First, Tony Williams has joined the RSC as an employee and a ChemSpider development team is already being assembled. Tony, ChemSpiderman, is most definitely part of the ongoing ChemSpider project, now with a greater level of resource to drive forward innovation. Second, how does this project fit within the RSC and our publishing operations? The RSC’s remit is to advance the chemical sciences and one of the means of doing that is the dissemination of chemical information, so we’re looking to leverage our expertise in publishing to support ChemSpider. There are great benefits on the horizon for publishing, both for the RSC and the wider publishing community, that will bring ambitious changes to the way that users can link articles and data together. ChemSpider will work with researchers, publishers and information providers, chemical companies and pharmaceutical companies, software vendors, and any users of chemical information on the web. Both ChemSpider and the RSC have championed the application of standards to enable the linking and sharing of chemical information, through semantic markup, the development of the InChI Resolver, and curating existing public data sources, and we’ll continue to break new ground and help others to apply and use these standards. The ChemSpider service will continue to be free to access on the web, though some of the public web services may be licensed to certain organizations – which is just how ChemSpider has always operated.
We’re now asking the community for suggestions about how we develop ChemSpider, and looking for new opportunities and ideas for collaboration. The driver for creating ChemSpider came from the chemical science community, and this is the community that will take ChemSpider to the next level. We hope everyone can get involved, and we’re really excited to help make your ideas happen. As Tony was kind enough to point out, think ‘advancing the chemical sciences’ and you won’t go far wrong.
As a additional quick plug, I’m also one of the speakers at the RSC CICAG meeting on “Scientific Text and Data Mining” on May 20th in Burlington House, London. It’s a really interesting agenda if you want to find out what’s being done already and the future in this area.