Over the weekend we added chemicals from two new data sources – Afid therapeutics and Alfa Aesar. Large depositions of over 25,000 chemicals have been slowed down while we improved our batch deposition system but over the next few days we will be playing catch-up with a large backlog of vendor deposits. When we set up ChemSpider our initial belief was that the ability to source compounds was sufficiently being served by the chemical vendors themselves and many commercial software vendors and websites offering access to aggregated datasets of vendor offerings.

What we have noticed however is that on a daily basis ChemSpider users are requesting sources of chemicals directly. The majority of these requests are coming via email but the forum is also being used via the Looking for a Chemical topic. We have more and more requests to increase the number of chemical vendors represented on ChemSpider and make the navigation of identifying chemical suppliers easier. Despite directing many of our users to other sites our users seem to be looking for a “one-step” shop for their information. We will add some improved navigation to facilitate locating sources of chemicals. We’re hoping that some of the companies focused on sourcing chemicals will also want to help and integrate their services….

Stumble it!

4 Responses to “New Chemical Vendors Added and We Will Do What the Users Are Asking”

  1. Jörg Kurt Wegner says:

    Tony,

    exciting, I think this is important.

    Just from my naive standpoint of view I was wondering if this kind of vendor information is sufficient. There are a few points that could improve

    It nice that we have all those vendors and that each of them offers interesting chemistry. But let us assume I would be interested in purchasing some compounds and why I think the service provided is far from being optimal (yet).

    I know this might not be easy, but are there ways getting more availability and amount information directly or indirectly (via web-service links to vendors) from within ChemSpider? Here some reasons why …

    I took the LeadScope example you mentioned in another post
    http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.21245041.html
    I also started from the vendor pages of ‘Afid Therapeutics’ and ‘Alfa Aesar’. In both cases I took the first chemical in their vendor list, and picked http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.628233.html and http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.18.html

    Afid Therapeutics does not provide any vendor ID but a contact link with some SDFile download option. So, I am left with the option of writing an email for finding out, what the purchasing options might be available.

    Alfa Aesar provides a vendor ID, but I could not find any purchasing information, but a lot of other information, like fire safety, and accident measures. So, if I would know how to get the compound, I would know that it causes eye irritation. So, I went back to their main page and find again some phone numbers and some email addresses. Not very helpful for the impatient buyer I must say.

    O.k., lets try LeadScope, same story, they have a vendor ID, but provide a contact link for purchasing options.

    In all three cases, Sigma-Aldrich provided also compounds with a vendor ID, and very concrete availability information and amounts, if you follow the link into their service system. Now imagine you have to do this for hundreds of services and suppliers, which one would you pick? For simple efficiency reasons I would recommend Sigma-Aldrich. I see clearly that this might be monopolistic and not very exciting, but it would be the most easiest right now.

    So, I do not want to browse hundreds of vendors and make hundreds of phone calls for finding out that some vendors provide (maybe) some chemicals to (maybe) high prices and could (maybe) deliver a clean compound within a (maybe) reasonable time frame. So, I encourage everyone out there, especially the vendors, in providing an up-to-date information and easy options for checking purchasing options. If all those vendors provide the same information via ChemSpider, then this would be even better, then I would have to scan only one page instead of hundreds.

  2. Antony Williams says:

    If the vendors provided services for us to pick up pricing and availability we would use them Unfortunately, and this is a judgment, many of the smaller vendors do not have the appropriate computer infrastructure to host this information yet and many don’t have IT staff who can help set this up. Many are limited to PDF files of structure and Excel Spreadsheets of prices and availability. SO, for many this will be difficult.

    Our next move to help source pricing will simply be the possibility to inquire about the price from one or more vendors. We will remove the hurdle to contacting the vendors to a “Price Inquiry” email from our site.

  3. Joerg Kurt Wegner says:

    Anything reducing the number of steps or reducing the number of hurdles would help. Thanks, for thinking about more efficient options.

  4. Antony Williams says:

    Joerg, we are already making it easier to find vendors. Visit http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.7676.html and you will see icons for Akos, Alfa Aesar etc showing that these are substance vendors.

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