Friday, February 12, 2010

ONS Solubility Book: Edition 3 with Notebook Archive

Edition 3 (2010-02-11) of the ONS Solubility Challenge book is now available.

We've been trying for some time to find a way to conveniently take a snapshot of our Open Notebooks and all associated raw data files. This could serve as a way to back up all of our work as well as provide a means of finding out the state of knowledge for a project at a given moment in time. There is also a tremendous benefit to confidently using the best of free hosted Web2.0 services out there (e.g. GoogleDocs and Wikispaces) without being concerned with changes in policies or access down the road.

Our recent use of the ONS Challenge Solubility book to periodically create releases of summarized data has opened up a convenient opportunity. And yesterday the last piece of the puzzle fell into place. Through a combination of fairly quick manual and automated tasks, Andrew Lang and I are able to push out a full snapshot of all relevant files and lab notebook pages and associate it with an edition of the book.

As described below, the archive is accessible interactively on a server, as a zip download or as a CD from LuLu. Perhaps we can also find a home on library servers in the future.

More details are provided in the preface for Edition 3 (2010-02-11):
This is the first edition to include a full archive of the ONS Challenge notebook. A space export from Wikispaces provides an initial version of all the HTML pages in the notebook with local hyperlinks to copies of all images and files uploaded onto the wiki. All of the Google Spreadsheets are automatically downloaded as Excel spreadsheets and placed in the same "files" folder as the images. NMR spectra, stored as JCAMP-DX files, are placed in the "spectra" folder. All of the HTML pages are reformatted to provide local references to both Excel spreadsheets and the JCAMP-DX files.

The notebook archive is meant to represent a snapshot of the state of all source documents at the time of the publication of an edition of this book. When used from a server with web services running, clicking on links to the spectra will allow interaction via a browser interface, including zooming in or out and integration of the NMR spectrum. When accessed in stand-alone mode after downloading or directly from a CD, everything will work the same, except that JCAMP-DX files must be open from JSpecView running on the desktop. Excel files will retain any calculations in the cells of the original Google Spreadsheets but dynamic values generated from calling web services - such the script that automatically integrates NMR spectra - will be frozen as simple values. However the link to the web service used will be stored in the cell as a comment. Links to external websites are not crawled and embedded Google Spreadsheets or videos are not copied. These will work but will reflect live data on the web.

The February 11, 2010 version of the notebook archive is available on a hosted site, on a CD or by download.

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