I have been giving a lot of presentations of late regarding ChemSpider, ChemMantis, chemistry document markup and the challenges to publishers. These have been both closed door presentations where people are seeking input regarding the business challenges for chemistry publishers as well as in more open forums. One of the more common questions that is coming up now is around ChemSpider and ChemMantis. How are they related and how are they different? I’d like to declare that here…

ChemSpider is a website providing access to a database of structure-based content. It is also a “linkbase” providing a way to navigate from structure-based records out to a multitude of resources with information about the chemical entities on ChemSpider. It is also a platform for the deposition of new content, the annotation and curation of existing content and access to a series of services for the prediction of properties and integration to other resources. The value of ChemSpider is, in many ways, dramatically reduced without the content.

ChemMantis is a platform for document markup, specifically focused on identifying chemistry related terms in various documents. At present we have algorithms and dictionaries for extraction of chemical names (trivial, trade and systematic), chemical groups, reactions and chemical families. We are also working on dictionaries for something we are loosely terming “species” – at present this includes bacteria, fungi, etc. These will be segregated appropriately in the very near future.

Following the extraction of these various entities we are connecting them out to allow searching of resources such as Wikipedia, ChemSpider, NCBI’s Entrez and Google. ChemMantis does NOT depend on ChemSpider but can make use of what is available on ChemSpider to the benefit of the user. ChemMantis will be a “product” in the future. It is something that can be installed inside an organization and used for document markup and indexing of chemistry related documents. It will also serve as the basis of our ChemSpider Journal. More detail to follow on that….

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