Jean-Claude Bradley Memorial Issue in the Journal of Cheminformatics and Chemistry Central

03 Sep

An invitation to contribute a paper

Jean-Claude Bradley Memorial Issue

Guest Editors

Antony J. Williams, Cheminformatics, Royal Society of Chemistry

Andrew Lang, Oral Roberts University


In May of 2014 we lost one of our colleagues, Jean-Claude Bradley (JC), way too soon.

JC was, in many ways, a man ahead of his time. He foresaw the future of science likely a decade ahead of the new shift that is occurring in academia, that of Open Notebook Science. The last decade has seen a dramatic shift toward openness in science that has encompassed Open Access Publishing, Open Source in software development, Open Data in the majority of branches of science and Open Standards primarily as a result of people like JC. As a result of these shifts the amount of data now available online for scientists to consume and interrogate is enormous and grows daily. Much of this data is however already “aged” having been extracted from published articles or assembled into databases from historical data that often lacks provenance.

Jean-Claude Bradley’s drive was towards something more immediate with his concept of Open Notebook Science, the practice of making the entire primary record of research activities publicly available online as it is recorded ( Through his leadership in this area he motivated, cajoled and guided a number of scientists who operated in a more generally closed manner of science into the domain of Open Science. He mentored young students into the new world and encouraged us all to consider the benefits that could result in being more open.

Jean-Claude was also a master collaborator and networker bringing together scientists from various domains to work together. But in his own work he also stimulated participation and contributions from instrument manufacturers, chemical vendors, journal publishers and software developers. Most of you reading this will have almost certainly have heard of, worked with or benefited from some of his activities.

We, Andrew Lang and Antony Williams, intend to celebrate the work and vision of JC and are presently editing a memorial issue that crosses both the domains of chemistry and cheminformatics that he operated in. Since he was a member of the editorial advisory board for Journal of Cheminformatics and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry Central Journal our intention is to encourage participation and submission of papers from areas of chemistry and cheminformatics that will be assembled into a single memorial issue. If you are receiving this communication then please accept it as an invitation to submit an article to the most appropriate of the two journals that you choose.

Timelines and how to submit your paper

In recognition of the contributions that Jean-Claude Bradley has made to science and Open Science in particular, we hope that you will consider our invitation and contribute a paper to help us in celebrating and evangelizing his work. Please do not hesitate to contact either of us with questions, to confirm participation and for instructions on how to submit your paper at Andrew Lang ( or Antony Williams (

If you wish contribute to this thematic issue please use the online submission system for the appropriate journal, found here:

Chemistry Central Journal:

Journal of Cheminformatics:

Please ensure that you state in your cover letter that your paper is an invited paper for ‘Insert relevant Journal name’ as part of the cross journal thematic issue entitled ‘Jean-Claude Bradley Memorial Issue’. The deadline for submitting your paper is 1 December 2014, to publish the thematic issue in early 2015.

About Chemistry Central

Chemistry Central Journal and Journal of Cheminformatics are open access journals published by Chemistry Central. The benefits of open access are particularly attractive in these fields, ensuring that scientists working throughout the community on different aspects all have shared access to the latest research.

Chemistry Central ( is part of the Springer chemistry publishing unit, having been set up in 2006 as a service dedicated to the open access publishing of chemistry research.


About tony

Antony (Tony) J. Williams received his BSc in 1985 from the University of Liverpool (UK) and PhD in 1988 from the University of London (UK). His PhD research interests were in studying the effects of high pressure on molecular motions within lubricant related systems using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He moved to Ottawa, Canada to work for the National Research Council performing fundamental research on the electron paramagnetic resonance of radicals trapped in single crystals. Following his postdoctoral position he became the NMR Facility Manager for Ottawa University. Tony joined the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York as their NMR Technology Leader. He led the laboratory to develop quality control across multiple spectroscopy labs and helped establish walk-up laboratories providing NMR, LC-MS and other forms of spectroscopy to hundreds of chemists across multiple sites. This included the delivery of spectroscopic data to the desktop, automated processing and his initial interests in computer-assisted structure elucidation (CASE) systems. He also worked with a team to develop the worlds’ first web-based LIMS system, WIMS, capable of allowing chemical structure searching and spectral display. With his developing cheminformatic skills and passion for data management he left corporate America to join a small start-up company working out of Toronto, Canada. He joined ACD/Labs as their NMR Product Manager and various roles, including Chief Science Officer, during his 10 years with the company. His responsibilities included managing over 50 products at one time prior to developing a product management team, managing sales, marketing, technical support and technical services. ACD/Labs was one of Canada’s Fast 50 Tech Companies, and Forbes Fast 500 companies in 2001. His primary passions during his tenure with ACD/Labs was the continued adoption of web-based technologies and developing automated structure verification and elucidation platforms. While at ACD/Labs he suggested the possibility of developing a public resource for chemists attempting to integrate internet available chemical data. He finally pursued this vision with some close friends as a hobby project in the evenings and the result was the ChemSpider database ( Even while running out of a basement on hand built servers the website developed a large community following that eventually culminated in the acquisition of the website by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Tony joined the organization, together with some of the other ChemSpider team, and became their Vice President of Strategic Development. At RSC he continued to develop cheminformatics tools, specifically ChemSpider, and was the technical lead for the chemistry aspects of the Open PHACTS project (, a project focused on the delivery of open data, open source and open systems to support the pharmaceutical sciences. He was also the technical lead for the UK National Chemical Database Service ( and the RSC lead for the PharmaSea project ( attempting to identify novel natural products from the ocean. He left RSC in 2015 to become a Computational Chemist in the National Center of Computational Toxicology at the Environmental Protection Agency where he is bringing his skills to bear working with a team on the delivery of a new software architecture for the management and delivery of data, algorithms and visualization tools. The “Chemistry Dashboard” was released on April 1st, no fooling, at, and provides access to over 700,000 chemicals, experimental and predicted properties and a developing link network to support the environmental sciences. Tony remains passionate about computer-assisted structure elucidation and verification approaches and continues to publish in this area. He is also passionate about teaching scientists to benefit from the developing array of social networking tools for scientists and is known as the ChemConnector on the networks. Over the years he has had adjunct roles at a number of institutions and presently enjoys working with scientists at both UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University. He is widely published with over 200 papers and book chapters and was the recipient of the Jim Gray Award for eScience in 2012. In 2016 he was awarded the North Carolina ACS Distinguished Speaker Award.
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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Jean-Claude Bradley


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