Submitted by Nancy Williams / Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College on Mon, 08/10/2009 - 12:56
As we move into a very different kind of information society, obviously a lot of things are changing and will change. One thing that seems to me to be ripe for some very fundamental changes is the format, production of, and they ways in which we interact with, the chemical literature. In my wilder moments, I imagine going to a radically different way of sharing chemical knowledge, but in my more practical moments, I think, "How could we bring just a little bit of the new capabilities of the Net to making the chemical literature a lot better?" An obvious one to me is that comments could be enabled on every "prep"-the sections of an experimental section. Imagine being able to see, "I tried this; it didn't work", or "my yield on this was much higher with the ethyl analog" or "in ether". What about "this can also be purified by," "The 31P signal is at XX ppm in this solvent". It seems like this could be implemented with relatively little fuss. Presumably you would be subscribed by email to any comments on your own articles, and could ask an editor in the event that something was posted which was inappropriate. What do people think? Is this a low-bar way of improving the literature, or a terrible idea?
Hilary Eppley / DePauw University
... I think the VIPEr site is sort of serving as a test about whether chemists as a group will take to this kind of Web 2.0 interaction (so far not so much...). Journals in other fields are starting to take this approach (see for example…). I wonder if we could get someone from ACS to comment on this idea?
Thu, 08/13/2009 - 08:52 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College
wow, so obvious and such a good idea.  Kind of like Inorg. Synth. for the digital age.  I wonder hard this would be to set up... I don't see ACS jumping on this one, but if there was a way to host this somewhere.... if only there was an inorganic chemistry web 2.0 site somewhere....
Thu, 08/20/2009 - 21:09 Permalink
Nancy Williams / Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College
I think one of the reasons that this sort of "Web 2.0" behavior has only begun to emerge on VIPEr (and hasn't yet, really, in the journals) is that we as an age and professional cadre aren't used to that kind of social practice. I don't think the same is true of our students. Here's a wonderful example: Note both his methodology and the followup comments.
Thu, 09/03/2009 - 11:50 Permalink