The World Wide Web and Chemical Information

It is worth noting that the past few years have witnessed tremendous development of web-based information resources. Notably, the PubMed search tool [4] has made the investigation of any life sciences topic much easier. It offers keyword and author (as well as structure and sequence) searches and covers a wide range of medicinal chemistry-related journals. This resource, coupled with e-journals, affords the medicinal chemist the tools to keep up with any research topics of interest. Because of the public nature of the Web, now a chemist can sometimes find critical journal articles on the Web that do not show up until much later in traditional literature sources. It is not uncommon that scientific meeting presentations can be found on the Web. Indeed, the Internet tools we have all become familiar with also have made the professional life of the medicinal chemist much easier.

It is also worth mentioning the future development of the Web for chemical information purposes. The emergence of the Semantic Web [5] in general and the Chemical Semantic Web [6] in particular would further the roles of the

Web in the life of the medicinal chemist. One may see the development of alerting services for the primary medicinal chemistry journals. The Web-based information search process could be replaced by a much more structured one based on metadata, derived by automated processing of the original full-text article. To discover new and potentially interesting articles, the user subscribes to the RSS feeds of relevant publishers and can simply search the latest items that appear automatically for keywords of interest. The article download is still necessary, but it may be possible for the client software to automatically invoke bibliographic tools to store the found references. Another application of the Chemical Semantic Web may be as alerting services for new additions to chemical databases where users get alerts for the new additions of structures or reactions.

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