Chemical Informatics Letters

Volume 5, Issue 4; October 2002

Editor: Jonathan M Goodman

MIT Open Courseware
MIT is making many of its courses available on line, for free. This approach is different to the one taken by many other universities. Will this make people more or less likely to pay to study at MIT? The chemistry section so far has only one course, quantum mechanics, which is presented as a series of PDF files. There are probably better chemistry resources at the moment, for example The McGill Office for Chemistry and Society.

Reference Spectra Databases
Reference Spectra Databases from Fiveash data management (mainly FTIR). The spectra are formatted for use with search software packages from other software and FTIR instrument companies.

Predict Protein
PredictProtein is a service for sequence analysis, and structure prediction, developed at Columbia University in New York, and hosted at the EMBL in Heidelberg.

DOI: digital object identifier
Most journal articles now have DOIs - digital object identifiers, which allow unambiguous indexing (Resolve a DOI). In order to assign DOIs, publishers have to buy in to the relevant organisation - CrossRef for science (Membership fees). Lots of questions answered at the FAQ and a partial list of scientific subscribers is available.

COMSEF: Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum
A forum for scientists and engineers using molecule-based theories, modelling, and simulation. Activities include Cache - molecular modelling task force for teaching chemical engineering, not to be confused with Cache; an International Comparative Study on Applying Molecular and Materials Modeling and the First Industrial Fluid Properties Simulation Challenge.

Computational Chemistry Comparison and Benchmark DataBase
It can be hard to show unambiguously that one method is better than another. This site, from NIST, provides reference data on 615 gas-phase molecules which can be used to make quantitative comparisons.

Elsevier archive
From August 12th, 1996, all scientific journals published in the Netherlands by Elsevier Science were be archived in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in the Hague - probably the first such agreement for electronic archiving between a published and a national library. The agreement was strengthened in August 2002, extending to about 1500 journals. Should Elsevier ever leave publishing, the library will be obliged to continue to make the archive available.

Physics Preprint Server
The founder of the widely-used physics preprint server receives a MacArthur fellowship. Cornell is pleased according to their newsletter. The ChemWeb Preprint Server provides a similar service to chemistry, but has not established the same dominant position in chemistry as the physics server has achieved in some areas of physics.

Chemical Registry System
The Chemical Registry System (CRS) provides information on chemical substances and how they are represented in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and data systems.

Following reports of fraud, a physicist has just been sacked for scientific misconduct: Executive summary; Full Report. Genuine mistakes and misinterpretations are also possible, of course.

Journal publications
Patrick Brown is trying to raise money to support the review and publication of results for free. The Journal of Biology is a new journal making results freely available, from BioMed Central. Can it possibly gain enough prestige for it to compete with established and expensive journals? The editorial board is a strong collection of biologists. Would they offer tenure to a member of their own faculty who had published mainly in this journal?

National Oceanographic Data Center
Public access to global oceanographic and coastal data, products, and information.

© 2002 J M Goodman, Cambridge
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