Recently I posted about our intention to post the full Molbank articles on ChemSpider. PMR commented on my potential over-extension of their Open Access nature:

“PMR: I also support publishers who make their material available. I don’t want to appear churlish, but Molbank use what is effectively a NC (non-commercial) license and this is what concerned me (and others) when I posted about 1 year ago. I don’t think it has changed. So sorry, Antony, it’s not “as Open Access as they can be” especially if one has to ask permission to mount the material.”

He may be right. What I do know is that I prefer to get into relationship with the groups/people I work with in the community. Simply grabbing their content/data without some connection doesn’t feel comfortable. AND, I realize in these days of search engines and scraping that’s quite acceptable.

When I approached MDPI, the publishers of Molbank, they were gracious in their willingness to have ChemSpider support, integrate and utilize their content. This is contrary to some of my experiences with some other advocates of Open Data and Open Access where trying to get their “Open Data” is like pulling teeth. MDPI appear to be the opposite, in my experience.

I commented  on Peter’s blog tonight:

“Regarding your comment “especially if one has to ask permission to mount the material.” I think that’s a comment on the fact that I asked permission? I asked permission for the reason that I am focused on building a community for chemists and this includes me staying in relationship with publishers. I think you know this about me from my previous comments about CrystalEye


I judge its a better way to Build the Structure Centric Community for Chemists on ChemSpider. So, while I didn’t have to ask for permission, I did. the result was an excellent exchange, newfound relationships and an opportunity to build an enhanced relationship WITH support and permission.

Many bloggers it appears assume that “concerned parties” read their blogs. For example, when you posted this: did you make the editors at Molbank aware of the error or did you just scrape their content and blog? I have adopted a new approach of late – when I see issues with peoples data, websites etc I inform them directly to help them clean up errors. I’ve done this for Drugbank, PubChem, a number of blogsites, and so on.

In case you didn’t inform them I will send them your blog link tonight…also to the original author since I’m sure they will appreciate it too. This, I believe, is being a member of the community and   since the authors and the publishers are taking actions to contribute to the Open Access community it’s part of my personal charge to help.”

I have sent an email to the original author and to the MDPI editors with the hope they might clean the article or post an Erratum. This is what I feel is appropriate as an active member of the community. If you see errors on ChemSpider please do let us know directly. We have a “Add: Feedback” on every record page and do pay attention to your input.

Stumble it!

2 Responses to “Acting as a Community Member to Help Open Access Authors and Publishers”

  1. Dietrich Rordorf says:

    We are aware that our current MDPI copyright statement is not in line with the BBB definitions on open access. We are currently smoothly moving to a CC By Attribution License v3.0. Marine Drugs ( has already been published under that license since January 2008. IJMS ( and other MDPI journals will start publishing under this license in the May respectively June 2008 issues. All previous content published by MDPI will be released under the CC By license within a couple of months on our new publication platform (now under testing). So this discussion about MDPI and open access will soon be part of history.

  2. Dietrich Rordorf says:

    Update: the corrupted MOL files have been replaced end of 2008 at Molbank will migrate to the platform and join the other MDPI journals that have done this recently.

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