How fast book prices plummet when I am a contributor

I doubt, I hope I am not to blame. At least I hope not…

The reality is that most books plummet in prices very quickly now after release. Actually, so do CDs …when I buy a CD as a pre-order on Amazon it is common for the price guarantee of Amazon to kick in and reduce it below the pre-order price before I even receive it. Amazon really have a good thing going in terms of enabling what is likely the vast majority of the resale market for books (well maybe eBay also).

As an indication of the change in value of books from release to buying a discounted or used version of a book I can look at my authors profile on Amazon and see the price for a new copy, a discounted copy and used copies.

As an example of the discounted books available a partial screenshot is below. The book regarding Collaborative Computational Technologies must have sold really well because there are lots of used copies for sale it seems! At just over a $3 starting price. BARGAIN…grab one for each of your family members….

Discount prices of books on my Amazon Author Profile

Discount prices of books on my Amazon Author Profile

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A TERRIBLE implementation of Name Searching on ACS Journals

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:

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:  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,, and did the search from my listed name it found exactly the same 96 hits.

Maybe a thought to use my ORCID profile 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:

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.

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Hosting public domain chemicals data online for the community – the challenges of handling materials

This is the presentation I gave at the Opportunities in Material Informatics meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.

Hosting public domain chemicals data online for the community – the challenges of handling materials

The Royal Society of Chemistry hosts one of the worlds’ richest collections of online chemistry data that is free-to-access for the community. ChemSpider presently hosts over 30 million unique chemical compounds together with associated data and accessible via a number of search techniques. With almost 50,000 unique users per day from around the world the site offers scientists the ability to investigate the world of small molecules via property searches, analytical data and predictive models. The challenges associated with providing a similar platform for “materials” are manifold but, if they could be addressed, would offer a valuable service to the materials community. This presentation will provide an overview of how ChemSpider was built, our efforts to expand the capabilities to a more encompassing data repository and some of the challenges faced to embrace the diverse world of materials informatics and online data access.

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Speaking at “Opportunities in Materials Informatics” workshop

Those of you who have been following my blog over the years are likely very aware of some of the work that we have done working on ChemSpider, ChemSpider SyntheticPages, OpenPHACTS, PharmaSea and the Chemical Database Service. We have many years of investment in the ChemSpider projects of course but our primary focus now is working on the data repository project that we published an early outline of last year. The majority of projects that we have focused on have focused on small organic molecules primarily and, I judge, we have been successful in addressing many of the challenges around the informatics challenges…many, but certainly not all! For sure, when we started ChemSpider over 7 years ago we were not aware of some of the issues we would face as we developed ChemSpider and there has been so much learned in the process. For sure we have been able to spend time with, collaborate with and push forward with some of the best minds in cheminformatics…and to them we are grateful.

Tomorrow I will give an overview of our work in the field of building small molecule databases for the community – with a focus on ChemSpider of course but also knitting together many of the other areas I have been connected to. I am privileged to have been invited to participate in the “Opportunities in Materials Informatics” workshop in Madison, Wisconsin. There are many experts in the field attending (see list) and I am sure I will learn WAY MORE than I will be able to share in terms of wisdom! In some ways I will be out of my depth and hearing about some of the approaches people are taking to develop informatics platforms for materials data. I will put up my slide deck when it is finished in the usual place on Slideshare when its ready. Follow the twitterfeed for the workshop at #matinformatics2015.

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Informatics 2.0 for the Analytical Sciences: Big Data, the Semantic Web, and Metadata – Invitation for Abstracts

Stuart Chalk and I will be hosting a symposium at the 250th ACS Meeting in Boston, MA August 16-20, 2015 in the ACS Analytical Chemistry Division entitled “Informatics 2.0 for the Analytical Sciences: Big Data, the Semantic Web, and Metadata” at t.  The theme for the 250th meeting is “Innovation from Discovery to Application”.

Symposium Synopsis – Informatics 2.0 for the Analytical Sciences: Big Data, the Semantic Web, and Metadata

Many disciplines in the sciences are rapidly moving into the informatics realm as a way to accelerate scientific progress.  While the analytical sciences has been in informatics for a long time (by its nature) the majority of the attention has been focused on LIMS systems (v1.0) and the information needs around those products.  This session will highlight research activities in informatics that will move the analytical sciences into the semantic web arena though the development of; data standards, controlled vocabularies, ontologies and semantic annotation.

To submit (by March 16th) an abstract go to .


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The Growing Impact of Openness in Chemistry: A Symposium in Honor of JC Bradley-Call for Abstracts

The submission of abstracts for the American Chemical Society meeting in Boston in Fall 2014 is now open and Andrew Lang and I will be hosting a memorial symposium for Jean-Claude Bradley with a focus on the Growing Impact of Openness in Chemistry. While we had a UK-based memorial symposium for JC last year we never managed to have an appropriate scientific gathering to celebrate his work here in the US. We are taking advantage of the presence of the ACS Fall Symposium on the East Coast to hold the symposium this year.

If you are a proponent of openness in chemistry we welcome you to submit an abstract to the symposium. If the meshing and integration of open source cheminformatics tools to provide open platforms to the community is something you work on,  if the delivery of open chemistry data is one of your areas of research or you participate in Open Notebook Science we welcome your abstract submission. With a focus on the growing impact of openness in chemistry from OA publishing, to open data, to open standards, we hope that you will come together with us in Boston for this symposium.

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Pacifichem: The Increasing Influence of Openness in the Domain of Chemistry (#325)

Pacifichem 2015 will see me co-hosting two sessions at the meeting. The first one is described here,The Evolving Nature of Scholarly Communication: Connecting Scholars with Each Other and with Society“, and the second one is “The Increasing Influence of Openness in the Domain of Chemistry“.

The call for abstracts is open for BOTH sessions now until April 3rd. I believe that the majority of readers of this blog almost certainly would be interested in attending these sessions and hopefully contributing to them so please submit your abstracts soon before the deadline expires!

Outline of the Session:

Chemists are being impacted by openness every day. Open Access publishing is being encouraged by various funding agencies that support our work, we are using open source code on a daily basis, whether we know it or not, and we are increasingly accessing open data via Internet searches. The proliferation of open science is providing access to an increasing number of free and re-usable data sources for chemistry. Crowdsourcing platforms allow chemists to contribute data, annotations and assertions, including chemical compounds, reaction schema, and analytical data. Collectively these data are facilitating education, enhancing discoverability and underpinning decision making in the laboratory. Through this symposium we aim to bring together participants serving up resources for the community and engage the audience in reviewing the success, opportunities and future of open science in its various forms. The future development of science will be increasingly impacted by the open contributions and innovation and chemistry in particular is one of the scientific domains presently gaining momentum

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Pacifichem Symposium #173: The Evolving Nature of Scholarly Communication: Connecting Scholars with Each Other and with Society


Pacifichem #173 graphic REV 4

Scholarly journal publishing is now web based and web first, but this migration to the Internet has brought with it other changes as well. Scientists are now collaborating with each other globally in ways that would not have been possible even ten years ago. Some researchers are using social media, such as blogs and twitter, to comment on and recommend articles, and in so doing establish a reputation beyond journal article publication and citation. Some scientists are posting research results directly to the Internet, where other scientists can analyze the data and discuss its meaning. Tools and algorithms to deliver the right content to the right person help researchers navigate the ever increasing amount of scholarly content.

At the same time, both scientists and funding agencies are interested in the broader impact of their research on society. A growing contingent of scientists and science communicators from academia, government, and industry are utilizing social media tools and platforms to communicate their chemistry beyond the traditional audience. This mechanism of science communication can potentially lead to benefits to society in the form of identifying and building new and existing business relationships, helping to resolve some of the challenges of the digital classroom, and expand the science communication channels formerly limited to onsite participation at Universities or scientific conferences. Examples include use of YouTube, blogs, Twitter, Wikipedia, and scientific apps.

This symposium will examine how traditional publishing models are changing as a result of the impact of social media, as well as how social media are being used to foster new models of communication and engagement with society.

We welcome contributions that examine ways in which researchers are engaging in new communication models, as well as ways in which journals and publishers are responding to these new models.

Contact us:

Corresponding Organizer: Jennifer Maclachlan, PID Analyzers, LLC (USA), @pidgirl
Brenna Arlyce Brown, Mitacs, (Canada), @BrennaArlyce
Kazuhiro Hayashi, NISTEP (Japan),
David Martinsen, ACS (USA),
Antony Williams, RSC (USA), @chemconnector


Abstract submissions will be accepted from January 1 – April 3, 2015 at

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My Royal Society of Chemistry Articles in the Kudos Dashboard

I publish with a lot of publishers including RSC, ACS, Wiley, Springer, Elsevier etc. as evidenced by the list on my CV. However, as I conduct more work on Kudos to play with the platform I am happy to say that RSC has a rather unique position in terms of how we are displayed. I know we are not the only ones with the cover art (as I recall)

As an example, for the RSC MedChemComm article here: you see the cover art displayed which I believe is a nice touch.


Also, and this I REALLY like, I can see the number of full text downloads. For the article below the number 550 is the number of full text downloads.


For completeness the last five columns are:

Share referrals Kudos views Click throughs Full text downloads Altmetric score

I am increasingly using Kudos as a one-stop shop dashboard to review activities around my articles so to be able to compare ACROSS publishers what the full text downloads are is of value. I should think it should be possible to include views from the publisher website also. While our PLoS article here has had 47 Saves it is about to hit 11,000 views. THAT I would like to see in the table also.

In any case …I am glad to see that we at RSC are contributing the data so I can see it in the Kudos dashboard….now, will other publishers be sharing their data soon too?

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Can I use Social Networking Tools to Awaken Old Articles?

I am running a number of experiments right now on behalf of my friend and colleague Will Russell to see what ammunition I can give him for a presentation later this week. I am already running the experiment detailed here “Running an Experiment Regarding Growing AltMetrics Using Kudos” and the data is clear…it’s working. But what I think is working is that I am simply claiming articles on Kudos, enriching them as appropriate and I am doing the work to push the info out to the social networks…sharing it via email, Facebook and Twitter. I ran some bland tweets and facebook posts about some articles and got the expected resulted..low altmetric scores. I got a little creative about our article on Fuzzy Structure Generation and some quips about pulling my hair out over the science etc. and boom Altmetrics score went up dramatically. I am about to spike it again I hope with another tweet. This is simply pushing up the Altmetric score with NO INDICATION that anyone read the article, cared about the science, or even looked at it. So this does beg the question whether or not an increase in the Altmetric score means anything but this is a different conversation and one that has happened many times. This experiment is simply showing how important my own involvement is is shifting things along…well that’s my interpretation at least.

Now what I want to do is to NOT use Kudos to push out the social networking posts etc but simply do the work away from the platform and see whether the Altmetric score grows, and how fast can I move it. I have a whole set of articles regarding Electron Paramagnetic Resonance that are hard to make exciting. But the one on eight carbon alkyl chains and molecular motions is a good one so I have chosen that one to shift. Notice LOW kudos views and no Altmetric score…last column.



It’s from 1990 and, from my point of view, this was MY breakthrough work in my thesis…I was able to learn a lot about what it means to be a scientist, to develop a hypothesis and analyze data. I am very proud of this work….

May the experiment begin….


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