Monthly Archives: September 2006

Datuments and the ACS Style Guide

I was delighted to receive a special book yesterday: “The ACS Style Guide” Effective Communication of Scientific Information  Anne Coghill and Lorrin Garson. OUP ISBN-13:978-0-8412-3999-9 It’s an attractive produced hardback volume and I’m torn as to whether I should keep … Continue reading

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Wikipedia: Getting started

Sometime last year I made my first edit to Wikipedia. I was extremely nervous despite many years on the web and having built and run virtualo communities. What if I said something stupid? Or broke one of the rules? Since … Continue reading

Posted in "virtual communities", open issues | 3 Comments

Let's write a Wikipedia article

I have always been entralled by the idea of a worldwide knowledgebase and a decade ago Lesley West, Alan Mills and I developed a technology to create a worldwide terminology. The Virtual Hyperglossary (TM) [probably the earliest use of this … Continue reading

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As I mentioned earlier I am about to start a Wikipedia entry on “Open Data”. Lorcan Dempsey noted that this was quite a common way of approaching a communal subject. So I shall take readers through the process of creating … Continue reading

Posted in "virtual communities", open issues | 2 Comments

Hamburger House of Horrors (1)

This is an occasional series indebted to Hammer House of Horrors. You don’t need to be a chemist to understand the message. It’s sparked off by a comment from Totally Synthetic in this blog: A good deal of the reasoning … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, data, open issues | 7 Comments


Two months ago I was invited by Timo Hannay of Nature to a Nature/O’Reilly FooCamp at GooglePlex. Unfortunately I was already booked and Peter Corbett was able to step in. But there was a generic invitation from Leslie Hawthorn (who … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, general | 1 Comment

Chemistry, Chess and Computers

Sometime in the 1970’s the Amer. Chem. Soc. published a review of Computers in Chemistry (cannot remember date or title and I’ve lost my copy) and it has remained an inspiration ever since. In it was summarised the work of … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, open issues, programming for scientists | 8 Comments

The cost of decaying scientific data

My colleague John Davies, who provides a crystallographic service for the deparment has estimated that the data for 80% of crystal structures (in any chemistry department) never leave the laboratory. They are locally archived, perhaps on CDROM, perhaps on a … Continue reading

Posted in data, open issues | 3 Comments


A recent anonymous comment on this blog read In that case, perhaps you should have parted with the observation “ACS is a problem”. :-), but partly serious. I thnk the tone of this is out of keeping with this blog … Continue reading

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OSCAR reviews a journal

In the last post I described OSCAR, which can review and extract chemical data from published articles. Here is how I used it to review the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry The BJOC unlike most other chemistry journals encourages reader’s … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, open issues | 1 Comment