Chemical Informatics Letters

Volume 12, Issue 3; March 2006

Editor: Jonathan M Goodman

Biology Direct
This new journal has an unusual system of peer review - the process will be open rather than anonymous, and the reviewers' reports will be published with the articles. A similar approach is taken by the European Geosciences Union, where papers are made available for open discussion before being published. A number of essays on peer review are available from Eugene Garfield the found of the ISI.

The "world's most comprehensive catalog of information on proteins", now uses a Creative Commons license. Science Commons has an FAQ on database licensing.

Stigler's law of eponymy
"No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer." Chemical examples may be found amongst named reactions.

Inchi on-line tools
Bedrich Kosata (the author of BKChem) has a new site, including an on-line converter which generates pictures (and molfiles) from INCHI and SMILES strings.

Elsevier MDL collaborates with NIH on PubChem
Elsevier MDL and NIH are continuing to collaborate on PubChem following the earlier contribution of XPharm pharmacological data.

Free access to RSC journal archives for developing countries
The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced free access for developing countries.

PSIgate is changing as part of a restructuring of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN), and becoming Intute.

PubChem Accuracy
How accurate is PubChem? How can this be tested? A search for 'acetone' finds acetone, and Acetone ketazine and Acetone cyanhydrin. A search for mannitol produces a structure without stereochemistry, and gives dulcitol, galactitol, D-mannitol and sorbitol as synonyms. This is probably useful information, but is somewhat misleading, and so illustrates both the strengths and limitations of PubChem.

Chemistry Journals
Hindawi Publishing has embraced Open Access publishing and now has more than thirty open access titles, including EURASIP Journal on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology and Bioinorganic Chemistry and Applications (not to be confused with Bioinorganic Chemistry and Applications from Freund Publishing). All these journals are listed in c2k.

Google Scholar
How good is Google Scholar? A survey of citation counts shows it compares favourably with the Web of Science, but notes that it is not clear how it is achieving this. How consistent is it, and how reproducible are its results? Another article makes similar points. Two blogs (schoogle and the UBC Google Scholar Blog) monitor Google Scholar's development.

Visa problems for scientists visiting the USA
On 9 February 2006, ICSU President Goverdhan Mehta, FRS, was initially refused a visa to the USA. The Washington Post reports that State Department officials maintain that a letter saying "you have been refused a visa" was not a rejection. The incident has received much publicity. The ACS's Chemical and Engineering News report that his expertise in chemistry meant he was considered a security threat.

© 2006 J M Goodman, Cambridge
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