Survey of open chemistry in Chemistry World

Richard Noorden has written a balanced and informative view of Open Chemistry ( Surfing Web2O, Chemistry World, December 2007. )  He has read much of the chemistry blogosphere and talked with many of us on the phone. The article highlights the opportunities and the frustrations.  Here is a brief excerpt:

The rapid evolution of the world wide web is creating fresh opportunities – and challenges – for chemistry….

  • The internet is becoming flooded with free chemical information: from blogs to videos and databases
  • Linking this data together and interacting via the ‘social web’ could revolutionise the practice and teaching of chemistry
  • So-called ‘Open Chemistry’ faces many challenges: not least maintaining data quality and co-existing with trusted subscription databases…

PMR: I think we are beginning to see some movemen. The dam is built of sand and trickles are appearing. Some of us and encouraging this and at some stage it must burst.


We are going to need a new technology. Structured databases and portals will start to disappear and semi-structured collections of data (repositories) and people (collaboratories) will grow. There is a lot of interest from outside chemistry. Although chemistry per se is not interested in communal resources there is a big demand in bioscience and we shall get a strong “piggy-back” on the work happening there in text-mining, ontologies and semantic web. We’ll also see the push from repositories in academia and since chemistry is technically one of the easiest places to start, we expect to “leverage” this  [an unhappy verb].


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2 Responses to Survey of open chemistry in Chemistry World

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