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Engaging participation from the chemistry community

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I was invited to give a presentation regarding how we have engaged chemists in crowdsourcng chemistry. The presentation was to the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications within the National Research Council. It was very educational for me to attend the meeting and interesting to observe so many of the common challenges.

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Engaging participation from the chemistry community

  1. 1. Engaging Participation from the Chemistry Community Antony Williams February 18th 2013
  2. 2. Crowdsourcing Chemistry How have I personally “crowdsourced chemistry” What have we done to enable the crowd to participate? What is the Royal Society of Chemistry doing to facilitate crowdsourcing? What are the benefits of encouraging involvement? And how big is the crowd??? What are our intentions moving forward? Lessons from our experiences and experiments
  3. 3. Personal Contributions
  4. 4. Wikipedia
  5. 5. Does one stereocenter matter?  Thalidomide
  6. 6. Validating Public Datasets
  7. 7. Challenging the Status Quo
  8. 8. With Great Fanfare…
  9. 9. NPC Browser http://tripod.nih.gov/npc/
  10. 10. NPC Browser http://tripod.nih.gov/npc/
  11. 11. What is the Structure of Vitamin K1?
  12. 12. Wolfram Alpha
  13. 13. DailyMed
  14. 14. The World of Online Chemistry Safety data Toxicity data Blogs and Wikis Property databases Experimental results Scientific publications Compound aggregators Open Notebook Science Metabolic pathway databases Encyclopedic articles (Wikipedia)
  15. 15. Public Domain Databases Our databases are a mess… Non-curated databases are proliferating errors We source and deposit data between databases Original sources of errors hard to determine Curation is time-consuming and challenging
  16. 16. What you might not know aboutChemistry Databases on the Internet Data-sharing between the databases is cyclic – proliferating errors – “Linked Data”
  17. 17. Stop Whining – Fix it
  18. 18. Enable the crowd to participate….
  19. 19. We Want to Answer Questions Questions a chemist might ask…  What is the melting point of n-heptanol?  What is the chemical structure of Xanax?  Chemically, what is phenolphthalein?  What are the stereocenters of cholesterol?  Where can I find publications about xylene?  What are the different trade names for Ketoconazole?  What is the NMR spectrum of Aspirin?  What are the safety handling issues for Thymol Blue?
  20. 20. Available Information… Linked to vendors, safety data, toxicity, metabolism
  21. 21. Available Information….
  22. 22. Crowdsourced “Annotations” Users can add  Descriptions/Syntheses/Commentaries  Links to PubMed articles  Links to articles via DOIs  Add spectral data  Add Crystallographic Information Files  Add photos  Add MP3 files  Add Videos
  23. 23. Crowdsourced Curation  Crowdsourced curation: identify/tag errors, edit names, synonyms, identify records to deprecate
  24. 24. Search “Vitamin H”
  25. 25. “Curate” Identifiers
  26. 26. “Curate” Identifiers
  27. 27. Why are Dictionaries important?
  28. 28. The Final Search Strategy
  29. 29. Originally 15 compounds “called” Yohimbine54 Skeletons for Yohimbine
  30. 30. Community Contribution to ChemSpider
  31. 31. www.SpectralGame.comhttp://www.jcheminf.com/content/1/1/9
  32. 32. Curation through “gaming”
  33. 33. Data Curation
  34. 34. True Curation of Data
  35. 35. Mobilizing the Community
  36. 36. ChemSpider SyntheticPages
  37. 37. ChemSpider SyntheticPages
  38. 38. Submission Process Crowdsourced expansion?  A few regular dedicated authors only  Online peer review and feedback small but useful
  39. 39. Crowdsourcing – does it work? ~200 people EVER have deposited or curated data ChemSpider SyntheticPages small group of authors Database hosts make the largest contributions ChemSpider staff tend to do the most curation
  40. 40. Contributions
  41. 41. Curations 2009 – 8255 curations by 43 people 2010 – 10014 curations by 66 people 2011 – 16025 curations by 116 people “Crowdsourcing” – the crowd is small!
  42. 42. www.SciMobileApps.com 8 contributors only…in 7 months
  43. 43. www.SciDBs.com 7 contributors only…in 6 months
  44. 44. www.ScientistsDB.com 38 contributors …in 6 weeks
  45. 45. How will it improve? Participation and contribution
  46. 46. What encourages participation? “Interested” parties contribute Marketing and self-promotion are primary reasons for participation There are very few “selfless” participants Relationships garner contributions…
  47. 47. The Measure of a Scientist? How do “we” measure a scientist? The funding bodies, department heads etc. use  Publication profile  Impact factors  An index – h, m, g, i10, c, s …  Grants brought in
  48. 48. Scientists Profiles
  49. 49. The Measure of a Scientist? How do “we” measure a scientist? The funding bodies, department heads etc. use  Publication profile  Impact factors  An index – h, m, g, i10, c, s …  Grants brought in Scientists are notable in MANY different ways Technology can help measure different types of “impact”
  50. 50. The Alt-Metrics Manifesto  http://altmetrics.org/manifesto/
  51. 51. ImpactStory
  52. 52. ImpactStory
  53. 53. PlumAnalytics
  54. 54. Rewards and Recognition
  55. 55. Wikipedia Badges and Barnstarshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:BADGE
  56. 56. ChemSpider SyntheticPages Awards
  57. 57. Lessons The “crowd” of contributing participants is likely quite small – there are selfless participants and others who might want recognition How will you recognize participation – what are the rewards and recognition??? “Altmetrics” is likely a valuable path moving forward Gaming is an opportunity for participation Educators are encouraging participation – look to the success of Wikipedia
  58. 58. Thank youEmail: williamsa@rsc.orgTwitter: ChemConnectorPersonal Blog: www.chemconnector.comSLIDES: www.slideshare.net/AntonyWilliams

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