Access to and re-use of Open Data in chemistry – impressions

Continuing the preparation of material for WWW 2007 …
It is almost universally held (see Open Data – Wikipedia) that facts cannot be copyrighted. It is common for scientific papers to be accompanied by “supporting information” or “supplemental data”. In most people’s vision, including many publishers, these are “facts” – melting point – molecular weight – amounts of compound obtained, etc. Not “creative works” – any scientist who is “creative” with their facts deserves no sympathy.
But some publishers see it differently. Here’s the American Chemical Society:

Electronic Supporting Information files are available without a subscription to ACS Web Editions. All files are copyrighted by the American Chemical Society. Files may be downloaded for personal use; users are not permitted to reproduce, republish, redistribute, or resell any Supporting Information, either in whole or in part, in either machine-readable form or any other form. For permission to reproduce this material, contact the ACS Copyright Office by e-mail at or by fax at 202-776-8112.

at least it’s viewable (but not usable) for free.
By contrast here’s Wiley:
Angewandte Chemie (no public supporting information)
… Blackwell
Chemical Biology and Web design
no public supporting information, but I could purchase the complete article and post it…

Quick Price Estimate

For a quick price estimate to reuse the content enter the information below and click Quick Price. To order, click Place Order.

I would like to…

send it in an e-mail republish it in an academic coursepack republish it in a book republish it on a CD-ROM/DVD republish it in a brochure or pamphlet republish it in a journal or magazine republish it in a newsletter republish it in a newspaper post it on a Web site post it on an intranet site purchase the article

No content delivery. This service provides permission for reuse only.

User type

Individual Educational institution STM signatory Pharmaceutical corporation Health care organization Other organization/institution Author of the article

Portion of the article

Entire article Text extract Any 1 figure Any 2 figures Any 3 figures Any 4+ figures

Quick Price


Presumably this sale can be made many times – once for each purchaser.

Elsevier..Tetrahedrom – no public supporting info
… so …
There seems to be a complete lack of Open Data among these publishers. My recollection may be faulty but I thought that the data used to be more exposed. But the current reality is that major publshers expose virtually nothing of the data…
…One representative of Wiley told me that’s because they want to sell it back to us.

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