EVISA's Internet Platform went online in September 2003. Since then more than 18 Mio. Users have visited the platform, actually more than 3500 per day. In average, every user is looking for more than 10 pages of information. After 20 years of servicing the community, it seems appropriate to look back on EVISA's activities.
The European Virtual Institute for Speciation Analysis (EVISA) was started as an EU funded project in 2003. A group of active scientists working in the field of speciation analysis had demonstrated in a former EU-funded project called "Speciation 21", that speciation analysis had reached the maturity to solve real analytical problems with acceptable accuracy and reproducibility. It was then the time to substantially promote the dissemination of knowledge through the member states. In order to provide the necessary know-how, it was decided that a group of stakeholders should form a "Virtual Institute" with the aim to facilitate the transfer of the knowledge collected within the “Speciation Scientific Community” to potential users from industry and representatives of legislative agencies, in the field of environment, food and occupational health and hygiene.
As a means to link scientists in analytical chemistry working in method development for the chemical speciation of trace elements and potential users, the Virtual Institute provides a web portal, that is meant to be the primary information source for all those, seeking information about chemical species and their determination. The impressive number of visitors of the web portal during the years are demonstrating that this goal was reached.
Figure: total number of visitors on EVISA's web portal
EVISA’s web portal has been established to serve the community with all types of information about speciation analysis and related topics:
- About EVISA and its activities (Partners, Services)
- About Speciation Analysis (Books, CRMs, Legislation)
- News (Methods, Standards, Products, Politics, Legislation)
- Agenda of events (Conferences, symposia, workshops, training courses, deadlines)
- Vacancies (Ph.D. students, PDF’s, Permanent staff)
- Glossary of terms used in the field of speciation analysis
- Links (provide fast access to information about a single element or topic)
The information provided by the web portal is updated on a daily basis. A special chapter is informing about major updates. Further, a set of highly interlinked databases provides easy access to different types of information related to elemental speciation, such as:
- Scientists (being active in speciation related sciences)
- Companies (Instrument manufacturers, material producers, publishers and organizations)
- Instruments (Instruments used for trace element and speciation analysis)
- Components (Accessories and spare parts)
- Materials (Standards, Reference Materials, Sorbents etc.)
- External information (Links to other web sites providing useful information)
All databases provide context-related search engines. Also the records are highly interlinked to other parts of the web portal, such as news, glossary and special link pages. Altogether, these tools provide fast access to relevant information from all pages of the EVISA web platform.
Apart from dissemination of knowledge via the web portal and its Speciation Newsletter, EVISA acted also as an event organizer, as a consultant, service provider and research promoter.
The role of speciation analysis as a domain of chemical analysis has changed quiet substantially during the last 20 years. While in the beginning, speciation analysis was mainly looking for organometallic species in the environment (tetraethyllead, tributyltin, methylmercury), a substantial activity today is related to the role of metallic species in living organisms (metallomics).
While some applications have entered into the area of routine laboratories (e.g. determination of hexavalent chromium in drinking water, inorganic arsenic in food) the main activities are still related to research. We do believe, that the original mission statement for EVISA is still valid and responding to societal needs. We therefore will continue our work, as long as the impressive number of users vising the EVISA web portal is indicating the interest in our activities.
last time modified: September 15, 2022