About the Collaborative
The BEN Collaborative was established in 1999 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with 11 other professional societies and coalitions. Since its inception, the BEN Collaborative has grown from its original 11 and continues to add new collaborators. The BEN Collaborative mission is not only to provide seamless access to e-resources but to also serve as a catalyst for strengthening teaching and learning in the biological sciences.
In 2005, the BEN Collaborative was selected to be the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathway for biological sciences education. NSDL Pathways partners are aggregators of appropriate resources and user services for their communities. They are portal sites supporting resource discovery for broad categories of users, and are developed and managed in partnership with organizations and institutions that have a history and expertise in serving their target audiences.
About BEN Resources
Materials that users find via the BEN portal are unique in several ways. First, BEN resources have been reviewed by the individual societies for standards of quality and accuracy. Although each BEN collaborator has unique review criteria, users find resources that are scientifically accurate and educationally sound.
Click here for the summary [Adobe Acrobat]
of the peer-review processes for each of the BEN Collaborators. Second, due to the collaborative establishment of its metadata structure, the user can easily conduct productive interdisciplinary searches across the diverse biological sciences topics covered by the BEN Collaborators.
The structure and governance of the BEN Collaborative include the:
- BEN Coordinating Council ---
Executive, Education Directors or other representatives from the BEN Collaborators organizations.
- BEN Technical Committee ---
Technical services staff members and consultants of BEN Collaborators develop
technical specifications and documentation.
- BEN Secretariat --- AAAS
serves as the Secretariat and manages the BEN portal site that aggregates the resources of Collaborators that have digital libraries or for Collaborators that just want to catalog (metatag) resources.
- BEN Advisory Board ---
The Board advises the BEN team on strategies for the digital libraries, including developing faculty contributors and users, sustainability, and research and evaluation.