Monday, November 23, 2009

Communicating Chemistry

In October 2008, I participated in an NSF workshop on eChemistry: New Models for Scholarly Communication in Chemistry. Theresa Velden and Carl Lagoze have now published their reports. Here are the details from their press release:
Public Release of White Paper: The Value of New Scientific Communication Models for Chemistry

Ithaca, NY, November 23, 2009 – The results of a National Science Foundation sponsored workshop in October 2008 are now available in a white paper 'The value of new scientific communication models for Chemistry', publicly accessible at An article ʻCommunicating Chemistryʼ,summarizing this white paper, is published in the December issue of Nature Chemistry at

This white paper is intended as a starting point for discussion on the possible future of scientific communication in chemistry, the value of new models of scientific communication enabled by web-based technologies, and the necessary future steps to achieve the benefits of those new models. It opens with an overview of publishing reform and e-science initiatives in other disciplines, such as open access, data publishing, and preprint servers. Following this, it reviews the scientific communication system in chemistry, including the established system of journals and databases, and recent web-based innovations and experiments. Next, it analyzes the distinguishing aspects of chemistry that may influence its communication practices and have an impact on the manner in which science communication in chemistry will further evolve.

The white paper concludes with a call for a more comprehensive symposium on this subject. In recognition that the analysis presented in the white paper is yet incomplete, and provides only a starting point for discussion, the proposed international symposium would engage a broad range of participants who would expand on the subjects introduced in the white paper and issue calls for actions and research initiatives. Work on finding funding for this symposium is now in progress.

Members of the chemistry community and other interested parties are encouraged to join in a critical and constructive assessment of the content of the white paper and the issues it addresses. An online forum for this community discussion has been set up at Other venues for discussion at conferences and workshops are being planned.


At 2:15 AM, Anonymous Laura Zaillian said...

An great initiative. My chemistry teacher told us about this white paper the other day! I am a high school junior @ Jordan Valley High School in Oregon. I am planning to major in chemistry. I especially enjoyed the section "Research Practices". By the way, i came across these excellent chemistry flashcards. Its also a great initiative by the FunnelBrain team. Amazing!!!


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