Chemblog Roundup: 1/7/15-1/13/15

I try keep up with the goings on in chemistry, both in the literature and chemblogs (see blogroll on the right). I follow both through RSS (via feedly), but mostly lurk, posting links here occasionally, and commenting on posts/reddit not frequently enough. I’m going to make an effort to work on both. The former I’ll address by sharing my favorites every week (hopefully every Tuesday?).

Chemistry:

Compound Interest: The Chemistry of Decongestants
Not the Lab: Minty Fresh Terpenoids
In the Pipeline: Teixobactin: A New Antibiotic From a New Platform?
Chemjobber: Revisiting graduate school and mental health with Vinylogous Aldol
Compound Interest: Teixcobactin: A New Antibiotic, and A New Way to Find More
Not the Lab: Revisiting grad school and mental health with Chemjobber

teixcobactin

Memes:

Shit My Reviewers Say: Untrustworthy
#
wswcgs: After answering every question successfully during my presentation


Mental Health in Graduate School

crazyChemjobber and Vinylogous just put out a second dialogue on seriously discussing the issues of mental health in graduate school (and industry), if you should go to grad school, and if it’s okay to quit.

First round: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Second round: Part 1, 2

You should read these to gain some insight if you’re:
1) In grad school
2) Thinking about grad school
3) Did grad school
4) Have friends/family who are/were in grad school

Essentially, you should just read these; it is really important insight. Grad school is nowhere near the same as college. Personally, I have no disillusions as to how easy I had it. Luck played a role for sure, but the right approach, putting myself in the right circumstances (in and out of lab) made all the difference.

I had an amazing PI, group, and friends. I worked hard, but avoided burnout. I played hard, but avoided slacking off too hard. Everything really just worked out, so I loved grad school. Would everyone? No, hell no. Could I do it because I was smarter, more dedicated, or some other arrogant reason? Hell no.

Go read those posts, and hopefully you can think a little differently of anyone who started/is in/finished/quit/didn’t go to grad school.

[Photo: Christopher Lange]


My earliest publication

…was at age 2.

railway

I’d be tempted to add it, but:

Slavic Review (Impact Factor: 0.58).”


Facile, Easy, Novel

Journal paper titles are generally long and full of buzzwords. One of the ones that really gets me is facile.

facile definition

It seems that people just use facile in place of easy, cause it sounds more technical and scientific. As you see in the above definitions (Merriam-Webster), it’s not exactly the same thing. The inaccuracy doesn’t bother me much, mostly the overuse.

Here are charts from Scopus on the frequency of facile/easy in article titles:

facile

 

easy

People use facile about three times as much as easy. Facile bothers me because of overuse, but the one that really gets me is novel. If you’re publishing a research article, it’s probably going to be novel, why else would you be publishing it?

novel

Over 30,000 uses in 2014. (Thankfully maybe it’s on the decline?) And now for the papers I really hate:

facile novel

If I’m ever asked to review a paper with either of these in the title, let alone both, they will definitely be getting a comment. Especially if it’s not novel, see: shit my reviewers say:

reviewers

 


Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

The-Chemistry-of-Gold-Frankincense-Myrrh-1024x724

If you’re not reading Compound Interest, you should be.

 


Publication Speed: Most Cited Papers of the Decade

Mitch posted on C&EN a list of the most cited papers from the last ten years:

  1. grapheneElectric Field Effect in Atomically Thin Carbon Films. Science, 17,793 citations.
  2. Iron-Based Layered Superconductor La[O1-xFx]FeAs (x = 0.05−0.12) with Tc = 26 K. JACS, 6,435 citations.
  3. Graphene-based composite materialsNature, 4,475 citations.
  4. The M06 suite of density functionals for main group thermochemistry, thermochemical kinetics, noncovalent interactions, excited states, and transition elements: two new functionals and systematic testing of four M06-class functionals and 12 other functionalsTheoretical Chemistry Accounts, 4,133 citations.
  5. GROMACS 4:  Algorithms for Highly Efficient, Load-Balanced, and Scalable Molecular SimulationJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 3,899 citations.

So what’s big? Graphene, high-temperature superconductors, and modelling.

I was curious how long it took to publish these papers:

  1. 58 days
  2. 70 days
  3. 138 days
  4. Data N/A
  5. 125 days

How does this compare to most papers? Björk and Solomon did a study, The publishing delay in scholarly peer-reviewed journals. For chemistry, the average time from submitted to accepted is 4.73 months.

3 and 5 are fairly average, and 1 and 2 were pretty quick. Does this mean they were recognized quickly as higher impact papers? More than 4 data points are necessary to say for sure, there are too many factors in terms of editorial speed, reviewer speed, authors response time to edits, etc.


Schlenk in a bottle

schlenk

[Twitter]


Periodic #tbt

Today’s not Thursday, this wasn’t posted on a Thursday, but maybe the textbook was published on a Thursday? The periodic table from 1933.

periodic table

[imgur]