Posts Tagged ‘Digital Object Identifier’

A search of some major chemistry publishers for FAIR data records.

Friday, April 12th, 2019

In recent years, findable data has become ever more important (the F in FAIR). Here I test that F using the DataCite search service.


PIDapalooza 2018. A conference like no other!

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Another occasional conference report (day 1). So why is one about “persistent identifiers” important, and particularly to the chemistry domain?


Challenges in reliably representing the chemistry of crystal structures.

Monday, May 29th, 2017

The title here is taken from a presentation made by Ian Bruno from CCDC at the recent conference on Open Science. It also addresses the theme here of the issues that might arise in assigning identifiers for any given molecule.


Revisiting (and maintaining) a twenty year old web page. Mauveine: The First Industrial Organic Fine-Chemical.

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Almost exactly 20 years ago, I started what can be regarded as the precursor to this blog. As part of a celebration of this anniversary,[1] I revisited the page to see whether any of it had withstood the test of time. Here I recount what I discovered.



  1. P.W. May, S.A. Cotton, K. Harrison, and H.S. Rzepa, "The ‘Molecule of the Month’ Website—An Extraordinary Chemistry Educational Resource Online for over 20 Years", Molecules, vol. 22, pp. 549, 2017.

Single Figure (nano)publications, reddit AMAs and other new approaches to research reporting

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

I recently received two emails each with a subject line new approaches to research reporting. The traditional 350 year-old model of the (scientific) journal is undergoing upheavals at the moment with the introduction of APCs (article processing charges), a refereeing crisis and much more. Some argue that brand new thinking is now required. Here are two such innovations (and I leave you to judge whether that last word should have an appended ?).


The status of blogging as scientific communication.

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Blogging in chemistry remains something of a niche activity, albeit with a variety of different styles. The most common is commentary or opinion on the scientific literature or conferencing, serving to highlight what their author considers interesting or important developments. There are even metajournals that aggregate such commentaries. The question therefore occasionally arises; should blogs aspire to any form of permanence, or are they simply creatures of their time.


One molecule, one identifier: Viewing molecular files from a digital repository using metadata standards.

Monday, September 8th, 2014

In the beginning (taken here as prior to ~1980) libraries held five-year printed consolidated indices of molecules, organised by formula or name (Chemical abstracts). This could occupy about 2m of shelf space for each five years. And an equivalent set of printed volumes from the Beilstein collection. Those of us who needed to track down information about molecules prior to ~1980 spent many an afternoon (or indeed a whole day) in the libraries thumbing through these weighty volumes. Fast forward to the present, when (closed) commercial databases such as SciFinder, Reaxys and CCDC offer information online for around 100 million molecules (CAS indicates it has 89,506,154 today for example). These have been joined by many open databases (e.g. PubChem). All these sources of molecular information have their own way of accessing individual entries, and the wonderful program Jmol (nowadays JSmol) has several of these custom interfaces programmed in. Here I describe some work we have recently done[1] on how one might generalise access to an individual molecule held in what is now called a digital data repository.



  1. M.J. Harvey, N.J. Mason, and H.S. Rzepa, "Digital Data Repositories in Chemistry and Their Integration with Journals and Electronic Notebooks", Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, vol. 54, pp. 2627-2635, 2014.

The blog post as a scientific article: citation management

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Sometimes, as a break from describing chemistry, I take to describing the (chemical/scientific) creations behind the (WordPress) blog system. It is fascinating how there do seem increasing signs of convergence between the blog post and the journal article. Perhaps prompted by transclusion of tools such as Jmol and LaTex into Wikis and blogs, I list the following interesting developments in both genres.