Scientific Data Service from Google — No Go

US Google to close scientific data service prior to official launch 22 Dec 2008

Internet search services provider Google, US, will reportedly close its highly-anticipated scientific data service, Google Research Datasets, in January without even officially launching the product. The company has announced this in an e-mail to its beta testers, according to media reports.

The service was expected to offer scientists a way to store the huge amounts of data generated in an increasing number of fields. Nearly 30 datasets – mostly tests – had already been uploaded to the site.

Calling off the scientific project is seen to be another sign of initial frugality at Google. Just a few weeks ago, the company’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, told the Wall Street Journal that Google would be cutting back on experimental projects. It would, instead, focus its efforts on other activities such as Google Scholar, its research programmes and publishing papers about research at Google.

However, some scientists remain hopeful that the service might return in better times. Google representatives have not responded to requests for comments.

Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter, Dec. 22, 2008

SPARC Digital repositories meeting summaries, Baltimore, Nov.17-18

US Resources and presentations from recent SPARC repositories meeting now online23 Dec 2008

Thought leaders and practitioners from higher education and beyond called on participants at the SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting in Baltimore on November 17-18 to continue their digital repository development efforts and offered strategies for building on experience gained to date.

In the opening keynote, John Wilbanks, who heads the Science Commons project at Creative Commons, pointed to the unique qualities of digital repositories, and the need to highlight their potential to serve the academic community. He encouraged universities to adopt open-access policies modeled after the one adopted by Harvard University earlier this year rather than inventing their own.

Bob Witeck, chief executive officer and founding partner of Witeck-Combs Communications Inc., pointed to the importance of smart marketing in getting digital repositories off the ground and valued by faculty. He encouraged librarians and repository managers to use plain language and vivid stories to communicate the impact of the open sharing of information. By making digital repositories more visible and demonstrating their value to the public, universities can win needed support from taxpayers and communities, said David Shulenburger, Vice President for Academic Affairs, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), in the closing keynote of the meeting.

A summary of each keynote and every panel discussion, along with available podcasts, slides, and an invitation to online discussion, are now available online through the SPARC website at

Click here

Source: Knowledgespeak Newsletter,  Dec. 23, 2008

Free service collects tables of content


RI Newsline – Issue 24 – December 2008

Research Information []

17 December 2008

"A new free service makes it easier to keep up-to-date with scholarly journals.ticTOCs  – Journal Tables of Contents Service provides access to the most recent tables of contents of over 11,000 scholarly journals from more than 400 publishers.  It helps scholars, researchers, academics and anyone else keep up-to-date with what’s being published in the most recent issues of journals on almost any subject. "

This is funded and developed by a coalition of academic institutions,organizations, and publishers.

For more information:

New Portuguese scientific OA repository launched

Portugal New Portuguese scientific OA repository launched19 Dec 2008

Portugal’s publicly-funded Repositório Científico de Acesso Aberto de Portugal (RCAAP) was recently launched at the 3rd Open Access conference that took place at University of Minho on December 15 – 16, 2008. RCAAP gathers content from 10 institutional repositories from across the country.

The new open access repository currently indexes more than 13091 documents from 10 repositories. The project is funded by the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) and will be technically maintained by the National Scientific Computations Foundation (FCCN).

The 10 repositories that are currently contributing to this main centralised repository are mainly university DSpace-based repositories or similar.

Approximately 10% are in English.  Topics appear to be mainly biomedical.

Source: Knowledgespeak Newsletter, Dec. 19, 2008.

40 millionth chemical substance — CAS

US CAS registers 40 millionth substance 04 Dec 2008

Chemical database provider Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) has announced that CAS Registry now includes 40 million organic and inorganic substances. The CAS Registry is one the most comprehensive collections of chemical substances and the CAS Registry Number is the recognised global standard for chemical substance identification. More than 100 million CAS Registry Numbers have been assigned to organic and inorganic substances and biosequences.

The 40 millionth substance was identified by CAS scientists in a journal article published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The article describes a novel method for the synthesis of polycyclic substances with ‘a central seven-membered carbocycle’, including the 40 millionth substance.

A division of the American Chemical Society, CAS provides the world’s largest and most current collection of chemical and related scientific information, including the authoritative database of chemical substances, the CAS REGISTRY. CAS combines these databases with advanced search and analysis technologies to deliver complete, cross-linked and effective digital information environment for scientific research and discovery, including such products as SciFinder, STN, STN Express and STN AnaVistTM, among others.

Click here

Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter Dec. 4, 2008 — New Website for Scholarly Communication



Dear all,

I recently finished my Ph.D on the philosophy of perception from Oxford. With a team of people from Stanford and Cambridge, I’ve just launched a website,, which does two things:

– It shows academics around the world structured in a ‘tree’ format, displayed according to their departmental and institutional affiliations.

– It enables academics to see news on the latest research in their area – the latest people, papers and talks.

We are hoping that will eventually list every academic in the world — Faculty Members, Post-Docs, Graduate Students, and Independent Researchers. Academics can add their departments, and themselves, to the tree by clicking on the boxes.

Academics are joining the tree rapidly. More than 15,000 academics have added themselves in the last two months. Some professors on the site include:

 – Richard Dawkins –

 – Stephen Hawking –

 – Paul Krugman –

 – Noam Chomsky –

– Steven Pinker –

 We’re trying to spread the word about as much as possible. It would be terrific if you could visit the site, and add yourself to your department on the tree. If your university is not there, you can add it by clicking on the arrows coming out of the university boxes.

Independent researchers – if you are a researcher that is not associated with a university, I encourage you to add yourself to the "Independent Researchers"

portion of the tree at

And do spread the word to your friends and colleagues if you can.

Many thanks,


CAVEAT: The divulging of passwords is OPTIONAL  &  NOT RECOMMENDED