The feminine side of science From Madame Curie to Rosalind Franklin, women researchers and scientists in Europe have contributed significantly to the world's knowledge. An ambitious EU initiative has made sure this trend continues. Digital Economy © Thinkstock A key goal of European academia and research is to encourage women to become renowned scientists. The EU-funded project 'Study on databases of women scientists' (Datawomsci) built a superior database and network that helps achieve this aim. Project researchers mapped the presence of existing databases in EU Member States and studied how to link them all together. In parallel, the project developed recommendations on establishing databases and upgrading current ones, outlining as well some best practices that were gleaned from the project's research. In the long run, the databases can support universities and institutions in encouraging equal opportunities between men and women, assisting women's organisations and welfare organisations in their tasks as well. With this in mind, the project team produced a manual for database identification and prepared a questionnaire to help analyse each database. A study of technological factors and issues related to the database context was also conducted to assess the viability of a connected network. Once these tasks were completed, Datawomsci presented its findings in a report that was published on the websites of the project participants. The report has effectively highlighted existing women's networks and was accompanied by recommendations on developing new databases. The results have also been distributed to other key stakeholders in support of international collaboration, work mobility and EU harmonisation regarding the topic.