Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chemistry

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WikiProject Chemistry (Rated Project-class)
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Discussion of the WikiProject Chemistry - Please add your comment and discussion here. Older discussions are archived.


This discussion page is about the Chemistry project itself, for detailed, in-depth discussions about specific topics, you'd be best served at the talk page of the specific subject, e.g., Chemicals, Chemical infoboxes, etc. There is also an image request page which might be of interest to you.

European Commission number[edit]

What shall we do with this edit/information? --Leyo 01:22, 5 January 2014

Nobody? --Leyo 21:23, 9 January 2014

template should contain sections on toxicology and environment[edit]

Hi, IMHO a general problem with chemistry articles is, that they have no toxicology section and no environmental fate section in their template. I suggest to build that in. I have found, that most chemists appear uncomfortable with the material, be it because it reaches into other disciplines like biology, environmental sciences etc, or because of a COI if working for a producer, even though each C&En News is full of reports in that area...

I think this is a very important service, that the public looks for, and it ought to be tackled upstream, rather than in a non systematic remediative fashion, pasting a few lines here and there in grandfathered articles.

Can this please be changed? --Wuerzele (talk) 18:24, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

The chembox contains a Hazard section, but it is often incomplete. The GHS labelling misses in most cases (as opposite to de.wikipedia). --Leyo 19:00, 27 August 2014 (UTC)hanks .
Leyo thanks, so we agree. would you help with my request? please steer me to the hunchos working on chem templates.--Wuerzele (talk) 06:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Those hunchos are watching this. There is a bit of an issue there with respect to safety (though I agree that we can display more there) - Wikipedia should be careful with giving 'medical' advice (on the other hand, I once read that Wikipedia is really plainly used as a primary entry point for medical advice due to ease of access and the 'relative reliability' in emergency cases).
You could easily copy the contents of Template:Chembox Hazards into a Template:Chembox Hazards/sandbox and adapt (add) fields, and similarly start creating a Template:Chembox Environment (with an own Template:Chembox Environment/sandbox). The nice thing of those sub templates is that they could be used immediately, and you can show on one or two pages the sandbox 'life' (just use 'section#={{Chembox Environment/sandbox|<fields>}}' instead of 'section#={{Chembox Environment|<fields>}}' and hit preview). --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:37, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that adding fields to the chembox template is needed. It's the articles that need their hazard section being completed. For instance, not even the article ethanol contains the official GHS labelling information. In addition, the DSD classification is incomplete, since the chemical hazard symbol is missing (ref).
What about making the GHS parameters compulsory? In cases, where neither an official GHS labelling, nor one by a chemical company is available, this fact (as opposed to cases where it exists, but is missing in the article) would need to be stated explicitly in the chembox. --Leyo 21:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Dirk Beetstra, thanks for your suggestion. I am not interested in the chembox whatsoever, since it does not fit the need- too small. I think I am being misunderstood. I am asking for mandatory description of known ecosystem hazards, and that includes human health. BTW: That has NOTHING to do with medical advice, so shouldnt be any problem; all of you hunchos hearing this?
Leyo thanks for the suggestion-if you mean by GHS labelling info in articles, establishing 15 sections similar to the Global Harmonised System in the body of the article, we are talking the same thing. Although 15 sections sounds too much and section 4-6 (firefighting, acc release info, storage) may be a bit too much for an encyclopedia... I do agree with you, that many many (the majority ?) of WP chemicals contain no hazard/ecosystem/toxicology info. I also agree with you about unambiguously stating explicitly "no info available as of..."! as one does with N.A. in empty cells.--Wuerzele (talk) 05:07, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Then I am confused, you mention a template in the header of this section, which template do you mean? Also, medical advice is a bit of an extreme case, but the same goes for 'don't stuff this into your tank with piranha's' or 'don't dump this stuff in the nearest canal' .. IMHO, we should be more descriptive, 'this stuff is interfering with the whatever-biological-pathway in fish', 'this stuff accumulates in the larger predator fish which recycles it back into the human food chain in high concentrations' (I think the latter is the main reason why some compounds have that hazard-symbol). I also have problems with the 'mandatory' nature .. but there is nothing against having more information on this, indeed. Do you have an example page which has this info already? --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:06, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
With regard to health matters, it may be worth reaching out to WikiProject Medicine; and borrowing from their well-developed policies on the inclusion and referencing of such material. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:34, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

@Wuerzele: I was not referring to a MSDS, but to labelling (example for dichlorophen; the de.wikipedia article contains this information in the chembox). --Leyo 10:17, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Boronizing and Boriding[edit]

Dear chemistry experts: Apparently these two pages are about the same topic. Is any of the information/sourcing in the draft suitable to expand the stub? —Anne Delong (talk) 02:27, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Smokefoot has taken care of this with a merge. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:23, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry if I acted too swiftly, but the merge seemed pretty obvious. I am still refining the article, parent boriding, but others are welcome to join in. It seems to be an important topic, so we can all thank Anne for rescuing another topic. --Smokefoot (talk) 22:27, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I have moved the draft to mainspace and added the appropriate "merge to" and "merge from" templates to preserve attribution. One more off my list... —Anne Delong (talk) 12:09, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

npp for category tool[edit]

Please comment. Gryllida (talk) 23:38, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Royal Society of Chemistry - Wikimedian in Residence[edit]

Hi folks,

I've just started work as Wikimedian in Residence at the Royal Society of Chemistry. Over the coming year, I'll be working with RSC staff and members, to help them to improve the coverage of chemistry-related topics in Wikipedia and sister projects.

You can keep track of progress at Wikipedia:GLAM/Royal Society of Chemistry, and use the talk page if you have any questions or suggestions.

How can I and the RSC support your work to improve Wikipedia? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:26, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I was under the impression the Wikimedian was going to have a chemistry background? V8rik (talk) 17:31, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry to disappoint; I'm a Wikimedian in residence at a chemistry organisation, not a chemist in residence at a Wikimedia organisation. There are plenty of very knowledgeable chemists there, upon whose expertise I can call as needed. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:51, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
How can you and the RSC support our work? Good question. We would like to see more active and knowledgeable editors, that is for sure. V8rik (talk) 19:44, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
This appointment seems ridiculous - and possibly arrogant - to have a nonchemist installed in this position at the RSC. I guess we can look forward to the RSC pushing their "branding".--Smokefoot (talk) 22:31, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone have any use for the Wikipedian in Residence at the RSC? I mean this legitimately, because I have no idea what this position is about. Is this just a person at RSC who helps the chemists there edit wikipedia articles? Is he just going to be running training sessions or something, or is he supposed to be like helping us edit Chemistry articles himself? If the latter, I feel like his time will be more or less wasted in our very technical field, for which a single year is probably inadequate preparation. If the former, I guess I don't care all that much if he's a chemist or not. Then again, I'm not paying his salary, so it's none of my business who the RSC hires and for what purpose, just as long as he's not going to start spamming us or otherwise disruptively interfering with us. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 01:04, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I'll see if I can get the job description re-published (it was online during the recruitment phrase, but disappeared, as is usual, when the deadline passed). But in brief, the role is about outreach, training and awareness raising, not simply editing; see Wikimedian in Residence and outreach:Wikipedian in Residence for background.. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I've no interest in "pushing branding", nor have I been asked to do so. I've been a Wikipedian in Residence several times before, and that's never been an issue. Please judge me by my actions. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you - that's a primary objective of the initiative. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Welcome, Andy! Encouraging chemists at the RSC to get involved writing and improving chemistry articles would be of the most direct help to the project. I suspect one COI challenge you will face is RSC staff who want to work on RSC-related articles. Good luck in your new position. --Mark viking (talk) 03:28, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
There is already some kind of collaboration with ChemSpider. We use ChemSpider and ChemSpider uses Wikipedia, but is this process documented anywhere, and is there any effort to get the connection up to 100% accurate? Perhaps we need a page called WP:ChemSpider where this process is described. Is there a program to provide access to RSC journals to Wikimedians prior to free access from next year? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 05:57, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
WP:ChemSpider is a good idea; thanks. I'll raise it with the ChemSpider team next week. I'm already in discussion regarding journal access; no promises, but watch this space! Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you’re going to face quite a bit of this in your early days. The problem is that you’ve just been appointed here out of the blue. It is commendable for the RSC to want to get involved, but they might have thought to have talked to us about it. However, in the spirit of good faith, welcome! What you can do for us is probably tied-in with your role and like the others I would like to see some detail on what that is. More editors though, would always be welcome. This being an outreach role, what are you hoping we can do for you? Project Osprey (talk) 09:14, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Like I said, I've done this before ;-) Obviously, I wasn't involved in specifying and conducting the recruitment process, but I do know that the RSC spent considerable time talking to Wikimedia UK, and to members of the editing community in the UK, including hosting an editathon (at which I volunteered as a trainer) and attending Wikimania and other events. Please see the links above for more on the WiR role. I'm already getting lots of useful ideas, such as the WP:ChemSpider suggestion above and a request on my talk page for help sourcing images. Another way members of this project can help is, as I introduce more chemists to the community of editors, to welcome, and even mentor, them. Those of you in the UK (or elsewhere - I may be travelling) might also volunteer at training or outreach events. I'll return with other ideas for collaboration as the role develops. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:42, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Andy: Do you have access to all of the journals the RSC publish? Currently there are two articles I would like to see if the content is worth while. One for example I have listed as "C. C. Addison C. D. Garner W. B. Simpson D Sutton, S. C. Wallwork Proceedings Chemical Society 367 1964" but the online index does not even seem to mention "article" names. So perhaps it is available on paper. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:11, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
@Graeme Bartlett: I'm in the office tomorrow, so I'll see what I can do then, thanks. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:11, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
@Graeme Bartlett: What's the other paper? Also, please mail me from an address to which I can send you a PDF. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:28, 2 October 2014 (UTC)


What about asking RSC for releasing some of their pictures or video clips on e.g. chemical reactions, lab equipment, etc. under a free license? Or advertising this request among interested RSC members? See also Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemistry/Image Request or Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of chemical compounds. --Leyo 12:03, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks; I'll look into that. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:11, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I suggest that if such images are to be used, neither the article text nor caption acknowledges RSC, although maybe such could be included in the image notes. My point is to avoid the cycle where images are given to Wikipedia in return for acknowledgements. Maybe its a moot point. --Smokefoot (talk) 02:05, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Omitting credit where an image is used at the point an image is used is Wikipedia standard (WP:CREDITS in manual-of-style). But if an image is provided by "some source", citing that source is standard (and often mandatory) on the image-description page. That sort of detail--the distinction between making something open-license available for all to use as they see fit vs donating it for a certain use or on a certain website in exchange for "image courtesy of..." footnote--is a great think for Wikipedians in Residence to clarify and promote. DMacks (talk) 05:09, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Job description[edit]

As promised, a copy of the role's job description is at:

I'm grateful to my new colleagues for allowing it to be shared in this way, but please note that they retain copyright, and the document is not open licensed. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:06, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

"carbon fiber"[edit]

The usage of Carbon fiber (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is under discussion, see talk:carbon (fiber) -- (talk) 04:23, 25 September 2014 (UTC)


Some of you will have ORCID identifiers, as will some of the chemists you write about. ORCID is an open system of identifiers for people - particularly researchers and the authors of academic papers; but also contributors to other works, not least Wikipedia editors. ORCIDs are a bit like ISBNs for books or DOIs for papers. You can register for one, free, at As well as including your ORCID in any works to which you contribute, you can include it in your user page using {{Authority control}} thus: {{Authority control|ORCID=0000-0001-5882-6823}} (that template can also include other identifies, such as VIAF, ISNI and LCCN - there's an example on my user page). ORCID identifiers can also be added to biographical articles, either directly or via Wikidata. See WP:ORCID for more. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:19, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

On a somewhat related note (and because I was curious) some of you may be interested to learn that it will be our 12 year anniversary on the 24th December‎. Project Osprey (talk) 15:22, 2 October 2014 (UTC)


I've discovered a number of "missing" biographies of chemists (lists via Wikipedia:GLAM/Royal Society of Chemistry#Articles needed). Does this project have a biography task force, or other venue where such articles are listed or discussed? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:48, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

I confess to being uncomfortable with a RSC-paid person creating content because it just seems like a conflict of interest, and when couple to the fact that the editor is not a chemist, seems almost pointless. But that having been said already, I looked at the list Wikipedia:GLAM/Royal Society of Chemistry#Articles needed and did not see anything particularly pressing. Mostly looked like stuff promoting RSC. The things that RSC could uniquely contribute are photographs for famous UK or FRS chemists. Ronald Sydney Nyholm, Joseph Chatt, Alan Sargeson, Bernard L. Shaw, Philip Power, and probably others need photographs. --Smokefoot (talk) 14:19, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I personally can't see how RSC bias could play into this. Obviously we don't want advertising copy, but I frankly think it's premature to just assume that the quality would be low just because they're getting paid by someone. It's not like we can't change the articles if they're badly written. As for the question at hand, I don't think there's a Biography taskforce here, but there is a science and academia workgroup at Wikiproject Biography.0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 16:59, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Re ":I personally can't see how RSC bias could play into this" Really? --Smokefoot (talk) 17:06, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, 0x0077BE, that's very helpful, and just what I was after. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:20, 3 October 2014 (UTC)


Could someone with a better knowledge of fluorine chemistry have a look at bifluoride. A number of unreferenced edits have been made recently. A superficial look at the literature doesn't confirm what has been stated.Axiosaurus (talk) 17:15, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I removed or replaced some of the more eccentric contributions from Plasmic Physics. I thought that he had agreed to consult other editors before doing this kind of stuff. Oh well.--Smokefoot (talk) 17:46, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Before you lay into me again, you may want to check your dates. I made no major additions since our resolution. What I did do recently, was balance the equations. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:13, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Borrowing hydrogen[edit]

Is this an actual thing? I can't say I've heard of it and the the article heavily cites the work of one man (Jonathan Williams) but perhaps I'm wrong and this isn't just another niche COI page. Project Osprey (talk) 23:34, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I think "borrowing hydrogen" refers heterogeneously catalyzed hydrogenations where a hydrogen donor solvent is the source of H2 that is transferred to the substrate. If my understanding is correct, the analogous process in homogenous catalysis is transfer hydrogenation, which typically uses iPrOH or formic acid as the hydrogen source. We should snoop around and sort this out. --Smokefoot (talk) 21:39, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Photoionization study of confined atoms inside fullerene cage[edit]

Dear chemistry experts: Another of those old AfC drafts. Anything to this one?—Anne Delong (talk) 00:55, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

You have pointed us to an implausible redirect, but it has been that way more than a year, so we cannot delete it any more. Is there a draft somewhere on this? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 12:08, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
I changed the redirect to fullerene chemistry. Another possible redirect target is endohedral fullerene. --Kkmurray (talk) 14:24, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, Graeme Bartlett and Kkmurray - the link should have been Wikipedia talk:Articles for creation/Photoionization study of confined atoms inside fullerene cage, but it's been deleted now. Here's the text:

Dynamical Heterogeneity

Polymers are soft materials and have the property of viscoelasticity. There are two type of polymers: synthetic and biopolymers. When a polymeric liquid is cooled below its freezing temperature with avoiding crystallization then it will become a supercooled liquid and if cool further then it will become a glass. In glassy state system will fall out of equilibrium and a phase transition from polymer to glassy state is taking place.

Since polymer to glass transition have many open questions regarding relaxation time, viscosity and size of the cage etc. At low temperatures the dynamics becomes very slow(sluggish) and relaxation time increases from picosecond to second or minute or even years. In glassy state the density is not homogeneous that means particles are localized in different density distributions in space . Due to low temperature particles dynamics becomes very slow because temperature is directally proportional to kinetic energy.The particles are trapping in some local regions and rattling inside that region. These regions are called as cages in glassy polymer.

The dynamics in all these cages is different than each other so at small scale there is large number of cages in the system with respect to whole size of system. This is known as Dynamical Heterogeneity in the glassy system.


1.Walter Kob, Computer simulations of supercooled liquids and glasses,J. Phys.Condens. Matter 11,R85(1999).

2.Kurt Binder and Walter Kob, Glassy materials and disordered solids: An introduction to their statistical mechanics,World Scientific Publishing Co.Pte. Ltd

I can "refund" it if it was a useful draft. Should I? —Anne Delong (talk) 10:18, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
No need to refund, as the author went on to write the contents in Dynamical heterogeneity which is substantially the same, but improved. The title is not particularly helpful, as noted above. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 09:48, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for finding that. I will leave it alone. —Anne Delong (talk) 21:21, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Question for debate: the role of primary references[edit]

A citation was added to acetamide today (cited 12 times since its publication in the 1930's). This well intentioned action begs the question - which papers should be cited in a Wikipedia article? According to Chemical Abstracts more than 8800 reports discuss acetamide. Is our goal to cite most of the remaining 8799 sources? Here I suggest guidelines for citations in articles on chemical compounds:

  1. stick mainly to reviews and textbooks sources per WP:SECONDARY
  2. lacking good secondary references, use our judgement but be mindful of WP:UNDUE (giving readers impression that an obscure report is a notable)
  3. exceptions include historically big events - compound discovery, Nobel prize winning work
  4. reports of structures (crystalography or electron diffraction etc)

This topic is not easy one, but maybe we can at least discuss it. --Smokefoot (talk) 14:18, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Agree that it's a sticky topic, hard to make hard-and-fast rules about this sort of thing, because you aren't going to get a lot of secondary sources on scientific topics which are nevertheless interesting and useful for the encyclopedia (and honestly, a lot of mainstream press about science topics is woefully misinformed as it is). My rule of thumb is that secondary sources (including textbooks and I'd even go so far as to say review articles, particularly in major journals) inform what should be actually covered in the article (per WP:UNDUE), and primary sources are used as verification/justification of factual claims; obviously there's some fuzzing that goes on between these two, particularly in highly technical articles.
I don't see a problem adding one or two primary citations to something that already has a secondary source, so long as it's not citation overkill. If you're getting into a really well-cited fact that is covered by hundreds of primary and secondary sources, I'd say it's appropriate to prioritize by citation number and by likelihood of accessibility (i.e. if the paper is available online or open-access, it's probably preferable, all else equal).
Regarding your "exceptions include historically big events", I don't think I follow. Unless you disagree with my above assertion that a limited number of primary sources is OK in addition to a secondary source, then I would think the exception should go the exact opposite way - for stuff that's a big deal, you're likely to have a lot more coverage in secondary sources so you'll be less likely to need to resort to primary sources, and you'd probably just want to cite the original paper as an ancillary, additional citation that is less of a source for factual verification and more a navigational aid. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 15:29, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I would support the idea of (3), the original primary publication of a big find, or the discover of the subject of the article should also be referenced. Our readers are likely to be interested in the original, and not as keen on reports echoing the find. On the topics I have been writing about text books are pretty weak, but at least a mention in a textbook indicates notability. The other difficulty is that most reviews in Chemistry seem to be behind paywalls, and so I do not have access and I will therefore not use them at all. SO accessibility is an important aspect. Professionals like Smokefoot may have easy access and can use Reviews if they wish. Just because a paper gets a reference does not mean that the paper itself is notable, just that it confirms some fact. I think that we do have avoid the speculative writing and overdrawn conclusions that can appear in primary writings, or the press releases put out by universities. However if a secondary reference states the fact and can be found by our writers, then that should be used in preference to the primary reference. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 03:04, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

  • This discussion pops up at regular intervals, attracting the same people and has never reached a worthwhile conclusion.
  1. the definition of a primary source in Wikipedia is confusing: a witness account to a traffic incident and an article published in Nature are both considered primary sources.
  2. A peer-reviewed scientific article should be considered secondary, the primary component is the supplementary info. Publications such as arXiv (not peer-reviewed) are primary
  3. reviews are secondary literature but hardly impartial: all of them written by a leading expert and contributor in that field. Progress in the field discussed is always "important" and "exciting". Ideally a review should be written by someone not related to the field. Do we want the recent history of lets say Russia written by an impartial historian or by Vladimir Putin?
  4. that leaves us with other encyclopaedias. At least written by an impartial author one may hope but libraries do not tend to have more than one such book on a given topic. My library at least does not. Articles demand multiple sources not just one so there is a problem
  5. Is there any challenge or gratification in copying another encyclopedia for generating Wikipedia content? I think not.
  6. a distinction should be made between important general-interest topics such as chemistry where you would not expect to find scientific article citations and specialist topics such as Aldol reaction where you would expect a lot of them
  7. adding scientific article citations and providing links (DOI) is great added value to an article, the easiest way to verify a claim, and in general the abstract is not behind a pay-wall
  8. if you do not allow editors to cite scientific papers then you will never be able to attract new editors.
  9. articles have to be consistent with reviews and textbooks so each article should at least have one of them
  10. we also want to discuss contemporary topics, we should not have to wait two years for a review to appear.

V8rik (talk) 21:08, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Italicized below is the definition of primary vs secondary sources as it applies to medical research from Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine):
  • A primary source in medicine is one in which the authors directly participated in the research or documented their personal experiences. They examined the patients, injected the rats, filled the test tubes, or at least supervised those who did. Many, but not all, papers published in medical journals are primary sources for facts about the research and discoveries made.
  • A secondary source in medicine summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources, usually to provide an overview of the current understanding of a medical topic, to make recommendations, or to combine the results of several studies. Examples include literature reviews or systematic reviews found in medical journals, specialist academic or professional books, and medical guidelines or position statements published by major health organizations.
  • A tertiary source usually summarizes a range of secondary sources. Undergraduate textbooks, lay scientific books, and encyclopedias are examples of tertiary sources.

All Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources. Apparently few care and others are unhappy or are looking for glory somehow. Given the lack of interest, I'll drop the subject. --Smokefoot (talk) 17:41, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

• Primary sources aren't prohibited or even discouraged in WP:PSTS which says that primary souces can be used but "any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation." Use primary sources to document the "big events", use secondary sources to document evaluative claims about the big events, and use tertiary sources to help evaluate due weight for conflicting primary and secondary sources. --Kkmurray (talk) 19:45, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

While it has never been promoted to guideline status, I think WP:SCIRS is relevant to this discussion. PSTS, MEDRS, and SCIRS are largely in agreement that secondary sources are preferred to primary. However, SCIRS is not quite as strident. In the case of medical related articles, despite the medical disclaimer, secondary sources are especially important because of the potential impact of these articles have on peoples lives. In addition, biological results often cannot be repeated and the conclusions of clinical trials frequently contradict each other. Hence the critical need for review articles. In general, results of chemical and physical experiments are generally more repeatable and have less direct impact on peoples lives. Hence the need for secondary sources in the chemical sciences while still preferred is less urgent. Boghog (talk) 20:19, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Boghog and Kkmurray: Thanks for your well considered comments. Very helpful! The question remains: for a topic that is subject of many publications (often thousands), what is our policy - we should cite articles that tickle our fancy? --Smokefoot (talk) 22:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
If we are trying to get the article to featured standard, then we need to go for the best references, which would not normally be the primary reference at all, so the primary should be changed to a tertiary or secondary reference. Otherwise for lower grade articles we can accept reliable references. For notability purposes we should get references written by two different people, but for most Chemistry topics we don't get the problem of independence, unless we get Chemists writing about themselves. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 05:34, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
With regards to Smokefoot’s 4 starting points, I was under the impression that those were the criteria we always aimed for. A lot has already been said about this - but in my experience the major problem is access to journals.
Currently my access to literature is good, so I’m mostly citing reviews but there have been times when I’ve had no access beyond what I can gleam off Google scholar. When that’s been the case I’ve mostly gotten information from the abstracts of papers - and that resulted in me citing mostly primary literature, because reviews don’t give out free information in their abstracts.
There are pages where I’ve done that and not been happy with the results (P3N5, Cl2O) and I should probably go back and review them but I can’t imagine I’m the only one to have done this and I don’t think it’s going to be easy to fix.
Broadly, the ability to find and access reviews on subjects spanning the breadth of chemistry is something you’d only expect in academia or top-tier companies. Of our most active member I’m only aware of 4 academics (Smokefoot, Edgar181, Beetstra, Dmacks), although there may be more. It should therefore come as no surprise that many pages cite a great deal of primary literature.
Smokefoot is right though, this is a problem. There are pages (like the aldol reaction) where we can be expected to employ our common sense about what’s important, but most of the pages we edit are about chemical reaction we’ve never done and chemicals we’ve never heard of. Too much primary and the page can become an eccentric mess (look at the fun we had with Copper hydride). Secondary reviews are essential for good pages because they provide the guidance of someone who is an expert in that area.
However, now that I’ve better defined the problem I still don’t know how we’re going to fix it. Perhaps we can try and use the page ranking system? A page must cite at least 1 secondary ref to get above ‘Start’ class; 2 secondary and 1 tertiary (i.e. a text book) to be ‘A’ class; ‘GA’ or above must have at least 50% secondary/tertiary sources... Something like that, you can debate the boundaries. Project Osprey (talk) 09:14, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
One thing that I think is missing in this discussion is the quality of the citations, regardless if they are primary or secondary. Far too many secondary sources merely describe what has been published in the field with little or no critical commentary. Conversely there are high qualtiy primary sources published in high impact journals that provide a good over view of the field in their introductions. One needs to carefully evaluate the sources one is using. Coverage in a secondary source tends to increase the notability of a primary source, but only if the secondary source provides a critical review of the field. WhatamIdoing said it best: a secondary source is not automatically better than a primary. Boghog (talk) 18:09, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
See WP:NOTGOODSOURCE for an example of me (and others) saying that, and WP:Secondary does not mean independent too, if you're interested in the subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:45, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
  • @Project Osprey: Regarding access to journals, I think that's a side-issue, and an issue of practicality. Presumably you could use a lower-quality, accessible source and drop a {{Verify}} on it, or (if one doesn't already exist), we could create a template that marks sources as needing improvement/augmentation. And, of course, there's always WP:RX. If you think it's a real problem, we could presumably create a sub-page in our namespace for resource exchange, and look into having them transcluded over to WP:RX (either automatically or by bot), that way you could go to say, Wikipedia:Wikiproject Chemistry/Resource Exchange and see all the requests for Chemistry journals/books, but the more general RX people could also step in. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 18:59, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • You will be surprised how many academics frequent the Wikipedia chemistry pages. But that aside I do not see how featured article status has anything to do with it, small technical articles should be able to attain that level too (with a higher percentage of peer-reviewed scientific articles) but FA has more to do with quantity (we want a big page) than with quality. The aldol reaction page has just two textbook citations and one actual book citation. The other reviews in the list are too specialized to have been of any use. By your criteria the aldol page should no longer be a featured article V8rik (talk) 19:25, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • In response to Project Osprey about criteria, our B class and A class assessment is hardly used, and has nothing to say about use of primary references. GA class is independent of this project, so the criteria there cannot be changed. I don't think that we have to specify a proportion, but for A class we may want a check if the references used are the best. For B class they should at least be reliable and not disputed by later reviews. C class should be pretty easy to achive, so any reliable reference should be good. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 21:38, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Many many mergers[edit]

This project currently has a backlog of around 50 pages with active merge proposals, some of which have been running for years. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in helping me try to resolve some of these. Apologies in advance to our admins if this results in a surge of merger requests.

-yne General chemistry Nonmetal
Acid base buffers High production volume chemicals Norman Edson
Alkyne High Production Volume Chemicals Programme Optical rotation
Autocatalysis Hydride Organofluorine compound
Autocatalytic reaction Hydrothermal liquefaction Peroxyacyl nitrates
Binary compounds of hydrogen InChI Trust Platinum sponge
Blacktop Industrial mixer Propyl
Bufagin International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Radiolysis
Butyl Ionic compound S-equol
Carbonaceous Ionic crystal Silicic acid
Car–Parrinello method IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic chemistry Sorption isotherm
Chemistry education Metal Tetraterpenoid
Chromophore Metalorganic vapour phase epitaxy Transition metal oxides
Cohesion (chemistry) Methylene bridge Unhydrolysable glucose polymers
Entropy (energy dispersal) Methylene group Water number
Ethyl group Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry Web of Knowledge
Fluoride Non-specific, adsorptive pinocytosis

Regards. Project Osprey (talk) 11:22, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

I merged the two-sentence thing on [[Transition metal oxides]] into our mid-sized oxide. The tidying up of double redirects can be time consuming.

My two cents, --Smokefoot (talk) 13:00, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Some should be fairly easy and uncontroversial. I merged tetraterpenoid into tetraterpene and redirected InChI Trust to International Chemical Identifier. -- Ed (Edgar181) 13:05, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the help! I think that Hydrothermal liquefaction, Acid base buffers, Sorption isotherm and Blacktop can propably just be deleted or converted to redirects, there's almost no useful content there. I would support merging Carbonaceous into Carbon and -yne into Alkyne. Project Osprey (talk) 13:16, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the Bufagin/Bufadienolide/Cinobufagin/Arenobufagin/Marinobufagin merger is unnecessary. There's a case to be made for the stubs Arenobufagin and Marinobufagin to be merged into Bufagin, possibly, but Cinobufagin is pretty well fleshed out, and the other two have reliable sources and it's not clear to me that they can't be expanded. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 14:53, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
The Fluoride/Fluoride toxicity merger doesn't seem necessary either, but I think DMacks has a point that we should probably defer the discussion until after the article's been cleaned up of non-MEDRS-compliant sources. If it doesn't end up being cut down to a stub, it should probably remain separate. My guess is that Wikiproject Medicine, Wikiproject Skepticism and the Fringe Theories noticeboard will probably want to weigh in there to make sure it's not just a haven for fringe theories or a POVFORK of Water fluoridation. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 15:02, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

When merges are complete, please don't forget to consider whether corresponding Wikidata items should be merged and, if so, either do that or leave a note here so that I or someone else can do so (or leave a note if you're not sure). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:00, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Eucaine for your review[edit]

Please help AfC with Draft talk:Eucaine. Chris Troutman (talk) 04:04, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Draft:Eucaine got copy-paste moved to mainspace by User:Luklear (WP attribution policy/article-rename procedure failure) even after it was flagged by User:Joe Decker as being likely a copyvio/fair-use violation (Luklear then cloned to Α-Eucaine and Β-Eucaine with the same flagged concern still present). I concur with the flagging as being unusable content, though a possibly-viable topic. DMacks (talk) 21:43, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

What is it that you want me to do, to remove the "quotation" and use paraphrasing? Wikipedia still needs a page for β-eucaine because it is clearly a credible and valid encyclopedic entry. It is not like a vague research compound G567938 that was tested on rats. Eucaine has an official name and history of being used on humans. We should not just delete the whole page, but think of ways how it can be edited to meet the standards of wikipedia----Luklear (talk) 03:27, 1 November 2014 (UTC) (talk) 03:25, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

@Α-Eucaine: Half of the article is a quotation, what is everything else as desirable. I am not sure that - even with citation this is allowed in that extent (excess of fair-use). "1900. α β" does not make any sense. Synthesis should have some more words. Structure formula misleading for non-chemists (what is "Bz", "Et",...?). @Β-Eucaine: First sentence does not make any sense. Second sentence even more confusing: beta replaced alpha just because it is "more soluble"? Really, nothing more? "1900. α β", structure and synthesis as above.

→ Conclusion: In that form not useful. --Yikrazuul (talk) 14:11, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, it's just the latest incarnation of a long-term sock-puppetry problem. Another admin deleted it as such, no need to worry about it further. WP:RBI DMacks (talk) 02:34, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

A collection of papers in memory of Professor Michael Lappert[edit]

A collection of organometallic chemistry papers by Professor Michael Lappert have been published online in his memory by the The Royal Society of Chemistry (where I am Wikimedian in Residence). They will be free to access until October 2015. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:56, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

"Compound" terminology[edit]

I came across a weird bit a phrasing that I'm unsure about. Is it correct to describe a molecular ion (e.g. phosphate: PO4-3) as a "compound"? In my experience it would fine to say that a salt like Na3PO4 is a "compound", but I don't recall seeing that terminology applied to an ion by itself and I wasn't sure about it. It does have a fixed structure, but since it is charged it won't generally exist in isolation as a pure substance. As far as I can tell chemical compound doesn't say anything about electrical neutrality, but I also don't see any examples of ions as "compounds". Dragons flight (talk) 04:12, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

An ion is most certainly not a compound. That needs correcting. Plasmic Physics (talk) 05:54, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
In normal chemistry, ions are generally always countered by a counter ion (to ensure electrical neutrality of the overall system). However, one could argue that when such a salt is in the gas phase, the different ions are 'separate' entities (one would not have discrete NaCl 'molecules' in the gas phase, rather 'Na+' and 'Cl-' ions). For Na3PO4 on could then argue that there would be three Na+ ions, and 1 PO43- ion - the PO43- is then an ion and a 'separate molecule', or 'separate compound' .. but calling it a compound is a stretch (I know some chemists have a magical bottle of electrons in their lab that they add to their reactions .. so they might consider that a compound as well .. ;-) ).
It gets into a semantics question which is difficult to answer properly. I would just suggest to avoid that type of wording - call it a molecular ion or similar. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:05, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Kesarin aroma[edit]

There is an article at Articles for Creation with the title "Kesarin Aroma". It would be helpful if a chemistry expert could have a look at it. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:38, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

I can't really tell what that article is about. I find no evidence on scholar or google searching that there's anything called "Kesarin" or "Kesarin Aroma". Searching for 2-Hydroxy-4,4,6-trimethyl-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-one to see if there's a common name (much more likely to be notable if it has a common name), it seems like a significant fraction of the article is lifted from or closely paraphrased from this site. If determined to be notable, the Wikitable obviously also needs to be replaced with an infobox, and there are other basic formatting problems (author info, citation style, etc). I'd definitely say decline as is for quality reasons, and decline as non-notable unless the authors can figure out and convey exactly what the article is supposed to be about. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 14:32, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Possibly notable under the name "Lanierone", actually. The 2D chemical structure is likely unattributed copyright infringement lifted from this page. The 3D may be original work, but it's quite low quality. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 14:39, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Lanierone (2-hydroxy-4,4,6-trimethyl-2,5-cyclohexadien-1-one) seems to be notable as a pheromone[1][2] and a volatile component of saffron[3][4] but I couldn't find any sources for "Kesarin aroma." --Kkmurray (talk) 15:14, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I declined the nomination. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 14:12, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
I created Lanierone since it seems notable and I had the refs. --Kkmurray (talk) 22:16, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Structure drawing inquiry[edit]

Sulfonylurea herbicides.png

Dear Project Chemistry participants,

I don't own ChemDraw. May someone redraw my harvested chemical general formula as SVG? That would be very kind.--Kopiersperre (talk) 19:31, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

What are A, B and X? B is already the symbol for Boron, so it might not be an ideal generic label... 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 21:31, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Knowing the context (what article is this for) would help us decide how best to represent the details that are relevant clearly while simply omitting those that are not. For example, "A" and "B" are a common literature way of representing separate sections of a molecule, so that later prose can talk about the "A ring" and the "B ring". But if we're only wanting to talk about this whole class or certain members of it rather than the structural details section-by-section, then specifically labeling the two rings is not necessary at all. DMacks (talk) 21:58, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Either way, I made three SVG structures:
I didn't include the text from the first one, because there's a preference to be language-independent for these sorts of things, so that they can be reused on other non-English Wikis, so I think the best way to re-create the structure is to explain in the caption what happens when you replace Y with C or N, respectively. I made it with ChemDoodle. I can make changes to it or send anyone the .icl files or export as .cdl files if anyone wants (though it's not like it's hard to make if you have chemical drawing software). 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 22:18, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. By the way commons:Category:Sulfonylureas should be divided in -sulfuron herbicidal and Gli- antidiabetical sulfonylureas.--Kopiersperre (talk) 17:44, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

US/UK spelling in templates (like Chembox)[edit]

Currently I am improving template {{Engvar}}, a metatemplate (subtemplate). With it, any article editor can enter in a template |engvar=en-UK, and the template shows the word "vapour" not the en-US "vapor". For example, {{infobox element}} uses it, and today the whole article of phosphorus including its infobox is in en-UK as the MoS prefers.

My question is: does anyone of you see any use or need for this in, for example {{chembox}} or {{drugbox}}? -DePiep (talk) 22:35, 15 November 2014 (UTC)


IKA-Works was created by someone with a COI, and it certainly has issues. Can someone with time on their hands have a look, it needs quite some work (especially references showing notability). --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:47, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Please help review a draft at AFC[edit]

Please see Draft:MXenes and review it for acceptability in mainspace. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:23, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Requested article: chemistry societies[edit]

I have compiled a list of chemistry organisations, for which we have no article. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:50, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

New or expanded articles[edit]

Inexperienced editors working with me will be or have been contributing to the following articles. If you see anything really awful or weird, please let me know. Here is the list: Bis(cyclooctatetraene)iron, iron boride, cobalt boride, denitrification, chloropicrin, Ziegler alcohol synthesis, green explosives, lead styphnate, methyltrimethoxysilane, laurolactam-cyclododecatriene-nylon-12, 15N NMR spectroscopy, High potential iron-sulfur protein, FeMoco (active site of nitrogenase), transition metal alkyne complex.--Smokefoot (talk) 13:27, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

List of organic compounds[edit]

List of organic compounds was converted to a redirect to Organic compound on 12 November 2011 and the redirect was modified to Dictionary of chemical formulas on 16 December 2011. There was some prior discussion but, as far as I can see, no consensus was reached. I think the argument against List of organic compounds was that it would become impossibly big. I see that Dictionary of chemical formulas has now sprouted some organic compounds so won't this become impossibly big as well? Biscuittin (talk) 12:18, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

In short, yes. We have a lot of random lists like this, mostly dating back to the early days of wikipedia. There is a list-of-lists [[5]]. Some can be kept, some are unworkably broad in scope and should probably be gotten rid of. Project Osprey (talk) 13:52, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I propose that Dictionary of chemical formulas be restricted to inorganic compounds and that we have a further discussion about what to do with List of organic compounds. The old list still exists in the revision history. Biscuittin (talk) 14:05, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I have re-instated List of organic compounds for ease of access. Biscuittin (talk) 14:13, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
It would be a pity to delete the list because people have obviously put a lot of work into it. Perhaps it could be split into separate pages by initial letter. Biscuittin (talk) 14:20, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Just because someone put a lot of work into something doesn't mean it's worth keeping, the two are independent. People lovingly craft extensive fancruft pretty much constantly, and it just tends to bury useful information and create a lot of extra work to maintain. This really feels like something that should be handled using a category instead of a list. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 15:29, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I have created a slimmed-down page at List of organic compounds with hints for inexperienced users to help find the required compound. Is this what you have in mind? Biscuittin (talk) 20:04, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely not. All mainspace articles are articles in an encyclopedia. Do not include meta-comments like, "Search in the box in the top right". That's not even an article, it's all just "See also". The lead also refers to what the article used to be. If all the organic compounds are tagged with Category:Organic compounds, then there should be no problem navigating to it. Good list articles tend to be more than a simple navigation page - they contain additional details and prose content. Look at the entries in WP:Featured lists - e.g. List of Interstate Highways in Michigan or even List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Cleveland. I think that "List of organic compounds" is likely to have much, much too broad a scope to be a reasonable list article - even one that simply is used as a navigational aid. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 22:16, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I restored the page to its previous status as a redirect to Dictionary of chemical formulas. Personally, I'd rather redirect it to Category:Organic compounds, as Dictionary of chemical formulas suffers many of the same problems as the original list, plus it includes a large number of inorganic compounds. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 22:21, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
We need a long-term solution, otherwise Dictionary of chemical formulas will become too cluttered. Biscuittin (talk) 22:31, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that Dictionary of chemical formulas has a reason in a way that List of organic compounds does not, because List of organic chemicals is just denoting the binary yes/no "is this part of this class of compounds" - something that can be easily handled by Categories, and as such I think List of organic compounds should redirect to Category:Organic compounds, assuming that mainspace->category redirects are kosher like that.

At least with the dictionary of chemical formulas, it's an attempt to provide a correspondence between names and chemical formulas, so it has some navigational utility. I'm thinking that in the long term, Dictionary of chemical formulas can be replaced by something on WikiData, but I don't fully understand the vision for WikiData's growth, so maybe that's not the right approach. If it remains a list article, it can always be broken up either in some arbitrary way like alphabetically, as List of colors has been, or in a more natural way like "List of chemical formulas by x" where "x" is element, or something like that. Maybe Pigsonthewing wants to weigh in, as he is the Wikimedian in Residence at the RSC, and also, I gather, involved in WikiData in some way. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 22:43, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the solution to the large article problem is to split it into smaller ones, e.g. List of chemical formulas: A–F or List of chemical formulas: C3–C5, etc. Also, why is it a dictionary and not a list of chemical formulas? --Kkmurray (talk) 23:01, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I really don't think this is a good idea, the list is far too open-ended, the only criteria are that something be organic and have a formula. There's nothing to stop the list from growing and the end scenario is ridiculous. The Chemical Abstract service currently has more than 90 million chemicals on its books and it’s been estimated that using currently known synthetic methods we could synthesise between 1020 and 1024 different molecules (DOI:10.1021/ci0255782), that's roughly equal to the number of stars in the universe. We really don't have the resources to curate something like that. Project Osprey (talk) 23:16, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Chemical structure drawing guide -- why is white space required for PNGs?[edit]

Hi, I think that PNGs for 3D structures would fit more comfortably in the drugbox/chembox without white space so I'd like to know why white space is specifically mentioned here in the CSDG: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Chemistry/Structure_drawing#Generating_PNG_files in the first place. Brenton (contribs · email · talk · uploads) 16:40, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm guessing that's just either to prevent clipping or just stylistically people prefer to have a small buffer (though that can and should be added in the markup rather than in the file anyway). Either way, if you're generating new chemical drawings, please use SVG instead of PNG. PNG files will eventually need to be replaced by SVG files anyway. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 21:04, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
It would be pretty awesome if ChemDraw could finally add SVG to its OS X version. It's been on their Windows versions for a while now and been available on many other Mac and cross-platform apps for *many* years. On the other hand, some graphics-workshop editors on commons have mentioned that its svg is technically poor. DMacks (talk) 21:22, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Generally for stuff like that I assume the SVGs are going to not turn out clean, so I clean it up in Inkscape or Illustrator once I export it. It's an extra step, but preferable to uploading a PNG and waiting for someone else to make an SVG of it. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 03:56, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I wonder whether in future it might be possible for Wikipedia (or Wikimedia Commons) to store data about the structure, and then to render it, much like for our MathML rendering? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:57, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
SMILES data (already reported in most infoboxes for chemicals and drugs) is sufficient for autogeneration of a 2D structure. For simple chemical compounds the common algorithms work well, but for compounds that are complex, the output is sometimes confusing, ambiguous, or just plain indecipherable. -- Ed (Edgar181) 13:07, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, this is correct: " prevent clipping or just stylistically people prefer to have a small buffer". Wnen we standardised our drawing settings, we decided to include a small whitespace border for those exact (aesthetic) reasons. We didn't want pictures posted where the structures could end up rammed up against one another. This standard was loosely based on an earlier standard from User:Cacycle (one of the earliest people on WP to write a lot of organic chem articles); he likewise included a small whitespace border, so I think we kept the same settings as Cacycle. I think we also got the people at ChemSketch (then including Antony Williams) to allow us to create PNG files directly - a new thing then.
I don't see a problem with allowing "borderless" images in Chemboxes, if (a) there are real advantages in doing so and (b) the "border" markup is spelled out in the style guide. However, the current method has the advantage that hundreds of different people - some with minimal WP knowledge - have posted images that look good. For that reason I think it should remain the default, at least for people inexperienced on WP. Walkerma (talk) 14:01, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Isn't the margin an integral part of a structure image or model in the same way as there is a margin around text on a page or around the motif in a photograph? I don't think that we would ever want a structure or model to touch the box. Cacycle (talk) 19:42, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

@Fuse809: Chemical structures without any whitespace simply look horrible as thumbnails. There needs to be a margin between the structure and the frame.
@Pigsonthewing: Have you seen yet? It's promising, but the quality is currently not the same as for images created using ChemDraw. --Leyo 02:25, 28 November 2014 (UTC)


Someone engaged in research on the topic Halorespiration is adding a lot of information to the article in an unencyclopedic fashion and needs some help. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 12:30, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

I am no expert but halorespiration looks promising, and unlike a lot of the blog-like or COI-based stuff around here, actually is based on real secondary references. The role of alkyl halides as electron acceptors seems like a real topic. Perhaps related to dehalogenation and bioremediation and such.--Smokefoot (talk) 12:51, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
What has been added is not apparent unless you look at the edit side of the page. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:25, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Rfc on terminology on electronic cigarettes[edit]

Members of this wikiproject may be helpful by participating in this RfC about what to use as terminology for the emission from electronic cigarettes. Outside input would be greatly appreciated. Yobol (talk) 20:01, 3 December 2014 (UTC)


Hello chemists, I came across File:Ssssss9.png on Commons, which has a meaningless file name and an equally useless description. All I could determine is that it has something to do with streptokinase. Could someone please take a look at this image and say whether it is worth keeping or deleting, and if kept, what it actually depicts? Thanks, — This, that and the other (talk) 04:23, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I categorized and renamed the file and added a description. -- Ed (Edgar181) 20:50, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! — This, that and the other (talk) 00:42, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Energy systems/energy system[edit]

There's a redirect at energy system redirecting to an ATP metabolism article. It occurs to me that there are many energy systems, and that this should lead elsewhere or be a disambiguation page. Do we have a general article or would it be energy ? (note also a discussion at talk:energy systems ) -- (talk) 06:20, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Launch of WikiProject Wikidata for research[edit]

Hi, this is to let you know that we've launched WikiProject Wikidata for research in order to stimulate a closer interaction between Wikidata and research, both on a technical and a community level. As a first activity, we are drafting a research proposal on the matter (cf. blog post). Your thoughts on and contributions to that would be most welcome! Thanks, -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 02:15, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

New articles from a class project[edit]

There are some recently created chemistry articles that seem to be essays for a class project:

Should these articles be merged into the "parent" articles (Environmental fate and occurrence of carbamazepine --> carbamazepine for example)? I noticed that Iodoacetic Acid as an Emerging Disinfection By-Product was already merged into iodoacetic acid and then deleted. The new content in the parent article could probably use some review and trimming. ChemNerd (talk) 20:16, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

The project seems to be Education Program:Louisiana State University/CHEM 4150 Environmental Chemistry (Fall 2014). How can we best ensure that these new editors are given a warm welcome and encouraged and supported to keep participating? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:27, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Warm welcome for unsupervised mediocrity??? The record shows that these homework projects do not lead to new editors. The other issue is that the standards in Wiki-chem are such that it is difficult for students in undergraduate classes to contribute meaningfully. --Smokefoot (talk) 14:35, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, per WP:DBN, we're more or less obligated to give them a warm welcome. I'm not familiar with any literature on the matter, but my guess would be that, by and large, new editors are extremely few and far between, and the proportion of people who consistently make high-quality contributions to the encyclopedia is a miniscule fraction of the people who 1. ever make edits to Wikipedia and especially 2. visit Wikipedia. Given that fact, I would guess that it would be very difficult to assess whether or not these Wikipedia Education classes tend to increase participation, and I would guess that even a small increase in the proportion of new high-quality editors can make a big difference.
Either way, probably the articles should be merged up and it might be worthwhile to try to help the instructor if they want to run a similar course in the future. I get the impression that even if these programs are not creating new editors, with a sufficiently good instructor, they may well be useful in providing some "intellectual leverage" and outsource many man-hours of research to his or her students. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 15:01, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
In the case of the LSU project, I did contact the "instructor," who explained that she is not really the prof of the course (probably some sort of "coordinator"). We have repeatedly tried over several years to contact the professors of homework projects. The problem is that the faculty also are disconnected from Wikipedia, and one gets the feeling that, after assigning these projects, they just want the kids "to go leave them (= prof) alone". There is an engaged prof from U of MIchigan, whose (grad) students write specialized articles on soft materials that are high level. And there is an emerging set of articles from Texas A&M, e.g. Carbon–hydrogen_bond_activation, the author of which DMacks and I actually managed to influence in terms of some presentation details. In all cases however, these students write large essays, which they drop into an often mature article with little attention to integration. This style of contribution is non-ideal, obviously. --Smokefoot (talk) 15:18, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
I started a merge proposal discussion here for one of the above articles. Your input is welcome. Boghog (talk) 15:33, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
I mean a warm welcome of the kind generously displayed to this new editor, who didn't know how to use talk pages, and was about to "unleash" their students on Wikipedia. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:35, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
The difference is that the prof you refer to did/does the dirty work of curation and, with rare exception, others don't. They assign student essays and run. One could wish that undergraduate homework assignees (i) become active Wikipedians (low probability, as a decade of observation shows) and (ii) be proficient at chemistry (low probability, as a decade of observation shows). (low probablility)2 = tough odds. On top of that recruitment problem, long essays are poorly compatible with the incremental and integrative growth pathway for articles in Wikipedia. It would be wonderful if someone could figure a way to improve the dynamics of these educational projects, and one could expect that editors here would be highly supportive of efforts in that direction.--Smokefoot (talk) 18:46, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Then the problem in the more recent example is with the educator, not their students who - like anyone, professor, undergrad or lay person - deserves a warm welcome. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:30, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
As an ambassador in residence, you are ideally suited to reach out. In fact, there is a huge need for someone within this project to monitor/coach on these homework projects and to try to get the attention of the instructors. You would be doing the project a great favor. You might consider maintaining a table of projects underway, the authors, the instructor, etc. Would be great. --Smokefoot (talk) 23:17, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
"ideally suited to reach out": As indeed I have done; but it is incumbent on all editors, not just those of us working "in residence", to welcome new editors. The list of projects underway is at: Special:Courses. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:08, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
These sort of courses should have an online volunteer. I actually thought that Wikimedia Foundation did not want them to go ahead without adequate support being available. There is a whole lot of training material for the students. But it does not mean that they use it or learn from it!Perhaps I can volunteer to help, but I can't put in much time at the moment! Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:23, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
As it stands, the contributions are pretty poor, often off-topic, generally preachy, textbookish, and awfully sourced. It seems unfair for nontechnical "ambassadors" to impose this editing burden on our handful of technical editors. Its about the opportunity cost as well as setting some standards. Oh, well... --Smokefoot (talk) 13:37, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Iota Sigma Pi[edit]

Hello, if anyone has a free moment can you have a look over this article for me - I have put it as a Start-class and I am hoping to get a DYK for it at some point. I only found it through the 'Random Article' button and tried my best to improve it. Thanks ツStacey (talk) 20:49, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't really have a problem with this as a start, but the primary content seems to be a list of awards they give out. Ideally, it would be nice to have a "History" or "Background" section and some description of their other activities; once there's some more content, I'd recommend consolidating the two "awards" sections and probably trimming them down to awards mentioned only in secondary sources (these awards are all sourced directly to their website). In fact, looking at the sourcing, it looks like nearly all of the article is based on primary sources; likely you'll need to find some additional secondary sources talking about ISP before you'll be able to find something that qualifies for a DYK hool. I would also recommend contacting the organization and see if they have any photos they want to furnish that can be uploaded to the Wikimedia commons, maybe something from an event, a photo of the founder, something like that; they may also have a publicity portfolio or some other record of press coverage they've gotten which could help you find sources. Best of luck! 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 21:57, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
@Staceydolxx: Presumably United States based, but please make that, and the currency used, clear - Wikipedia is an international project. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:01, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both for your help! I've added some more info (including History and secondary sources). I will send an email asking for them to upload a photo for the article and any other info. I didn't even think about stating it was in the US, so thanks for your feedback - as I say, I came across the article through Random clicking and I don't have much interest in the subject! ツStacey (talk) 11:10, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Free 'RSC Gold' accounts[edit]

I am pleased to announce, as Wikimedian in Residence at the Royal Society of Chemistry, the donation of 100 "RSC Gold" accounts, for use by Wikipedia editors wishing to use RSC journal content to expand articles on chemistry-related topics. Please visit Wikipedia:RSC Gold for details, to check your eligibility, and to request an account. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:42, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Imidazole tautomers and numbering system[edit]

A slightly tricky situation exists with unsymmetrically substituted imidazoles since tautomers are formally different isomers. 5-Nitroimidazole is, for the drug world, the same as 4-nitro isomer (tautomer, I guess). I just redirected 3-Methylimidazole to 4-Methylimidazole , although to a spectroscopist they would be quite different. Does the N gets priority over NH in the numbering? Someone who enjoys heterocyclic chemistry might look through these articles to make sure we have the naming right. We might add statements to the articles about tautomers being equivalent for practical applications. --Smokefoot (talk) 16:54, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Infobox electrolysis[edit]

There are only two articles using {{Infobox electrolysis}}. Do we need it? Is there a better infobox they could use? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:20, 21 December 2014 (UTC)