The project will be based on the creation of an electronic version of the flagship journal "Chemical Communications", a forum for disseminating preliminary accounts of important developments in chemistry. A fundamental aspect of this electronic journal will be the use of recently developed global standards for the transmission of chemical information on the Internet, allowing a diversity of numerical and symbolic information to be associated with journal articles. This will enable the reader to create for themselves visual representations of molecules and their properties in a way which will substantially enhance the value of the information content. Training materials and other special projects which serve to raise awareness amongst scientists of the possibilities of this new medium are a high priority for the project. The diffusion of these new publishing techniques into the teaching of science in schools and universities will help to train and motivate the new generations of scientists and technologists needed for the next millenium.
The first stage of the CLIC project will be to deliver graphically enhanced abstracts of conventionally submitted and printed articles in Chemical Communications. In parallel, an electronic conference is being organised (ECTOC-1) which makes use of similar electronic techniques, and which will serve to provide early user feedback and to raise global awareness of the new medium. As the CLIC project develops, the entire content of the papers in the journal will be made available in this form. Important issues such as the development of authoring tools, security, user validation, cost recovery mechanisms, library use, archiving, and peer recognition will be addressed as part of the project. The final stage of the project will be to develop forms of chemical communication which have no printed equivalent, such as molecular hyperglossaries and other value added services. In effect, the intent is to transform the conventional scientific scholarly work into an interactive and highly visual experience, just as much an important scientific tool as chemical apparatus and instruments are now regarded.
Dr David James, Manager Electronic Primary Publications, Royal Society of Chemistry; http://www.rsc.org/
Dr Benjamin Whitaker, School of Chemistry, Leeds University; http://www.chem.leeds.ac.uk/CLIC/leeds.html
Dr Jonathan Goodman, Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University; http://www-clic.ch.cam.ac.uk/CLIC/