There is a new “synthetic blog” online..this one is Blog Syn. The site has a declared focus listed as “….a new chemical literature review site. We
don’t just discuss the methods, we put them to the test!” This joins the other synthetic chemistry blogs such as TotallySynthetic and OrgPrepDaily. There are likely MANY others!!! What would be ideal is if these were to be aggregated in some way. For sure they are federated…you can consider that Google does that for you. But they are heterogeneous in format, very different styles and, in terms of the contribution to a contributors career, they may have less traffic on a blog than on a platform designed for the publication of syntheses.
Prior to joining RSC those of us running the ChemSpider website discussed setting up an environment for people to publish their syntheses. ChemSpider for compounds and ChemSpider “Reactions” for reactions. We chatted about it looking like a blog. We never started the project though as there were enough things to do. What we did release was the ChemSpider Journal of Chemistry that was more of an online journal.
When RSC acquired ChemSpider and we showed up in Glasgow for our first conference we discuss at that conference our old idea of a reactions type blog. What we talked about was that it would be a place to expose chemical reactions, for online comments and feedback and a place for a reaction to be DOI’ed and therefore of value to a resume. Since ChemSpider was very capable we knew there was a way to integrate spectral data, movies and other multimedia. We started considering the transfer of aspects of the ChemSpider journal of chemistry into a synthetic reaction platform. We realized that what we were trying to do had already been achieved by the SyntheticPages group. We chatted with the scientists involved with that platform and decided it would be best to bring our efforts together. And so we did….
The result is ChemSpider SyntheticPages (CSSP). The story of CSSP is described here in a discussion with Peter Scott of the CSSP Editorial Board.
CSSP is well established. Some of the authors have almost 90,000 page views. Spectra are embedded directly from ChemSpider into the page and chemicals are marked up and linked out to the relevant pages on ChemSpider. People are willingly adding their comments. The authors are DOI’ed. The platform has been around almost 10 years at this time…using SyntheticPages as the original seed set and adding articles directly to CSSP later. We are averaging < 10 articles a month though! Mostly that is because people do not know what it is. Last week I gave a talk in the UK and most people in the room have not heard of CSSP. But there it is…likely a near ideal platform for publishing syntheses online. We are recognizing contributors at present with labcoats as part of our initial rewards and recognition program and hope that recognition will encourage further participation.
We encourage you to look at platforms such as Blog Syn as well as CSSP and consider contributing your syntheses to these online platforms. They can be valuable hosts for your data. There will likely be more that show up as chemists recognize the value of exposing their data online! It would be great if you consider fitting your synthesis into the homogenizing template of CSSP even if you publish elsewhere. It makes for a cleaner micropublishing platform overall we find. In any case…continue your online synthesis exposure!!!!