Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Some ChEBI news

Wow. Today’s ChEBI news inform that
ChEBI release 62 is now available, containing 455,788 total entities, of which 19,236 are annotated entities and 607 were submitted via the ChEBI submission tool.
Looking back, I must say that ChEBI news lack consistency and therefore the users are bound to be confused. Before, we never said how many entities ChEBI contained in total. For the previous release, only “annotated” entities were counted:
ChEBI release 61 is now available, containing 18933 annotated entities, with 413 of those submitted via the ChEBI submission tool.
And a few releases back, “annotated” was not mentioned at all:
ChEBI release 58 contains 18186 entities with 175 of those submitted via the ChEBI submission tool.
Does “annotated” matter? Most ChEBI entries are annotated is some way. That includes all these thousands of compounds which just came from ChEMBL. What is meant here really is “annotated and approved by ChEBI curators”. But wait:
With this release, we’ve incorporated the compound records from the ChEMBL dataset and introduced a starring system to identify core (3-star) annotated ChEBI entries from entries annotated by the ChEMBL project and ChEBI submitters.
This is unfortunate that ChEBI introduced stars to signify entry quality. I think I am not the only one who firmly associates stars with user’s (external reviewer’s) rating. “Thou shalt not award no stars to thyself.” In addition, the star rating system usually implies that stars can be lost as well as gained, which is not the case in ChEBI: once the three-star status is reached, the entry stays as it is.

Oh well. Sure ChEBI is not perfect, but what is? Perhaps in a couple of releases we’ll see another change, stars replaced by other celestial bodies or flowers or traffic signs. Good night.

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