Copyright©2007 Antony Williams
A recent blogger identified ChemSpider as being a commercial entity. Iâ€™d like to clear that up. Yes, it is. Itâ€™s a companyâ€¦.a corporation in fact. Why? BecauseÂ we have wives andÂ families to take care of. We live in a litigious society andÂ we areÂ protectingÂ our families.Â Â We know that many commercial organizations will not take kindly to what we are trying to do with ChemSpider. In fact, as will be evidenced by some blogs to be posted here in the next few days, some members of the Open Source community donâ€™t seem to support what weâ€™re trying to do.
ChemZoo is a corporation. ChemSpider is free. FREE. There are no charges to use any services. ChemSpider is self-financed. All hardware, software and costs associated with running ChemSpider come from the bank accounts of the ChemSpider team. No venture capital. No sponsorship. No Google Adwords. Will it stay this way?
Fact: ChemSpider is getting hundreds of unique visitors per day. Actually it went over 1000 visitors per day based on a posting at another blog.
Fact: It is performing thousands of transactions and searches per day. In less than one month we have received blessings from a number of users and ire from others. But no press is bad press and our â€œGoogle Exposureâ€ has us rank at over 110,000 hits as ofÂ today (some do use this as a measure of success)
Fact: We opened ChemSpider based on the PubChem data source. This was declared on the website the day we went live. In less than one month we have taken delivery of close to a million new structures to post on ChemSpider. We do not yet know how many will be unique until de-duplicated. Some of these collaborators have required that we sign contracts â€¦yes, ChemZoo is indeed a business.
So, will ChemSpider always be free? The intention is a resounding yes. However, it is clear we may have to seek sponsorship. Our data collection is growing quickly. We WILL have to add an additional server shortly. No choice really if we donâ€™t want to disappoint the chemistry community. We have had companies approach us about integrating paid services to ChemSpider. That might happen. But, the basic capabilities of ChemSpider, and the layering of tools to encourage the growth of a chemical community around a structure centric database, will remain free for everyone. Unless there is a need to charge to help pay off legal bills in this, our litigious society.Stumble it!