Readers with a fairly long memory will remember ChemWeb preprints. The pioneering site , which hosted my weekly Alchemist column from pilot issue till final closure and takeover by CI now hosts a fortnightly newspick from yours truly. As to the preprint server it attracted a lot of interest but never took off in the way that the physics preprint service at LANL did, unfortunately. It seems that now nature publishing group is hoping to step into the fold.
Nature Precedings (Geddit?) will cover chemistry, biomedicine, and earth sciences ) will host a wide range of research documents, including preprints, unpublished manuscripts, white papers, technical papers, supplementary findings, posters and presentations. All submissions will be reviewed by staff curators and accepted only if they are considered to be legitimate scientific contributions. The papers will not be peer reviewed. So, it’s almost exactly the same as ChemWeb preprints, but with the addition of biomed and geo. I hope it goes well, it is an interesting experiment, but one that did not produce the desired yield for ChemWeb despite that organisation’s peak membership being higher than the American Chemical Society. It takes more than a snappy name and some Web 2.0 graphics to win scientists over with novel Internet applications…thankfully.