Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

Browsing the latest articles in JCIM, I came across one by Sander et al that discussed the design of a drug discovery informatics system employed at Actelion. The main claim to fame of the work appears to be the fact that it was built from scratch and so is vendor independent.

While somewhat interesting, one question jumped out at me: what is the value of this paper? The system is specific to this one company so it’s not like I can access the code or the workflows. I can’t even buy this software. In this case, they do provide public access to some of their tools, so it’s not a totally “opaque” paper. But there are other examples where one cannot really even try out the tools described in the paper.

While I see the value of the paper from the authors point of view (spreading the word, publications being “currency”, etc.), such papers have always felt a little pointless to me, as a reader. What can I do after reading this paper? Is there anything I can follow-up on?


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