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October 19, 2005
Complaints From a Fossil
You know, I sure hope that there's a special issue of J. Med. Chem. coming up, all about computational chemistry and molecular modeling. No, I haven't lost my mind - yet. I was looking at the advance publications page on their web site this morning, which had 72 accepted papers on it slated for publication.
Fine, just fine. The problem is, at least twenty of them have little or no reality-based chemistry in them. I define that, understandably enough, as real compounds which were made and tested and put into a vial somewhere. True, the majority of the papers on the list are more traditional med-chem, and many of those have computational methods as a component. But to have over a quarter of the papers with only modeling, docking, simulations and scoring? There is, last I heard, a Journal of Computational Chemistry. And a Journal of Molecular Modeling. And a Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modeling. For that matter, the American Chemical Society itself, publisher of J. Med. Chem., publishes the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling.
I know, I know, these aren't as prestigious, but where are all the medicinal chemistry papers going these days? (I mean the ones with experimental details, of course. The ones without any are going, as always, to Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters.) There's some real irony in this situation, because one of those papers actually does a good job blowing up the reasons for some of the others to exist. More on this anon.
Update: Here's a dissenting view. . .
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