Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chemistry publication - making the revolution

Steven Bachrach has just published a very interesting commentary "Chemistry publication - making the revolution" on March 17, 2009 in the new Journal of Cheminformatics (I am on the editorial board).

The article does a great job of highlighting the current state of affairs in chemistry which is creating a chasm between researchers and the data they could be using. There are suggestions of steps that can be taken by researchers, reviewers and editors. Although Open Notebook Science is mentioned, there are several less intensive steps that can be taken to still benefit the community. Steven mentions the submission of JCAMP-DX files instead of PDFs when submitting spectra as supplementary materials for publications. I agree that this is a very low barrier step that chemists can take to gain immediate benefit - whether they share their spectra or not. At that point it also becomes trivial to contribute spectra to databases like ChemSpider that supports the open JCAMP-DX format - hopefully as Open Data (so that it can be used in applications such as our SpectralGame)

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