openDemocracy, Ltd., of London, creator of openDemocracy.net, an online magazine of politics, current affairs, and culture that is used by scholars and news networks, and Alexander Street Press, a Virginia-based publisher of semantically indexed full-text humanities databases, have unveiled a new project and invited users to preview the database with free and open access until June 4, 2004. From now through June 4, access to the prototype version of Global Views and Voices is freely available (no password required). Thereafter, it will be sold by annual subscription with prices scaled to library type and budget.
Launching with articles, photo essays, and open debates, Global Views and Voices is intended to deliver a diverse mix of perspectives from well-known writers and thinkers across the world, together with voices that typically are not heard. Along with the commissioned materials are article level links to related materials from Web publications. Contributors include authors Paulo Coehlo, Ian McEwan, and Ariel Dorfman; academics David Held, Tariq Modood, and James Galbraith; activists and campaigners Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop), and George Monbiot (author of Age of Consent); former politicians Mary Robinson (former premier of Ireland), Carl Bildt (former Swedish prime minister), and Mazin Ezzat (a general under Saddam in Iraq); and scientists Vandana Shiva and Pervez Hoodbhoy.