Friday, March 13, 2009

CDD's Pay for Privacy Model

Barry Bunin and co-authors Moses Hohman, Kellan Gregory, Kelly Chibale, Peter J. Smith and Sean Ekins just published an article in the March 2009 issue of Drug Discovery Today: Novel web-based tools combining chemistry informatics, biology and social networks for drug discovery.

This is a must-read for the Open Science community involved with drug discovery. Barry reviews several relevant online resources and details the workings of the Collaborative Drug Discovery system.

The point that I thought was most interesting is that Barry reports that CDD now has a policy of allowing unlimited uploading of data by non-subscribers. Researchers pay for privacy, which is a model that I think works well for a number of Web2.0 applications. For example, Wikispaces works that way. Since most users will likely want to limit their data sharing between selected collaborators, this is a good way to get the word out by groups who don't mind sharing publicly.

There are a few case studies in the article, including our UsefulChem project and our collaboration with Rajarshi Guha at Indiana University and Philip Rosenthal at UCSF to find new anti-malarial compounds. Barry illustrates the point with the assay results for one of our Ugi products:



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