I’ve had a number of questions about the presentation I gave at ACS Philly last week about document markup. The phrase I keep hearing is “very disruptive” followed by the question “will authors do more work and what’s in it for them?”.

The presentation here outlines the general concept that I talked about…

The basic concept I presented is as follows, with a focus on Chemistry Articles.

A lot of effort is being expended in “text-mining” publications, post-publication, to index these articles and make them searchable not only by text but by the specific language of chemistry, chemical structures. We are specifically asking the question “why extract chemical structures from articles using chemical name conversion approaches and chemical image conversion tools when the structures in the article were ORIGINALLY machine readable?”

We are considering a system whereby authors are asked to contribute to the availability of a free online service for performing structure and substructure-based searches of chemistry articles. While the submission of journal articles is already a lot of work (I know from experience of authoring/co-authoring about 10 a year) we hope that authors will support a service whereby they can upload their own articles to a “validation and mark-up service”. The upload capabilities will support upload of the primary document, chemical structures in standard formats and supplementary information of various types (to be defined)

This system will perform the following services:

1) semi-automated markup of a document – title, author(s), abstract and additional dictionary-based terms plus the ability to use the NLM-DTD markup
2) identification of chemical names and conversion to structures in an automated fashion
3) conversion of structure IMAGES to connection tables using optical structure recognition software (either commercial or open surce)
4) ask authors to confirm whether the converted structures are appropriate
5) provide a structure validation service for submitted molecules checking for “accurate representation”
6) Deposit all structures associated with an article onto ChemSpider but under embargo. Associate the article Title, authors and “abstract snippet” with all structures.
7) Issue a set of ChemSpider IDs for the author to submit to the publisher with the article
8) When a publication has passed through review the author can release the structures from embargo using a DOI or an article URL (more common for Open Access articles)

The result of this project will be a way for publishers to link their articles directly to a free access chemistry database and use a series of web services to enable other capabilities (to be defined). It will also allow articles in Open Access and non-Open Access publications to searchable by the “language of chemistry”.

This is only a slice of the overall project but I think it may be of interest relative to the comments you have made below.

Parts of this were shown last week at Drexel University and a particular snippet is available online here:

We are also going to provide a Microsoft Word add-on which will allow users to prepare articles for publishing using similar technologies.

We think this IS disruptive..what say you?

Stumble it!

One Response to “Chemistry Document Markup and Free Access Structure-Based Searching of Publications”

  1. David Bradley says:

    There is obviously inherent value in this, but traditionally chemists don’t seem to want to go the supplementary information route if they can help it, with the exception of NMR spectroscopists and X-ray crystallographers, of course. I suspects adding a step to the publication process will not be taken up very enthusiastically even if it would be of great mutual benefit to the community.

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