Thursday, May 15, 2014

Remembering Dr. Jean-Claude Bradley

I first knew Dr. Jean-Claude Bradley through his writings on the Useful Chemistry Blog; he wrote quite a bit about Open Notebook Science.  In fact, he coined the phrase.  I particularly remember reading a blog post concerning errors in the publishing of chemistry data.  He wrote a post on "Dangerous Data: Lessons from my Cheminfo Retrieval Class."  I used that blog post to help teach LIS students that a reference librarian needs to recommend that patrons use multiple sources to confirm reference data.  One can't trust any single source of information. 

I was able to invite Jean-Claude to speak at a session of the 2011 SLA Conference in Philadelphia.  He did a great job talking about errors in the chemical literature and his efforts in correcting those errors.

Jean-Claude was a strong advocate for the open exchange of scientific information (particularly the data from research notebooks), and he really helped advance the cause for open access and open data.  Text from the last slide of one of his 2011 SLA presentations is a good way to close.
For science to progress quickly there is great benefit in moving away from a “trusted source” model to one based on transparency and data provenance.  Open Notebook Science offers an efficient way to make research transparent and discoverable. 
Dr. Bradley, we will miss you.

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