Online media are many and varied. They can be defined as those media that are networked (for example, via the Internet, an intranet, or SMS, a short message service that supports text messaging). In simple technical terms, networking requires interconnectedness and interoperability between computing devices, and it also involves digital information that can be efficiently stored, searched for, and then retrieved and shared (either simultaneously or asynchronously). Where required, this takes place from multiple locations and different time zones.

Developments with online media have had profound implications for the accessibility of all areas of knowledge, not least the sciences. For example, online digital information (such as the home page of a scientific institution) can now be retrieved from a number of geographically distributed locations via ...

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