Henry Rzepa's Blog Chemistry with a twist

November 4, 2018

Open Access journal publishing debates – the elephant in the room?

For perhaps ten years now, the future of scientific publishing has been hotly debated. The traditional models are often thought to be badly broken, although convergence to a consensus of what a better model should be is not apparently close. But to my mind, much of this debate seems to miss one important point, how to publish data.


January 23, 2018

PIDapalooza 2018. A conference like no other!

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


June 3, 2016

500 chemical twists: a (chalk and cheese) comparison of the impacts of blog posts and journal articles.

The title might give it away; this is my 500th blog post, the first having come some eight years ago. Very little online activity nowadays is excluded from measurement and so it is no surprise that this blog and another of my "other" scholarly endeavours, viz publishing in traditional journals, attract such "metrics" or statistics. The h-index is a well-known but somewhat controversial measure of the impact of journal articles; here I thought I might instead take a look at three less familiar ones – one relating to blogging, one specific to journal publishing and one to research data.


May 24, 2016

Data-free research data management? Not an oxymoron.

I occasionally post about "RDM" (research data management), an activity that has recently become a formalised essential part of the research processes. I say recently formalised, since researchers have of course kept research notebooks recording their activities and their data since the dawn of science, but not always in an open and transparent manner. The desirability of doing so was revealed by the 2009 "Climategate" events. In the UK, Climategate was apparently the catalyst which persuaded the funding councils (such as the EPSRC, the Royal Society, etc) to formulate policies which required all their funded researchers to adopt the principles of RDM by May 2015 and in their future researches. An early career researcher here, anxious to conform to the funding body instructions, sent me an email a few days ago asking about one aspect of RDM which got me thinking.


February 1, 2016

LEARN Workshop: Embedding Research Data as part of the research cycle

I attended the first (of a proposed five) workshops organised by LEARN (an EU-funded project that aims to ...Raise awareness in research data management (RDM) issues & research policy) on Friday. Here I give some quick bullet points relating to things that caught my attention and or interest. The program (and Twitter feed) can be found at https://learnrdm.wordpress.com where other's comments can also be seen. 


June 20, 2015

April 21, 2015

ORCID identifiers galore!

Egon has reminded us that adoption of ORCID (Open researcher and collaborator ID) is gaining apace. It is a mechanism to disambiguate (a Wikipedia term!) contributions in the researcher community and to also remove much of the anonymity (where that is undesirable) that often lurks in social media sites.


November 1, 2014

Blasts from the past. A personal Web presence: 1993-1996.

Egon Willighagen recently gave a presentation at the RSC entitled “The Web – what is the issue” where he laments how little uptake of web technologies as a “channel for communication of scientific knowledge and data” there is in chemistry after twenty years or more. It caused me to ponder what we were doing with the web twenty years ago. Our HTTP server started in August 1993, and to my knowledge very little content there has been deleted (it’s mostly now just hidden). So here are some ancient pages which whilst certainly not examples of how it should be done nowadays, give an interesting historical perspective. In truth, there is not much stuff that is older out there!


September 15, 2013

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

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



  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

June 24, 2013

Research data and the “h-index”.

Filed under: Chemical IT — Tags: , , , , — Henry Rzepa @ 1:41 pm

The blog post by Rich Apodaca entitled “The Horrifying Future of Scientific Communication” is very thought provoking and well worth reading. He takes us through disruptive innovation, and how it might impact upon how scientists communicate their knowledge. One solution floated for us to ponder is that “supporting Information, combined with data mining tools, could eliminate most of the need for manuscripts in the first place“. I am going to juxtapose that suggestion on something else I recently discovered. 


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