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A new face for Econophysics Forum

Yi-Cheng Zhang and Joseph Wakeling

posted on 30 April 2008

Econophysics Forum is now 10 years old — and though the old interface has served its time honourably, it is well due an update. From the beginning our aim was to create a platform to foster and facilitate cooperation and communication among researchers in our field. The huge advances in web development and technology since then mean that it is now possible to create functionality that perhaps could not even be dreamed of in 1998. At the time any enhancement of collaboration still took place in the context of a relatively conventional framework of credit, review and publication. The present situation is strikingly different.

We have begun our overhaul with a simple enhancement — an update of the graphical interface and a cleaning-out and streamlining of website code, without affecting its functionality. We have deleted a number of defunct or terminally out-of-date pages, but will reinstate any that are missed by users. This is however only the first step on a longer journey to redevelop Econophysics Forum as a genuinely collaborative platform. Among the facilities we are interested in developing are:


  • Login and user facilities including profile pages, lists of publications and networks of friends or collaborators

  • Interactive paper submission and opportunities to rate and comment on papers

  • Algorithms to make personal recommendations of papers or researchers

  • Collaborative development facilities (public and private wikis and message boards, research group coordination pages...)

  • ... and whatever else the community would like to see!

We will start, of course, with our home community of econophysics, but with a clear goal of extending these facilities to the wider complexity community — and beyond!

Comments and feedback are not only welcome but an absolute necessity. Now more than ever we need your opinions on what features and services would help improve your research development process. Help us turn Econophysics Forum into a superb research facility for the 21st century!

On the new site design

The current update provides a new 'face' to the old system, improving the site code and making use of more up-to-date web design techniques while maintaining the same database structure. For comparison, the old site can still be viewed here, and we will maintain a link in the side menu until the end of the year. We are keen to receive your comments on the new design -- how can it be improved? Is it easy or difficult to navigate? etc.

We have deleted the 'financial data' page of the old site (last updated in 2001) and the 'archive' page (superfluous?), but can reinstate either feature if the community wishes. We have also removed the old 'paper of the month', to be replaced by a new 'featured research' section. This is partly for technical reasons — the database structure was too strongly linked to the old site design — but also in the interests of improving the content: the old section was too rarely updated and contained a far too narrow selection of work.

In the spirit of the new increasingly-open and collaborative future we are trying to build, we would like to invite users of Econophysics Forum to submit their nominations for Featured Research. Browse our archive of papers and select your choice for the best work out there! We place only two conditions: (i) no more than four suggestions per archive year and (ii) no nomination of your own papers. We will give especial consideration to nominations that come with detailed arguments or commentary.

Nominations, along with any comments or feedback on the new design, should be sent to econophysics@unifr.ch. We look forward to hearing from you!