Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 3 October 2001
Vol. 2001, Issue 1, p. vp1
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2001.1.vp1]


A SAGE KE Primer

R. John Davenport, Evelyn Strauss, and Kelly LaMarco;2001/1/vp1 "An immense and ever-increasing wealth of knowledge is scattered about the world today; knowledge that would probably suffice to solve all the mighty difficulties of our age, but it is dispersed and unorganized. We need a sort of mental clearing house for the mind: a depot where knowledge and ideas are received, sorted, summarized, digested, clarified and compared."
--H.G. Wells in "The Brain: Organization of the Modern World" (1937) Welcome to SAGE KE, Science's online resource that keeps you abreast of the latest developments in aging research and plugs you in to the community. This guide will acquaint you with the many easy-to-use features of SAGE KE.

Across the top of the SAGE KE home page, you'll find links to the four main sections: Literature and News, Community, Resources, and Highlights. Point to a section name and you'll bring up a menu of the features within that section. Herein, we describe each of these features.

Literature and News

The Literature and News section helps you sift through the literature and keeps you posted about new findings from far reaches of the field. You'll have access to Science's coverage of research on aging as well as original SAGE KE content. For some articles, key terms have been compiled into a glossary; where these terms appear, they are hyperlinked to their definitions. In addition, we have assembled papers from many other publications: The Virtual Journal is a searchable database of more than 29,000 (and growing) literature citations and abstracts relevant to the field of aging. A finely tuned computer algorithm selects articles of interest for inclusion. As the editors prune and graft entries each week, the program learns to execute more effective searches. It is updated daily, and you can browse or search its content by subject, journal, or date. You can also search the Virtual Journal--and the rest of SAGE KE--with the Quick Search box on each page or from the Advanced Search page.

In Classic Papers, we highlight important papers from the literature archives and provide PDF versions of them. This section offers a quick way to refresh your historical perspective on aging research and shed old light on unresolved problems. The initial sampling we present in this first issue of SAGE KE is just a taste of the many papers in the pipeline, and we'll continue to add them as the site evolves; please make suggestions. And if you have an original copy (reprint) of a paper that you think is a classic but isn't in our database yet, you get bonus points.

The New Findings section contains articles that describe the week's newsworthy papers and events. In Noteworthy This Week you'll find brief synopses of papers--just enough information to quickly acquaint you and help you decide which ones are worth a closer look. News Focus stories from our science writing team and scientist-penned Perspectives describe the impact of recent discoveries in more depth. And News Synthesis stories fit several results together. As part of our Perspectives series, we plan to feature Point-Counterpoint pieces that present key methodological or philosophical debates. Our Scientific Advisory Board plays a key role in keeping us informed about articles and topics of note; if you have additional suggestions, please let us know (well ahead of publication time, if possible).

For a detailed, broad, or retrospective look at key topics in aging, turn to Overviews. Here, SAGE KE will feature scientist-written, updatable Reviews on a wide variety of subjects. Newcomers to the field can explore SAGE KE's Hot Topic Orientations. In these pieces, journalists introduce key and controversial topics. Also in Overviews, you'll find physician-written Case Studies about patients who suffer from age-related dementias. These articles describe aspects of neurodegeneration from the neurologist's and pathologist's points of view and put a human face on these devastating diseases.

Viewpoints offer firsthand perspectives on various aspects of aging-related research and provide a glimpse of the people behind the science. Subjects for viewpoints include controversial research topics, career turning points, and experiences that shed light on why and how one does science. New Viewpoints will appear several times a month, so if you have a word of wisdom to impart, an experience you'd like to share, or something you want to get off your chest, let us know and we'll consider it for publication.

Got an opinion about a particular item? At the bottom of our original articles (as well as Virtual Journal citations), you'll find a "Comment on Article" button, and in the left-hand gray tool bar, you can similarly comment or "View Comments." Click to share your thoughts about the subject at hand--or to find out what your colleagues are thinking.


To interact with other researchers, turn to Community, the second main section of SAGE KE. In the Discussions area, visitors can offer their views on a thought-provoking subject selected by the SAGE KE editorial team. If you know of a controversial topic or paper that you think would trigger a lively discussion, let us know. On the Bulletin Board, post informational items or chat with other researchers about how to negotiate a new faculty position, which commercial apoptosis kit works best, or where to eat at that scientific meeting in Prague or Dayton. Community also contains a Directory of contact information and research interests of other scientists in the field of aging. You can track down a specific person or pinpoint everyone in the directory who's at a certain career stage, working at a particular type of institution, or interested in one of the topics listed. Don't forget to sign up--that way, your colleagues and potential colleagues can find you.


To find funding sources, figure out where to order that obscure cell line, or unearth a literary quote for your next seminar, look in Resources, the next main section of SAGE KE. Experimental Resources contains descriptions of rodent strains useful for aging research as well as contact information for suppliers of reagents and services. Under Teaching Resources, users share illustrations, outlines, and course materials that can help others teach concepts in the science of aging field. Meetings and Events contains a calendar of important scientific gatherings; if you know of an upcoming conference or course that isn't listed, please tell us. Look for sources of research support under Funding. From Web Resources, click to sites about aging-related research, education, companies, newsgroups, and many other areas of interest. Post a r�sum� in Science Careers or view the latest aging-related job ads from Science magazine in the Jobs and R�sum�s section.

Also in Resources, you'll find brief reviews of books on aging-related topics by your colleagues, and Aging in the Arts, a section that excerpts art and literature on themes of aging, from the classical to the contemporary.


The final main section, Highlights, features unique components of SAGE KE. Trainee Resources provides information and discussions for scientists at all stages of their careers who are beginning work in aging-related research. The Genes/Interventions Database provides a compendium of genes related to aging and includes references, functional information, homologs, links to sequence databases, and much more. With this tool, you can find all the genes implicated in longevity that are involved in the insulin/IGF-1 pathway or all the fly aging genes--or you can track down the key papers on caloric restriction. Use your imagination and your needs to inspire creative use of this tool. Tidbits offers up factlets and quips on the lighter side of getting old. (Send suggestions, and if we ever make T-shirts with our lovely logo--Fig. 1--we'll mail you one.)

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Fig. 1. Bloom and grow forever. In Chinese Buddhism, the lotus or sea rose symbolizes both immortality and purity. The fruit, flower, and stalk of the plant represent the past, present, and future. In SAGE KE's logo, the flower is in full bloom. The bursting petals and leaves encircle a face to illustrate human life at its fullest potential--pushing mortality to its limits. The design also embodies the notion of a pure existence, of living in the best way possible.
--description by Jennifer Toy

Also featured in Highlights is the Knowledge Map, a novel tool for browsing or searching SAGE KE content. The Knowledge Map is a kind of taxonomy, where aging research is organized by model organism, experimental approach, level of analysis, biological process, and disease. We anticipate that the "browse" aspect of this tool will prove particularly useful to aficionados who want to take a look at what's going on in a particular area. In addition, experts as well as novices should find the "search" aspect invaluable; users may select one or more terms from the various categories and execute a search of SAGE KE content. A specially designed string of search terms operates behind each taxonomy entry. For example, if a user selects "oxidative damage" under Biological Processes, the Knowledge Map "knows" that search terms should also include the phrases "oxidative stress," "superoxide dismutase," and "reactive oxygen species." SAGE KE users have only to select a single term or collection of terms within the Knowledge Map to comprehensively browse or search with precision.


The Web offers the opportunity to streamline the process by which you collect and absorb information. Select My SAGE KE (in the left-hand gray tool bar) to customize the site so it best suits your needs. You can update your directory entry by clicking on "Directory Information," organize SAGE KE content in your own folders, or save searches for your next visit to SAGE KE. You can also set up e-mail alerts to notify you when new SAGE KE content matches your search parameters--or order the weekly SAGE KE table of contents.

Aging Depot

For researchers in the field of aging, SAGE KE can serve as the kind of "mental clearinghouse" H. G. Wells sought. Stop at the site on a regular basis, because each week we'll offer something new. And you can help make SAGE KE a timely and useful resource. If you have an upcoming paper or hear of exciting new results at a meeting, let us know. We'll investigate and consider it for inclusion in SAGE KE (always honoring embargo policies, of course).

We aim to serve the community, so let us know how we can advance your research and ease your ability to gather information. This is your site. Make SAGE KE work for you.

October 3, 2001

R. John Davenport is a News Writer and Editor, Evelyn Strauss is Senior News Editor, and Kelly LaMarco is Editorial Director for SAGE KE. They are all aging rapidly.

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150