Thursday, February 01, 2007

RSC: the first publisher to go semantic!

Just announced: the RSC goes semantic! Colin Batchelor was here at the CUBIC last autumn, where we discussed issues involved, mostly relating to experimental section of organic chemistry syntheses, and NMR and MS spectra in particular, so I knew that this was coming our way. The announcement writes:
RSC Publishing, the publishing arm of the Royal Society of Chemistry, is
pleased to announce a new initiative for its journals. From February
2007 electronic RSC journal papers will be enhanced so that their data
can be read, indexed and intelligently searched by machine, a first step
towards the "semantic web".

Readers will be able to click on named compounds and scientific concepts
in an electronic journal article to download structures, understand
topics, or link through to electronic databases; compounds and ontology
terms will be published as RSS feeds enabling automated discovery of
relevant research.

The initiative, coined 'Project Prospect', is the first of its scope
from a primary research publisher. Developed together with UK academics
based at the Unilever Centre of Molecular Informatics and the Computing
Laboratory at Cambridge University, the Project uses InChIs (IUPAC's
International Chemical Identifier for compounds); OBO ontology terms
(Open Biomedical Ontologies: a hierarchical classification of biomedical
terms) such as the Gene Ontology (GO) and the related Sequence Ontology
(SO); terms from the IUPAC Gold Book; and CML (Chemical Markup Language:
a means to describe molecular information in a structured form).

This is a completely free service for authors and readers of RSC
journals. The enhanced articles have an at a glance HTML view with
additional features accessed by a tool box. Downloadable compound
structures and printer friendly versions will be available via this new

Colin, cheers!


  1. Very interesting features, indeed.
    I was playing around with the toolbox yesterday evening, unfortunately I wasn't able to open the cml data of any molecule with Marvin. JChemPaint works fine though.
    Looking forward to see more of the articles with the new features.

  2. I the next weeks I am going to see how we can make use of these things, but I expect Peter has some things coming out too... I have not tried the feeds with Bioclipse 1.0.1 yet...