July 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 13)
Strong Points: Very good idea
Weak Points: Signal to noise low
Here’s an idea realized that I’ll wager a number of readers will also recognize as one they had themselves. The Chemistry Unpublished Papers Forum, hosted by a group of organic chemists at the University of Pisa, is a medium for those failed ideas that all of us have had at some point in our careers for which we wanted to “get the word out.” Indeed, how many times has the average scientist done an experiment that was either not completely thought out or that gave results that weren’t exactly clear? One person’s failed experiment is sometimes another person’s gold mine of information. It was with this observation that the site was clearly designed. Posting requires registration, but fortunately this is free. A set of rules describing what and how to post is informative. The articles, as one might expect, cover a wide range of territory and there is a lot of junk, as might be expected. However, even if only the occasional useful piece of information makes it through this process, the site is worthwhile.