Reviewed by: Michael Blake, Digital Resources Librarian and Assistant Librarian, John G. Wolbach Library and Information Resource Center, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Ancient Science of Life is the “oldest peer-reviewed scientific journal in Ayurveda, which publishes full-length original papers and reviews on Ayurveda, allied disciplines and all forms of traditional medicines.” [from the website] Published as a quarterly journal in print and online, the open access site contains some full text content back to volume one, issue one, 1981.
Each issue contains eight to fifteen articles, a book review or two, and an editorial. Articles cover a gamut of interdisciplinary subjects within Ayurvedic practice, ranging from “Anthelmintic activity of leaves of Justicia beddomei” to “Visualization and quantitative analysis of pulse diagnosis in ayurveda.” Published in India with English text, the site contains a few misspellings and some unusual phraseology.
The website is designed like many other research journal sites, but also contains statistical analytics not frequently found in society-affiliated titles. The tab “Most popular articles,” when clicked, returned a list of titles with the number of times each article had been ‘viewed,’ ‘PDF,’ and ‘Cited.’ The most popular article I found was “Physico-Phytochemical investigation and anti-inflammatory screening of capsicum annum L. and Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.) R. Br.” Interestingly, when I clicked the tab for “Most Cited Articles,” I got the message, “There are no articles in the current category.”
Searching within the journal is fast and works much like a Google Search box. Advance Search allows for field delineation, refinement of results and multiple view options. A simple keyword search in Medline and in Google is also available. It’s remarkably easy to print articles, and to e-mail them, and a How to Cite This Article feature is attached to each citation. Search results can be exported to EndNote, Reference Manager, or ProCite citation management software. The results can also be exported in Medlars, RefWorks, or BibTex format.
Although this is a relatively small database, an e-alert service is available for those willing to register a username and password with Medknow. E-alerts will provide a Table of Contents of each new issue as it is published online.
This title is certainly worth a look if your library serves students and practitioners of Ayurveda.