Open Science for Identifying “Known Unknown” Chemicals

Emma L. Schymanski, Antony J. Williams
  • Environmental Science & Technology, May 2017, American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01908

Open data sharing can contribute to the identification of chemicals in the environment

What is it about?

High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HR-MS) can detect the presence of chemicals in the environment, including those not yet captured in chemical databases such as “unknown unknowns”. Deposition of high quality, curated open data on chemicals and environmental observations will be vital for improving chemical identification with HR-MS, empowering international efforts to protect human and ecological health.

Why is it important?

Collecting, curating and providing high quality chemical information from multiple data sources is extremely challenging, yet it is essential prior to performing high confidence screening for chemicals. The variety of data sources supporting chemical identification already makes it difficult to compare scientific results between institutions. The development of open science resources offer a way to relieve the burden of chemical curation and help scientists focus on research questions.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Antony John Williams