Another diversion from the main theme of this blog.

I have been an advocate for a revolution in chemistry publication making use of the technologies available on the net. My latest polemic on this topic is “Chemistry publication – making the revolution” (DOI: 10.1186/1758-2946-1-2) where I advocate for inclusion of more data within articles, enhancing the reader experience by being able to manipulate the data in the same way that the author did. I argue for development of tools that will enable publication of data, along with chemical semantics. Peter Murray-Rust has blogged on perhaps the first step in this direction: Chem4Word.

I ran across a very interesting article on a similar topic in Learned Publishing. The article is “Semantic Publishing: the coming revolution in scientific journal publishing” by David Shotten (DOI: 10.1087/2009202, also available from this repository). Shotten is in the zoology department and so comes to the semantic web with a different perspective, yet arrives at a similar place that I and Peter Murray-Rust and Henry Rzepa (and other chemists) have been advocating. Shotten advocates for “live data” and semantic markup – and cites Project Prospect (the RSC markup of chemical documents built on PMR’s work) as an example of this. Shotten includes a link to a sample zoology article that his group has “enhanced” and there are a lot of clever additions that chemistry publishers would be well served to examine – links to data, cloud tagging, customizable references, etc. Check out the enhanced document here.

Perhaps a growing push for “enhanced publication” from many disciplines will spur on action among the major publishers!