Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

The atom and the molecule: A one-day symposium on 23 March, 2016 celebrating Gilbert N. Lewis.

Friday, December 11th, 2015
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You might have noticed the occasional reference here to the upcoming centenary of the publication of Gilbert N. Lewis’ famous article entitled “The atom and the molecule“.[1] A symposium exploring his scientific impact and legacy will be held in London on March 23, 2016, exactly 70 years to the day since his death. A list of the speakers and their titles is shown below; there is no attendance fee, but you must register as per the instructions below.

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References

  1. G.N. Lewis, "THE ATOM AND THE MOLECULE.", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 38, pp. 762-785, 1916. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja02261a002

How-open-is-it?

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
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The title of this post refers to the site http://howopenisit.org/  which is in effect a license scraper for journal articles. In the past 2-3 years in the UK, we have been able to make use of grants to our university to pay publishers to convert our publications into Open Access (also called GOLD). I thought I might check out a few of my recent publications to see what http://howopenisit.org/ makes of them.

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The demographics of a blog readership – updated

Thursday, January 8th, 2015
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About two years ago, I posted on the distribution of readership of this blog. The passage of time has increased this from 144 to 176 countries. There are apparently between 189-196 such, so not quite yet complete coverage! 2015
Of course, it is the nature of the beast that whilst we can track countries, very little else is known about such readerships. Is the readership young or old, student or professor, chemist or not (although I fancy the latter is less likely). Another way of keeping tabs on some of the activity are aggregators such as Chemical Blogspace, which has been rather quiet recently. Perhaps we have become too obsessed by metrics, and with the Internet-of-things apparently the “next-big-thing”, the metrics are only likely to increase. This will only encourage “game playing“, and I urge you to see a prime example of this in the UK REF (research excellence framework), the measure which attempts to rank UK universities in terms of their “excellence”.

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The price of information: Evaluating big deal journal bundles

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
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Increasingly, our access to scientific information is becoming a research topic in itself. Thus an analysis of big deal journal bundles[1] has attracted much interesting commentary (including one from a large scientific publisher[2]). In the UK, our funding councils have been pro-active in promoting the so-called GOLD publishing model, where the authors (aided by grants from their own institution or others) pay the perpetual up-front publication costs (more precisely the costs demanded by the publishers, which is not necessarily the same thing) so that their article is removed from the normal subscription pay wall erected by the publisher and becomes accessible to anyone. As the proportion of GOLD content increases, it was anticipated (hoped?) that the costs of accessing the remaining non-GOLD articles via a pay-walled subscription would decrease.

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References

  1. T.C. Bergstrom, P.N. Courant, R.P. McAfee, and M.A. Williams, "Evaluating big deal journal bundles", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111, pp. 9425-9430, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1403006111
  2. C. Woolston, "Secret publishing deals exposed", Nature, vol. 510, pp. 447-447, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/510447f

Anchoring chemistry.

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
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I was reminded of this article by Michelle Francl[1], where she poses the question “What anchor values would most benefit students as they seek to hone their chemical intuition?” She gives as common examples: room temperature is 298.17K (actually 300K, but perhaps her climate is warmer than that of the UK!), the length of a carbon-carbon single bond, the atomic masses of the more common elements.

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References

  1. M. Francl, "Take a number", Nature Chemistry, vol. 5, pp. 725-726, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.1733

Disambiguation/provenance of claimed scientific opinion and research.

Monday, May 5th, 2014
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My name is displayed pretty prominently on this blog, but it is not always easy to find out who the real person is behind many a blog. In science, I am troubled by such anonymity. Well, a new era is about to hit us. When you come across an Internet resource, or an opinion/review of some scientific topic, I argue here that you should immediately ask: “what is its provenance?”

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Blasts from the past and present: altmetrics.

Sunday, October 13th, 2013
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I reminisced about the wonderfully naive but exciting Web-period of 1993-1994. This introduced the server-log analysis to us for the first time, and hits-on-a-web-page. One of our first attempts at crowd-sourcing and analysis was to run an electronic conference in heterocyclic chemistry and to look at how the attendees visited the individual posters and presentations by analysing the server logs.

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A two-publisher model for the scientific article: narrative+shared data.

Sunday, September 15th, 2013
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I do go on rather a lot about enabling or hyper-activating[1] data. So do others[2]. Why is sharing data important?

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References

  1. O. Casher, G.K. Chandramohan, M.J. Hargreaves, C. Leach, P. Murray-Rust, H.S. Rzepa, R. Sayle, and B.J. Whitaker, "Hyperactive molecules and the World-Wide-Web information system", Journal of the Chemical Society, Perkin Transactions 2, pp. 7, 1995. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/P29950000007
  2. R. Van Noorden, "Data-sharing: Everything on display", Nature, vol. 500, pp. 243-245, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nj7461-243a

Computers 1967-2013: a personal perspective. Part 5. Network bandwidth.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
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In a time of change, we often do not notice that Δ = ∫δ. Here I am thinking of network bandwidth, and my personal experience of it over a 46 year period.

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