I have been in discussion with Christoph Steinbeck and colleagues from the European Bioinformatics Institute. Specifically, we are interested in linking up to AND embedding the text from their ChEBI Entities of the Month. So, as is my preferred manner of not assuming everything is Open Data but rather asking for permission, I approached Christoph. I asked for permission to copy the text for the Entities of the Month onto the appropriate record view in ChemSpider. When I asked the question we were not yet ready to accept rich text format with embedded hyperlinks, a strength of many of the articles on ChEBI‘s Entity of the Month.

I am happy to announce that as part of our ongoing effort to Wikify ChemSpider and allow people to add descriptions to the individual record views we have added a rich text editor and are presently testing it. At present we have rolled out the FULL implementation of the editor. This means it has lots of capabilities/buttons and the entire editor is being tested by curators. But, when rolled out to users, there will be a Simple mode and an Advanced mode for the editor.

Click on the thumbnail below to see the Text Editor in action. Don’t forget, It is the “Full-powered” implementation for now. In this case all I did was copy and paste the text from the ChEBI website and insert the ChEBI article link back to the original article on the ChEBI site.

In the Text editor we are in the process of inserting new capabilities that will facilitate mark up of articles. Since we will be hosting a number of Open Access articles shortly we will be experimenting on those articles with our new markup capabilities.

When this is all rolled out we will have the majority of capabilities necessary for people to track their research online if they wish. Online submission of structures, text deposition with full editing capabilities, submission and tracking of analytical data and images and linking to external sites and data. It’s probably an 80% solution for right now since we are missing some capabilities and workflow issues. For example, poor support for polymers and organometallics and specitfically the structure-centric nature of the solution and the insistence to submit a structure to associate data and text with. We will allow in the future “sample-submission” where the structure is not known but the data, images and experimental details of synthesis and analysis are available. Clearly the standard workflow for synthetic chemists is to synthesize first and then confirm by analysis what the products are. This is a typical workflow and will need to be supported. It’s coming…

Some of you might be asking:

1) will we support versioning of the articles as people modify/edit the article (as is done with Wikipedia)? Yes, we will. Soon.

2) will curators have the ability to lock articles? Yes, in the future we will introduce this if it’s deemed appropriate.

3) will it be possible to allow only one individual (or group) to edit an article? Yes, one of the future directions is to allow an individual or group to perform Open Notebook Science in front of the public but not allow the public to edit the results. They would of course be allowed to comment on the research. Future development…

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