Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Better Them Than Me | Main | Our Friend the Phosphate Group »

August 11, 2002

Life of the Party

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

My earlier gloss of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry as "Jay Med Chem" prompts me to provide a complete guide to faking your way into sounding like a professional organic chemist. Not that that's the road to fame and fortune, but you never know when it'll come in handy.

The first lesson is the lingo of the literature. Journals are often referred to in shorthand: The Journal of the American Chemical Society is known as "Jay-Ay-Cee-Ess," or, more commonly "Jacks." Listening to chemists talking, you'd think some guy named Jack ran a prestigious journal. The Journal of Organic Chemistry is, similarly, "Jay Oh Cee," but never "Jock" and certainly not "Joke." There are journals that deserve that last nickname, but not JOC.

Other "Journal" contractions are made the same way: "Jay Het Chem," "Jay Fizz Chem," and the like. That latter one doesn't come up in organic chemistry conversations much, so be advised. The Royal Society journals would be a mouthful if they weren't known by their nicknames - imagine having to say "Journal of the Chemical Society Perkin Transactions I" instead of "Perkin One."

Another common name for journals is "Bulletin. . .etc.," but that doesn't lend itself to much shortening. I have to confess, though, that every time I look up a paper in the BCSJ that I think "More bull from the Chemical Society of Japan. . . " Another Japanese journal, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin(their version, roughly, of J. Med. Chem.) comes in for similar mental abuse, not fully deserved.

Tetrahedron Lettersis "Tet Lett" (but its longer stablemate Tetrahedronis never "Tet.") Organic Lettersis pretty new, but I've already heard as "Org Letters" (but not "Org Lett," for some reason.) Synthetic Communications,in those rare times it comes up in conversation, is "Syn Com." and Chemical Communications is "Chem Com." Noting all this, the folks over at Synthesiscut to the chase a few years ago when they named their new short-communications journal

Some of the titles are hard to deal with. I've never heard Tetrahedron Asymmetryreferred to as "Tet Asym," but that's because I've hardly ever heard the journal referred to at all. gets shorted to "med chem" in the middle, but that's still a mouthful. Sometimes you hear it referred to as "Bioorganic" only, but that invites confusion with its longer partner journal, which is just plain At least it would, if anyone ever read the long one.

If you're going to fake your way through a medicinal chemistry conversation, be sure to drop some more biology-oriented journals into your mix. Many of the better ones have one-word names that don't have to be contracted. Science, Nature,and Cell speak for themselves, for example. But a quick nod to "Pee Enn Ay Ess" for the Proceedings of the National Acadamy of Sciences or "Jay Bee Cee" for the Journal of Biological Chemistrywill establish your credentials. Note that that last one, despite the name, is a torrent of densely packed biology from start to finish, with not much chemistry in sight.

That should do the trick. At some later date, I'll get everyone outside the profession up to speed on the acronymic jargon of the lab itself, which led to the following conversation one day at my lunch table:
"I used DDQ in THF to try to take off my PMB, but the THP keeps coming off, too."
(From the far end of the table) "BFD."

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: The Scientific Literature


COMMENTS

EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
Scripps Update
What If Drug Patents Were Written Like Software Patents?
Stem Cells: The Center of "Right to Try"
Speaking of Polyphenols. . .
Dark Biology And Small Molecules
How Polyphenols Work, Perhaps?
More On Automated Medicinal Chemistry
Scripps Merging With USC?