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The Internet is the world’s publicly accessible container for a myriad of resources containing chemistry related data. Whether it be collections of millions of chemical compounds with their associated properties, interactive displays for analytical data, access to publications and patents or tapping into the increasing availability of online computational engines, the web has became the primary enabling technology to source information and data. Scientists collectively applaud and utilize the availability of such resources and an increasing proportion of the community are willing to support these resources by contributing both their data and skills to help curate and validate information on the web. This “crowdsourcing” has started to contribute large amounts of data to the commons and serves has a valuable platform for reference and, potentially, discovery.
ChemSpider is one of the chemistry community’s primary online resources and allows scientists to search across 25 million unique chemical compounds linked out to over 400 original data sources and has become a central hub for searching for chemistry-related data. The platform however offers much more to the community and has become a central repository for analytical data, specifically spectra, is a host for community-authored chemical syntheses and facilitates data curation and annotation by any of its users. This presentation will provide an overview of the ChemSpider platform in terms of available data and its efforts to act as a public repository and clearing ground for data curation. We will discuss how such a platform, when coupled with game-based approaches, facilitates both teaching and data validation and will discuss whether public domain resources such as ChemSpider will ultimately become authorities for chemistry.