Archive for March, 2024

Internet Archeology: reviving a 2001 article published in the Internet Journal of Chemistry.

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

In the mid to late 1990s as the Web developed, it was becoming more obvious that one area it would revolutionise was of scholarly journal publishing. Since the days of the very first scientific journals in the 1650s, the medium had been firmly rooted in paper. Even printed colour only became common (and affordable) from the 1980s. An opportunity to move away from these restrictions was provided by the Web. Early adopters of this medium in chemistry were the CLIC pilot project[1] in 1995 and the Internet Journal of Chemistry (IJC), the latter offering “enhanced chemical publication which permits the publication of materials which cannot be published on paper and end-use customization which permits the readers to read articles prepared for their specific needs“.[2] Publication of the latter started in January 1998, offering “authors the opportunity to enhance their articles by fully incorporating multimedia, large data sets, Java applets, color images and interactive tools.” The journal remained online for seven years, after which it was closed and the articles became inaccessible. By then many major chemistry journals had started evolving along some of the same lines, and it could be argued this journal had served its purpose of alerting both publishers and authors to these new opportunities. Here I describe how an IJC article published in 2001 was brought back to life in more or less the enhanced manner intended.[3]



  1. D. James, B.J. Whitaker, C. Hildyard, H.S. Rzepa, O. Casher, J.M. Goodman, D. Riddick, and P. Murray‐Rust, "The case for content integrity in electronic chemistry journals: The CLIC project", New Review of Information Networking, vol. 1, pp. 61-69, 1995.
  2. S.M. Bachrach, "The 21st century chemistry journal", Química Nova, vol. 22, pp. 273-276, 1999.
  3. H. Rzepa, "Internet Archeology: an example of a revitalised molecular resource with a new activity now built in.", 2020.

Detecting anomeric effects in tetrahedral carbon bearing four oxygen substituents.

Monday, March 18th, 2024

I have written a few times about the so-called “anomeric effect“, which relates to stereoelectronic interactions in molecules such as sugars bearing a tetrahedral carbon atom with at least two oxygen substituents. The effect can be detected when the two C-O bond lengths in such molecules are inspected, most obviously when one of these bonds has a very different length from the other. The effect originates when one of the lone pair of electrons on one oxygen atom uniquely overlaps with the C-O antibonding σ* on another oxygen, thus shortening the length of the donating oxygen-carbon length and lengthening the length of accepting C-O bond. Here I take a look at tetra-substituted versions of this (C(OR)4), where in theory there are up to eight lone pairs, interacting with any of three C-O bonds, giving a total of 24 possible anomeric effects in one molecule.