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A TERRIBLE implementation of Name Searching on ACS Journals

17 Feb

Yes, I am a Williams. And THAT is an incredibly common surname. But I am an Antony Williams, notice no H in the name, i.e. NOT Anthony. In the field of chemistry there are not many of us around…a couple I know of, but not many overall. Google Scholar does an extremely good job of automatically associating my newly published articles with my Citations profile here: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=O2L8nh4AAAAJ

The last five articles automatically associated with my profile. I do NOT make any associations manually at this point.

The last five articles automatically associated with my profile. I do NOT make any associations manually at this point.

I am assuming that this is done by understanding the type of work I publish on, some of the co-author network maps that have been established as my profile has developed etc. I assume that there approach is very intelligent relative to some of the more commonplace searches that have been implemented….certainly the results are GOOD.

I noticed one disastrous example today when our article “ChemTrove: Enabling a Generic ELN to Support Chemistry Through the Use of Transferable Plug-ins and Online Data Sources” was published on the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling here. Right there to the left of the abstract is an offer to look at other content by the authors.

Look for related content by the authors on JCIM

Look for related content by the authors on JCIM

I was interested to see what else ACS knew about my content so I clicked on my name…which performed this search: http://pubs.acs.org/action/doSearch?ContribStored=Williams%2C+A  and provided me with 96 articles by Andrew Williams (mostly), by Aaron Williams, by Anthony Williams (not me) and Allan Williams (to name a few). Eventually I managed to find 3 that were associated with me by searching the list for Antony Williams but none of those I published as Antony J. Williams were recovered.

Also, my colleague Valery Tkachenko is listed as an author with a misspelling as Valery Tkachenkov. What is simply inappropriate in my opinion is how the process involved taking the list of our submitted names..copied below directly from the submitted manuscript and changing them to their own interpretation of how we would want to see our names listed.

From this:

Aileen E. Day*†, Simon J. Coles, Colin L. Bird, Jeremy G. Frey, Richard J. Whitby, Valery E. Tkachenko§, Antony J. Williams§

To This:

Names changed from the original manuscript to those produced at submission

Names changed from the original manuscript to those produced at submission

Notice that for Aileen and Jeremy the middle initials were expanded, Colin had his middle initial changed from L. to I.,  Richard, Valery and I had our middle initials dropped and Valery had a v added to his surname. Why not simply copy and paste the names from the manuscript?

I will point out that this is a “Just Accepted” manuscript and likely the changes in names will be caught and edited, especially now I have just pointed them out. “Just accepted” does have some disclaimers:

The disclaimers regarding Just Accepted manuscripts

The disclaimers regarding Just Accepted manuscripts

While they can edit the names to match what we originally provided I don’t think it will fix the issue regarding finding all of my articles on ACS journals as when  navigated to one of my other articles here, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es0713072, and did the search from my listed name it found exactly the same 96 hits.

Maybe a thought to use my ORCID profile http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2668-4821 to look for ACS journal articles associated with my name?

Unfortunately the data is already out in the wild as when I claimed the article on Kudos all of the name spelling issues had clearly spilled over via the DOI: https://www.growkudos.com/articles/10.1021%252Fci5005948

Names transferred via DOI to the Grow Kudos Platform

Names transferred via DOI to the Grow Kudos Platform

Ah…the things that surprise me….or not.

 

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 (www.chemspider.com). 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 (http://www.openphacts.org), 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 (http://cds.rsc.org/) and the RSC lead for the PharmaSea project (http://www.pharma-sea.eu/) 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 https://comptox.epa.gov, 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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