What is the JACS β? I don’t really know, actually. It appears to be some kind of Google Labs lite. At first, when I saw the email announcement, I was skeptical. The thought that the ACS was going to commission something that might, possibly, result in an advancement of science informatics was just too much of a far flung notion to wrap my little head around. The society, after all, spends so much time thinking about itself, I didn’t realize it had time to think about Chemistry. I’ll take the hit there, I was wrong. In its current
incarnation, JACS beta is sort of… well… promising. The PPT slide sets are kind of silly, since the picture steal function in Adobe works fine and you can rip the high res image out of the HTML. The listen to JACS communications is, I think, a novel idea, but scientific papers are not really intended to be listened to – they’re intended to be read since most authors write their text around the figures, graphs and charts, which are obviously incompatible with an audio recording. Now, the virtual issue is interesting. I did find that quite fascinating, even though the topic is clearly pandering the the most web savvy group of chemists (oh burrrrn). Indeed, why can’t online JACS be like that? Have a little summary written by someone who can write shit in plain English so that when a biochemist goes to read it, they don’t have to be like “Tandem Suzuki couplings to generate an enol whatsamer followed by macrolactonisomething from the seco what?” Or when I go read a biochemistry summary it’s not just “RNA polimerase with PTSI in FBKa 932 in HeLa cells with the Gib short sequence GFP protein hedgehogulase was purified using the FDLKShjDsIDJFS SELEX in an OIDSJ buffer with SDLKjf as a cofactor poopiepants.” It just makes sense to write a summary plain fucking English for a journal which is written for people across the whole spectra of chemical sciences.
(So we are all equally insulted, a nanothingiee paper’s summary would go something like “Click click click azide alkyne click click strained bicyclo click click click fluroescent nano bioprobe click click self assembled in situ click fluoride sensor”)
So, I give this JACS beta idea an affirmitive thumbs up, but aside from the Virtual Issue (which should be named “iJACS” to keep the gay Apple computer cult thing alive amongst chemists) they’ve not hit upon anything supahsweet.
Now… issues that read well on my iPhone so that I can enjoy them in the shitter… That would be supahsweet.