Telling a different story: the history of science as a web of relationships in the Embryo Project
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The Embryo Project is a history of science project that uses a data repository architecture named Fedora to create an online collaborative encyclopedia. Only one of a number of projects using this new open source architecture, the Embryo Project seeks to exploit Fedora support of semantic relationships to facilitate collaboration among researchers, to encourage deeper and more extensive reading by the non-expert public, and to reveal unexplored connections in the history of embryology between people and social contexts. Does it work? Does developing an online, object-oriented, semantic- relationship-rich data repository for the history of embryology give us something that more traditional history projects do not? Or is it just a website? This paper analyzes the utility of Fedora from the perspective of an undergraduate researcher, and demonstrates that there is more to the investigational strategy of interconnected relationships than content generation for a web encyclopedia.