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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Open Chemical Data #1: NMRShiftDB

As I reported earlier, progress is only possible of you can modify and redistribute. This is why Open Data, Open Source, and Open Standards are so important to us Blue Obelisk members. For data, proper licensing makes these two requirements possible, but more importantly, make those rights explicit. Rich is running the nice Zusammen blog, but most of his entries are not Open Data. Even larger chemistry data repositories can be vague and have seemingly contradicting statements.

One project which did it right, was the NMRShiftDB. They were ahead of their time and did pick a proper Open license. By current standards not the best data license (the GNU FDL), but the best at the time. To push real Open Chemical Data a bit more, I will create a series much like Rich' series, but will make the restriction that the sources are clear about what rights they give users and that those include the rights to modify and redistribute the data without unreasonable restrictions.

I will not say much about the database itself, and even less now, as I think the NMRShiftDB is well-known amongst my readers.

Moreover, I have set up a FriendFeed room, Open Chemical Data, where I will aggregate feeds of new molecules in these databases:

Now, the only problem is, I need candidate for this series, and cannot actually think of a third entry (second being the Open Notebook Science Solubility data)... Want to help me out? Please let me know which chemical database is using a Open Data license.