Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

April 8, 2019

February 16, 2019

December 29, 2018

Re-inventing the anatomy of a research article.

The traditional structure of the research article has been honed and perfected for over 350 years by its custodians, the publishers of scientific journals. Nowadays, for some journals at least, it might be viewed as much as a profit centre as the perfected mechanism for scientific communication. Here I take a look at the components of such articles to try to envisage its future, with the focus on molecules and chemistry.

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August 7, 2018

Harnessing FAIR data: A suggested useful persistent identifier (PID) for quantum chemical calculations.

Harnessing FAIR data is an event being held in London on September 3rd; no doubt all the speakers will espouse its virtues and speculate about how to realize its potential. Admirable aspirations indeed. Capturing hearts and minds also needs lots of real life applications! Whilst assembling a forthcoming post on this blog, I realized I might have one nice application which also pushes the envelope a bit further, in a manner that I describe below.

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December 7, 2017

FAIR data ⇌ Raw data.

FAIR data is increasingly accepted as a description of what research data should aspire to; Findable, Accessible, Inter-operable and Re-usable, with Context added by rich metadata (and also that it should be Open). But there are two sides to data, one of which is the raw data emerging from say an instrument or software simulations and the other in which some kind of model is applied to produce semi- or even fully processed/interpreted data. Here I illustrate a new example of how both kinds of data can be made to co-exist.

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March 30, 2017

The provenance of scientific data – establishing an audit trail.

In an era when alternative facts and fake news afflict us, the provenance of scientific data becomes ever more important. Especially if that data is available as open access and exploitable by others for both valid scientific reasons but potentially also by those with other motives. Here I consider the audit trail that might serve to establish data provenance in one typical situation in chemistry, the acquisition of NMR instrumental data. 

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April 30, 2014

Tetrahedral or square planar? A ten minute exploration.

I love experiments where the insight-to-time-taken ratio is high. This one pertains to exploring the coordination chemistry of the transition metal region of the periodic table; specifically the tetra-coordination of the series headed by Mn-Ni. Is the geometry tetrahedral, square planar, or other? One can get a statistical answer in about ten minutes.
Tet-SP.jpgThe (CCDC database) search definition required is shown above. The central atom defines the column of the period table, it is specified to have precisely four other atoms bonded to it, which can be any other element. These four bonds are specified as acyclic (to avoid any bias introduced by rings). And two angles are defined subtending the central atom. And off we go, defining on the way that the hits must be refined to an R-factor of < 0.05, have no disorder, and no errors.

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