web services and databases’ about exactly? Also, the layout becomes no less confusing when you delve into each sub-section.

Any quibbles?
The small text size can be difficult to read against some background colours.

The verdict?
Too much information. Regular visitors to this website or those with a love of intricate, loosely organised material might navigate around it with ease; the rest of us are bound to waste a lot of time and energy looking for what we want.

By Brian Skelly