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Book Review Experimental Design A Chemometric Approach. By S. N. Deming and S. L. Morgan

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The Art of Scientific Writing. From Student Reports to Professional Publications in Chemistry and Related Fields.
By H . F. Ebel, C . Bliefert, and W. E. Russey. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim/VCH Publishers, New York
1987. xix, 493 pp., hard cover, DM 98.00.-ISBN 3-52726469-8; 0-89573-495-8; paperback, DM 48.00.--ISBN
3-527-26677-I ; 0-89573-645-4
American English has become the international language of science in the last 40 years. Scientists who desire
international recognition must publish in English. The
book under consideration, a substantially expanded translation of an German forerunner, makes due recognition of
this development.
“The Art of Scientific Writing” is best characterized as a
handbook or guide, designed to help the scientist with all
aspects of writing and publishing. Although the book
mainly addresses chemists, other scientists would also find
it quite useful, unless they expect to find information specific to their own field.
An important aspect of the book is that it is itself designed to serve as an example of the techniques and guidelines presented. As a result, for example, it is extensively
cross referenced and indexed. However, the too frequent
use of substantive footnotes often hinders the easy flow of
the text. One of the book’s strongest points is its superb
The work is divided into two parts, followed by 11 appendixes, a section for references and further reading, and
an index. Part 1 describes all forms of scientific writing.
The first two chapters (56 pages), on laboratory notebooks,
laboratory reports, research reports, and theses, are written
for students, except for the short discussion of grant reports and proposals. The rest of the book chiefly addresses
the needs of professional chemists. This presents a problem. As the authors themselves point out (p. 122), fundamentally different approaches are required for a student
textbook or for a book whose “reader is expected to be a
busy specialist”. Indeed, the first two chapters have the
character of a college textbook (unfortunately, not a very
good one), whereas the rest of the book has the quality of a
well-written monograph. Chapters 3 and 4 (91 pages) contain a highly informative description of the different types
of journals and books, and of the process involved in their
publication. These chapters and much of the rest of the
book are written by authors with extensive knowledge and
experience in publishing.
Part 2 covers the technical aspects of preparing scientific
publications. Chapter 5 (17 pages) deals with the production of the manuscript and its transformation into the finished product. The use and advantages of word processors
are discussed, as well as such technical questions as paper,
format, and proofreading. Chapter 6 (3 1 pages), a description of chemical nomenclature, is something of an enigma.
Although I found the treatment interesting, and obviously
written by an expert, it is much too brief to teach the
reader this incredibly difficult subject. In a shortened form
this chapter could serve as an appendix, but I would much
prefer that it be expanded and made into a book of its
own. Chapter 7 (29 pages) is also a digression, this time
into the subject of quantities, units, and numbers. It would
certainly make a good addition to a modern general chemistry textbook. The reader seeking comprehensive informaAngew. Chem. I n t . Ed. Engl. 27 (1988)
No. I 1
tion on this subject should consult the IUPAC “Green
Book” (Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry, Blackwell, Oxford 1988) or “The ACS Style Guide”
(edited by Janet S. Dodd, American Chemical Society,
Washington 1986). Chapters 8 to 10 (62 pages) return to
the technical aspects of the publishing process, providing a
detailed treatment of equations, formulas, figures, and tables. My only criticism here is that in the coverage of stencils only those products of VCH Publishers are described.
Chapter 11 (44 pages), after briefly discussing personal literature card files (or databases), gives a thorough treatment of literature citation.
The appendixes (104 pages) range from short chapters
(oral presentations, English grammar and style, copyrights
and publishing agreements, an overview of the chemical
literature, preparation of an index, ISSN and ISBN) to
supplementary tables (journal abbreviations, other common abbreviations, proofreader’s marks, recommended citation forms, and quantities, units, and constants).
A discussion of “The Art of Scientific Writing” would
not be complete without a comparison with the most authoritative book for chemists on this subject, namely “The
ACS Style Guide” mentioned earlier. In short, the two
books are more complementary than competitive. Almost
half of the “Style Guide” is devoted to grammar, style, and
usage. “The Art of Scientific Writing”, on the other hand,
contains a detailed description of the publishing process,
both for books and journals. The “Style Guide” presents
guidelines specific to ACS publications, whereas the present book attempts to address the needs of authors internationally, and largely succeeds.
This book will be of service to chemists and especially to
chemistry editors and should also be in every technical library.
Joe P. Richmond [NB 925 IE]
Editorial Office of “Synthesis”
Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart (FRG)
Experimental Design: A Chemometric Approach. By S. N .
Deming and S. L. Morgan. Elsevier, Amsterdam 1987.
xiii, 275 pp., bound, HFI 225.00.--ISBN 0-444-42734-1
Good planning is half the battle! It is beyond question
that scientific curiosity and researchers’ intuition have led
to many important discoveries. However, it is also indisputable that rationally planned experiments are essential
in a scientific investigation with specific objectives.
What does the term “experimental design” mean? The
best interpretation is that it is the art of planning an investigation. Stanley N . Deming and Stephen L. Morgan teach
this skill in what is, it must be said at the outset, on the
whole a very good book-good because it is so different
from other books on this theme. It succeeds in the aim of
providing a simple introduction to planning scientific experiments and dealing with the problems which arise.
Mathematical statistics does not occupy a central position
in the book, but is instead developed naturally alongside
the main theme, where it is essential to understanding the
treatment and carrying it forward.
The two introductory chapters pose the questions: what
is a system? how is the system under investigation influenced by the input variables and conditions? what are
the responses which result as the output from the system,
and how can the relationship between the input variabtes
and the resulting output be described? Following a short
account of the basic concepts of statistics (Chapter 3), the
next four chapters deal in turn with developing a model
(Chapter 4. One experiment), linear regression analysis
(Chapter 5. Two experiments), testing hypotheses (Chapter
6), and the variance-covariance matrix (Chapter 7). The
chapters which follow lead into the central theme of the
book, the statistical design of experiments. Taking the case
of three experiments as an example, linear models and second order models are treated (Chapter 8), then the analysis
of variance (Chapter 91, followed by an example in which
the p H dependence of the activity of an enzyme is determined from a series of ten experiments (Chapter 10).
Chapter 1 1 discusses for the first time cases in which a system is influenced by several factors, and introduces standard experimental schemes (e.g. 2” factorial schemes). Following Chapter 12, which deals with randomized block
schemes, we suddenly reach the end of the book. Did the
authors tire of their task? O r did they feel that, in a book
which is based on courses given to college and university
students, the reader should not be expected to go further
than the classes to which they lectured? Special experimental schemes, such as the Latin square, the Greek-Latin
square and the Youden square are explained briefly in the
exercises of Chapter 12; other methods, such as simplex
procedures or Plackett-Burman designs are only mentioned, with an invitation to the reader to look these u p in
the literature and critically evaluate them.
In marked contrast to the quality of the text (and indeed
of the price), the publishers show a noticeable lack of care.
Perhaps only a pedant would be troubled by the fact that
from p. 150 onwards the sub-headings suddenly become
larger. The description of a minimum as a maximum in
Fig. 2.6 is also not a very serious matter. However, the fact
that under the initial letter L in the key-word index one
finds only entries with the letter M cannot be allowed to
pass. The publishers have not even considered it necessary
to insert a page listing corrections. If one is looking for the
key-word “Latin square”, for example, there are several
possibilities: look in the contents list (nothing there), look
under “Square design” (nothing), thumb through the pages
of the book (a hit on p. 250), o r look under “Experimental
designs, Latin square” (hit).
This book is recommended as an introduction to the statistical design of experiments. Readers who already have
some knowledge of this field should follow the advice of
the authors and consult other monographs.
Hugo Kubinyi [NB 896 IE]
BASF, Ludwigshafen (FRG)
Variety in Coordination Modes of Ligands in Metal Complexes. By S. Kuwuguchi. Springer, Berlin 1988. ix, 123
pp., bound, DM 128.00.--ISBN 3-540-18305-1
Nearly all ligands can occur in metal complexes in several different bonding situations. To write a comprehensive monograph on this subject is a scarcely manageable
task. Even the book reviewed here is not such a work, despite the hopes raised by its title. The author has selected a
few examples and discussed them in order of the number
of atoms in the ligands, under the headings: Monoatomic
Ligands (H), Diatomic Ligands (CO, NZ), Triatomic Ligands (SCN’) and PoIyatomic Ligands (P-diketones).
Whether or not this choice of examples is representative o r
rational is an open question; however, the reader o f a
monograph is entitled to expect that he will be offered a
balanced overview of the topic covered. Regrettably that is
not the case here.
The book begins with a short introduction to the classification of ligands (with an incorrect formula for EDTA
even on the first page), and the phenomenon of linkage
isomerism. Here it already becomes apparent that the author has not thought sufficiently about which group of
readers he is aiming at: a commonplace statement such as
“When a ligand connects two or more metal atoms, it
is called a bridging ligand” is given equal weight alongside a detailed discussion on the formation of
[ C O ( N H ~ ) ~ O N O ]The
~ @ .second chapter (Monoatomic Ligands), which is devoted to the hydrido ligand, gives a similarly inconsistent impression. A discussion of the possible
types of bonding (terminal or bridging) is followed by sections on synthesis and characterization. The information
given here is anything but complete. Although some M-H
vibrational frequencies and ‘H N M R data are included,
the treatment of 31PNMR spectroscopy is limited to the
laconic comment ”. .. also helpful”. In discussing structures the author, for some obscure reason, limits himself to
trigonal-prismatic, octahedral and pentagonal-bipyramidai
examples, leaving the reader unaware of the existence of
square-planar, trigonal-bipyramidal and many other types
of structures. The sections on hydrogen-bridged complexes
contain essentially nothing more than a mention of the
structures. There follows a chapter on the reactions of hydrido-complexes, beginning with a list of Brmsted acidities and a discussion of some typical reactions. The chapter concludes with an excursion into homogeneous catalytic hydrogenation using rhodium complexes (who would
expect this in a book with the above title?); here, though,
one learns nothing more than can be found in the standard
textbooks. For example, there is a section on “Asymmetric
Hydrogenation” which consists of only ten lines of text,
three formulas and five literature references.
The third chapter (Diatomic Ligands) likewise contains
less than is promised. After listing the types of bonding for
carbon monoxide, the chapter continues by describing
only structures in which the oxygen atom of the C O group
is coordinated to a metal. This is apparently intended as an
introduction to the section on “CO Cleavage and Reduction”, which, in a mere two pages, contains only a sornewhat naive description of the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis
and of CO reduction at [Fe4(C0)13]2Q;
it therefore cannot
in any way claim to be a full account of the topic. The
section on N, complexes appears to be rather more complete, although here there i s less material to be covered.
The fourth chapter (Triatomic Ligands) begins with a
discussion of the structures of SCN’-bridged complexes.
A page and a half is devoted to the IR spectroscopy of
these compounds; other spectroscopic methods receive
only a bare mention and no literature references. The discussion of terminal thiocyanate complexes (with N or S
bonding) allows the author to digress into the HSAB concept, which is probably already quite familiar to the average reader of such a monograph.
The final chapter (Polyatomic Ligands), which stands
out impressively from the preceding parts of the book in
the standard of treatment and information content, is essentially a reprint of an article by the author on this topic,
which appeared in Coordination Chemistry Reviews. Here
the reader learns that in addition to the usual P-dionate
chelates there exist many other types of complexes which
contain a @-diketone,as the neutral molecule, as monodenAngew Chem. I n t . Ed. Engl. 2711988) No I 1
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