29 No. 3
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RSC Publishing Launches Project Prospect
In February 2007, RSC Publishing, the publishing arm of the Royal Society of Chemistry, announced a new initiative in which electronic RSC journal papers will be enhanced so that their data can be read, indexed, and intelligently searched by machine, a first step towards the “semantic web.”
Readers will be able to click on named compounds and scientific concepts in an electronic journal article to download structures, understand topics, or link through to electronic databases. Compounds and ontology terms will be published as RSS feeds enabling automated discovery of relevant research.
The initiative, coined “Project Prospect,” is the first of its scope from a primary research publisher. Developed together with UK academics based at the Unilever Centre of Molecular Informatics and the Computing Laboratory at Cambridge University, the Project uses InChIs (IUPAC’s International Chemical Identifier for compounds); OBO ontology terms (Open Biomedical Ontologies: a hierarchical classification of biomedical terms) such as the Gene Ontology (GO) and the related Sequence Ontology (SO); terms from the IUPAC Gold Book; and CML (Chemical Markup Language: a means to describe molecular information in a structured form).
This is a completely free service for authors and readers of RSC journals. The enhanced articles have an at a glance HTML view with additional features accessed by a tool box. Downloadable compound structures and printer friendly versions will be available via this new service.
“Project Prospect demonstrates our commitment to invest in innovative technologies to provide our authors and readers with the best publishing service available,” said Robert Parker, the RSC’s acting managing director.
Midori Harris, GO’s editor from the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, UK, welcomes the developments: “We’re delighted by the RSC’s decision to use GO and SO terms to annotate scientific papers they publish. It’s an exciting application of ontologies that will help researchers search the ever-growing body of scientific literature more quickly and effectively. We hope to see more publishers following the RSC’s example in the future.”
The RSC intends to develop the Project over the coming months and years to increase the amount of structured science in its research articles.
last modified 11 June 2007.
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