A Partnership of
Life Science Organizations

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About LifeSciTRC

The Life Science Teaching Resource Community is an online community for life science educators at all levels. The community and educational resources found on this site are free and open to educators worldwide, although free registration may be required to participate in some community activities, such as posting comments. Registration information is never bought or sold.

As of January 2014, the LifeSciTRC contained more than 6,700 peer-reviewed teaching resources and 600 registered users. All resources in the LifeSciTRC are under a Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs.

Unique Features

My LifeSciTRC Tools: LifeSciTRC is open to all users. Registration is not required to search or download resources. However, additional tools are available for those who register as LifeSciTRC users. These include recommended items based on course(s) and level(s) taught, saving search parameters and search results, customizing folders to save results, sharing resources with colleagues, submitting materials to LifeSciTRC, and serving as a LifeSciTRC reviewer.

My Communities: Communities are spaces for educators to acquire and share classroom resources and teaching ideas. Communities are open to all registered LifeSciTRC users and are divided by educational level.

Collections: Collections allow registered LifeSciTRC users and Partners to share an annotated group of LifeSciTRC resources that can be used in the classroom. There are four types of Collections that can be found in LifeSciTRC: General Collections, Teacher-Recommended Collections, Six Start Science Teacher Recommended Collections, and Vision and Change Collections.

Colleague-to-Colleague Resource Sharing: LifeSciTRC not only catalogues materials produced/published by partner organization but encourages individual educators to share the teaching materials they have developed through LifeSciTRC. Each item is reviewed, at minimum, for scientific accuracy and appropriate use of humans/animals in teaching (if applicable). Authors receive all reviewer comments and, after making any required modification, their materials are posted in LifeSciTRC. Authors retain copyright and have the option of publishing an abstract describing their LifeSciTRC contribution in the APS journal, Advances in Physiology Education. Authors can withdraw or update their LifeSciTRC submissions at any time. Many educators have found LifeSciTRC submission an excellent way to have their teaching materials peer reviewed by content experts. In addition, each resource has a rating and comments section where users can provided added feedback about the item.

Searchable through BEN and NSDL: LifeSciTRC shares metadata with the BioSciEd Net (BEN) Portal (www.biosciednet.org). BEN is the National Science Digital Library Pathways Portal to the Life Sciences. LifeSciTRC materials can also be searched through BEN and through the National Science Digital Library (www.nsdl.org).

Collaboration among Scientific Societies: LifeSciTRC serves as a national model of a professional society digital library that shares its cyberstructure among numerous societies. As of 2012, teaching resources from seven scientific societies can be searched through LifeSciTRC: American Physiological Society, American Association of Anatomists, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, Massachusetts Society for Medical Research, National Association for Health and Science Education Partnerships, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, and Society for Developmental Biology. For more information on these LifeSciTRC Partners, click here. Online tools allow partners to manage their submissions and reviews. If you are interested in your organization becoming a LifeSciTRC Partner, contact the LifeSciTRC Coordinator at info@LifeSciTRC.org.

History

LifeSciTRC was originally initiated in 1997 as a project of the APS Education Committee. The Committee envisioned a set of web pages where APS members could share teaching resources that they had developed. A web page with a handful of teaching resources was posted in 1998 along with a call for submissions by APS members. As the overall concept of digital libraries developed, the Committee proposed that the scope of the project be expanded to develop a full, database-driven, digital library with standardized metadata. With support from the APS and the NSF and in partnership with the BioSciEd Net collaborative, this goal has been not only realized, but far surpassed.

Major contributors to the development of LifeSciTRC have included APS Education Committee Chairs Barbara Goodman, Robert Carroll, and Thomas Pressley. APS Education Committee member, John Dietz, spearheaded the initial LifeSciTRC development and contributed the initial resources for its launch in 1997. Without their combined vision and hard work, the LifeSciTRC would never have become a reality.

For more information, please contact the LifeSciTRC Coordinator at info@LifeSciTRC.org.