By now most of you are through the holiday season and recovering from the expenditures, both expected and unexpected, through the late nights and the joy of spending time with friends and family alike. The New Year provides a great time to reflect on the past year and think about what is coming in the year ahead…and making plans. For ChemSpider it has been a good year. Our reputation has continued to expand, our user base has increased, our staffing has increased and our participation in some major projects both within RSC and with international efforts for managing data have expanded. We won three awards, we recommitted to quality above quantity and we have worked hard to build a team of cheminformatics experts and programmers who can continue the charge to revolutionize the integration and delivery of chemistry-related data.

With this team in place we are set to make a lot of changes and enhancements in the coming year. This will be the year of deprecation. We have been busily flagging “bad” data…obvious errors that have found their way into the database. These will be dealt with, both in our database as well in other databases where we have migrated some of these erroneous data. A usability study has been conducted and the data are being analyzed and reviewed. An action plan to implement the appropriate changes based on this user feedback will be put in place early in 2011. This will be the year of RDF’ing ChemSpider…a certain community has been waiting for us to get this in place. We are committed to delivering it. We already started integrating the RSC Publishing Platform with ChemSpider through compound pages…a project to perform text-mining across the RSC article archive and link to ChemSpider will be initiated in 2011. Our much discussed “ChemSpider Education” project is underway and led by Martin Walker from SUNY Potsdam. The first view will be exposed at the ACS meeting in Spring. ChemSPider Synthetic Pages will continue to expand with new content and we are already busy assembling hundreds of spectra to deposit onto ChemSpider. We should be able to add another 1000 spectra in the next few weeks.

2011 is going to be an exciting year for ChemSpider…we hope you visit, give us feedback and challenge us to be our best. We are out to serve you, our community of users.

Stumble it!

3 Responses to “The Year Ahead for ChemSpider”

  1. Egon Willighagen says:

    Antony, you know I have to ask, as member of the Advisory Board. I know that some stuff is brewing, but could you please spend some words on the plans to support Open Standards (or Open Data or Open Source)? For example, will their be changes in the API? For example, to search spectra, CSP, etc?

  2. Antony Williams says:

    Egon…Happy New year! We already support Open Data. When people deposit spectral data onto the database they have the opportunity to flag their data as Open so that it can be treated under Open Data licenses. In regards to Open Source we don’t have any intention in the foreseeable future to move away from the Microsoft platform that we have used for core development (.NET and SQL Server) but we will continue to embrace Open Source components such as JMol, JSpecView and OpenBabel and have every intention to contribute back to the Open SOurce community, our first contribution made to JSPecView last year via Bob Lancashire. We are already doing work to enhance the Web Services and have extended the services already for a number of internal projects and will likely expose some of this shortly. We are definitely interested in expanding support for searching of ChemSPider Synthetic Pages and Spectra…what would you like to see in place?

    FYI, The Advisory Group will be rebuilt in the next few months as it has been static, and in many ways inactive, so it is time to rebuild and add new people with new ideas and interests in seeing ChemSPider expand in scope, capability etc.

  3. Markus Sitzmann says:

    Antony, I am still surprised that you initially embraced Microsoft so much – I am still excited about python/django for web development (“our” Resolver uses it) – and since more and more chemoinformatics software uses Python as high-level language it is really easy to couple.

    Interesting Blog post (how to double your efficiency :-) ):

    http://kurtgrandis.com/blog/2010/02/24/python-django-vs-c-asp-net-productivity-showdown/

    A late Happy New Year
    Markus

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