Copyright©2008 Antony Williams
As posted previously I gave a talk on Monday at the Library of Congress. This meeting was about “Making the Web Work for Science and the Impact of e-Science and the Cyberinfrastructure.” It was one of the few occasions where I looked out at the audience, about 150 people, and didn’t know anyone (well, except for the person who invited me and one of my fellow bloggers, Michael Nielsen). I gave a talk of a very different flavor. It wasn’t about ChemSpider…it was about chemistry and access to information. I provided an overview of how access to information has changed over the past 20 years for me. I talked about the challenges for publishers serving the chemistry community and how their business models are being challenged and how I empathize with the struggle to figure out how to deal with it. I talked about quality and how care must be taken when using information online. We are ALL challenged with errors – whether you consider PubChem, ChemSpider, Wikipedia or any of the other online databases they all have errors – how do you find them? Some of them are obvious and I pointed to obvious examples in the talk. I hoped to educate the attendees in regards to the value of InChI which, while not a perfect fit yet, is a great start to structure-based communication of chemistry. I think I achieved my goals there.
I publicly blessed the efforts of publishers such as the RSC and Nature Publishing group for the efforts they are making to support InChI and improve the quality of document presentation online. I blessed CAS as a treasure trove of information and the gold standard of curated chemistry. We need them all to be successful for the sake of our science. The challenge is how to fit into the ongoing proliferation of free access to information without modifying the business models.
I also announced the ChemSpider Journal to be released this month.
The movie has been posted to SciVee and the talk is on Slideshare here (it’s already been read 67 times in 48 hours). The movie is about an hour long compared to the 25 minute presentation I gave. Not sure how that happened..maybe more relaxed sitting on the couch than standing in front of the crowd. I struggled to upload the movie to SciVee and received for SURE the best technical support ever for a free service. For those of you not visiting SciVee I encourage you to patronize it.
IF THE MOVIE BELOW DOES NOT SHOW IN THIS BLOG WINDOW PLEASE VISIT THE SCIVEE SITE HERE TO SEE ITStumble it!