Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Integrating online papers with their underlying data

Esther Rousay and three co-authors, Grid-based dynamic electronic publication: A case study using combined experiment and simulation studies of crown ethers at the air/water interface, Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society, August 15, 2005. Only an abstract is free online at the journal site, although the authors have provided an OA edition. (Thanks to Frank Norman.)
Conventional paper based scientific publications are limited in the amount of data and interaction they can provide. Simply placing an electronic copy of such a publication on the web makes for easier distribution, but more can be achieved by making use of the technology to navigate through the paper, to show the links between calculated parameters and the data and provide access to the chain of calculated results all the way back to the raw data and ultimately the laboratory notebook. While the paper version of the publication is in a relatively conventional form, the online version demonstrates the concepts of publication@source, whereby all the figures and data presented in the paper are linked back to the original raw data together with a description of the processes by which the raw data was analysed. This level of interactivity is achieved using semantic technologies, which have the additional advantage of making the final document subsequently available and navigable by automated techniques.

In this manner, we present the combined information from experimental studies of surface tension and second harmonic generation (SHG) on the behaviour of benzo-15-crown-5 at the solution/air interface, together with a molecular dynamics computer simulation, to demonstrate how the simulation aids the interpretation of the SHG experiment. The adsorption isotherm was determined using SHG and fitted to a Langmuir form giving
Δ adsG0 = 26 kJ mol-1

(PS: This is a good example of how to take advantage of the internet --including archiving for OA. My only complaint is that the archived edition doesn't tell readers where the paper was published.)