By Matthew MacLennan

A string notation which is inspired by SMILES notation in chemistry can be devised for capturing entire chemistry experimental and methodological sequences and processes. Laboratory experimental procedures are often described as flowcharts, which are (directed) graphs. There will be small symbols and character sequences which will refer specifically to sampling, instrumentation, modes, and levels, as well as ways of referencing chemical glassware types. Chemical substances can be referred to by any current string format. This kind of notation will be most useful in the context of everyday laboratory work: The scientist will only be using a small group of symbols at a time and these symbols can be used in filenames and experimental metadata to be stored on a computer easily associated with the files created in the course of an experiment. Using the string notation should also dramatically decrease the amount of writing and will be easily searchable. The structure of this notation scheme is starkly different than structured vocabularies (i.e. ontologies): Most of the symbols act as pictograms rather than letters, being easy to learn, transcending language and time boundaries, allowing context. The option to include as much information as the scientist desires is a necessary feature. Extendable to other sciences.


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Matthew MacLennan



Published: 11 Apr, 2015

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