In an article published online on March 22, 2015 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cheminformatics, Swiss researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Actelion introduce a new tool offering an easy way to perform substructure and similarity searches for molecules referenced in Wikipedia. As the authors point out, Wikipedia is a vital source of chemistry information containing entries for over 15000 chemicals. Ertl and colleagues extracted chemical structures from entries in Wikipedia. Then they implemented a web system that allows structure and similarity searching on these data. “The Wikipedia Chemical Structure Explorer” can be assessed online but it is also available for local installation. The new tool can be used for research as well as for chemical education. The authors further expect that the tool will help to improve quality of chemical entries in Wikipedia by providing daily updated list of entries with problematic or missing structural information. As a result, potential contributors will be directed to the area where their effort is most needed, the authors stress.

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Ertl, P. et al. (2015). “Wikipedia Chemical Structure Explorer: substructure and similarity searching of molecules from Wikipedia.Journal of Cheminformatics 7, 10.

The Wikipedia Chemical Structure Explorer