Robust Chemistry: The Importance of Data and Methods Sharing

Robust Chemistry: The Importance of Data and Methods Sharing

Author: Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Robustness, reproducibility, reliability, transparency, and “open science” are terms that are becoming more frequently encountered these days. In their Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Mattias Björnmalm, Imperial College London, UK, and Frank Caruso, University of Melbourne, Australia, discuss how these concepts can be incorporated in the chemical sciences, in particular through data and methods sharing.

Publishing results in journals involves summarizing years of research in a few pages, with the result that the raw data, experiments that did not work, and certain experimental “tricks” are not shared. It is now easier (and cheaper) than ever before to store and share data. But why do we even need to do this?

Advantages include the benefits that large data sets bring in analyzing trends, and the sharing of so-called “dark data”, that is details of experiments that did not work. This way, scientists are not only aware of the final goal, but all the routes that have been tried to get there. Methods sharing is important as a lot of experimental knowledge is difficult to express in a concise text. Here, the use of photo and video guides would be valuable tools. Data-sharing practices and the use of media to share practical knowledge will thus help bring about robustness in chemistry.


 

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