TECHNOLOGY FOR RAPID EXCHANGE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION VIA THE INTERNET
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The World Wide Web (WWW, or simply the WEB) is the most rapidly growing communication system in use today. Computers with network connections to the Internet can serve and receive files in a hypermedia format, with the result being a graphical user interface to text, photographs, sounds, and motion video. The Web links networked computers of all sizes and types through use of a hypermedia application known as a "browser." Browsers are available for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, NEXT, and Linux operating systems. Most of the software needed to serve and receive information using this technology is free to educational and non-profit users such as consumers, and readily available by FTP file transfer from many sites on the Internet. Businesses may need to pay a fee to use the software. Hypermedia technology allows research-based information related to protected cropping to be disseminated world-wide rapidly and inexpensively, and to audiences that previously had difficulty accessing the information through scholarly journals. There are many applications of the World Wide Web appropriate to multinational research projects. Databases of researchers containing photographs, biographical and professional data could be established to assist the formation of joint research programs. Research results could be published on the Web rapidly, and these data and findings can be viewed by other project participants, project administrators, funding agencies, and those who directly benefit from the information, e.g., farmers, growers, retailers, educators, and consumers.
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