Mind to Market

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Data Glut in Research

Chemical & Engineering News placed information management in pharmaceutical R&D on their cover for the October 1 issue. In addition to pointing out some of the information ills that plague the industry, C&EN has added a blurb on the "Internet Orphan" Semantic Web. Although short on concrete examples of just what SW can do, the article points out that SW technologies could replace data-mining as a way to derive knowledge from your data.

So what about this "Internet Orphan" label? Apparently since SW technology has been around for several years and no one has really picked it up it has earned the name. Life sciences with their exploding stores of data, and thinning drug pipelines, has a real need for technologies that can wring more knowledge from the databases. Coupled with the fact that biology is a science, and is therefore smaller and more quantifiable than the Web as a whole, applying the structure of SW to the biological knowledge domain makes much better sense than applying it to the entire Web.

And least I forget the hype; SW is being compared to the early days of the Web. "What is happening now on the Semantic Web is similar to what was going on in the five years leading up to that explosion [of 1995 that kicked off the Web]," claims John Wilbanks, executive director of Science Commons.

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