June 20, 2008

Chemistry Information Online

By Guevara, Sophia Minkiewicz, Luray M

A QUICK GUIDE TO BORN-DIGITAL AND RE-BORN DIGITAL SOURCES-PART 1 There is a vast amount of chemical information resources available digitally, either through the internet or via online databases, both free and fee-based.

We selected a few of the newer Internet sites with almost exclusively freely available content, that is, those that were "born digital." We also selected some chemical information resources that many science librarians would recognize as "classics" in the print versions, but are also available in online or Internet versions, that is, they have been "reborn" in a digital environment. Reborn resources such as these often try to combine the content of the print version with the special features that a digital version provides.

This review is not comprehensive, but provides a flavor of some of these types of resources. Due to space limitations, we will not review the many fee-based e-journals from publishers or aggregators.

Chemistry Search

Chemistry Spider,


This site provides, at no charge, a repository of information related to chemical structures and other associated information. It includes more than 18 million chemical structures.



Science.gov is a search engine for government science information and research results. Clicking on the math, physics, and chemistry link allows users to concentrate searches in any of these three topics. Users can narrow searches within the chemistry and chemicals section using the following chemistry subtopics: analytical, materials, organic, inorganic, physical, photo, and radiation chemistry. There also are links to reputable chemistry resources.



This site provides h access to information on the biological activities of small molecules. It is organized as three linked databases within the National Center for Biotechnology Information Entrez information retrieval system. These include:

1. PubChem Substance-Search chemical substance records using names, synonyms, or keywords.

2. PubChem Compound-Search chemical compounds using names, synonyms, or keywords.

3. PubChem BioAssay-Search via terms one would expect to find in the description of a bioassay of interest.

Free Online Journals

ABC Chem,

www.abc.chemistry.bsu.by/current/fulltext, htm

This resource provides free and partially free full-text journals in chemistry, compiled by Aliaksandr Rahoisha. According to the site, the directory is composed of peer-reviewed publications that provide at least one year of free full-text content or extensive free supplement coverage of printed papers.

Directory of Open Access Journals -Chemistry,


The DOAJ offers visitors with access to quality controlled open- access journals. According to the site, the DOAJ aims to "increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact." Searching for journals under the chemistry subject heading, we found more than 70 covering general, analytic, and organic chemistry, and chemical engineering.


Chemical Abstracts,


The name of this resource provides a hint as to its comprehensiveness as a major resource for chemical information. Chemical Abstracts, published by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a subsidiary of the American Chemical Society, is known worldwide as one of the main, if not the main, bibliographic abstracting and indexing resource for chemical information. CAS produces the Chemical Abstracts bibliographic database (CA File), the companion CAS Registry File of chemical substance information, and the CAS React File of chemical reaction information, the latter two providing chemical structure searching capabilities. SciFinder and SciFinder Scholar are two chemist-oriented interfaces to search these CAS files, while information professionals and expert or power searchers might prefer STN Express searching software as well as CAS's more recent visualization and analysis tool, AnaVist. The CA, Registry, and CASReact files are all available on several database vendor host systems.



Recently Scopus, a multidisciplinary scientific bibliographic and abstract database produced by Elsevier, has emerged as a Web-based resource for chemical information. Features in Scopus include citation analysis, an author finder, and a user-friendly interface, plus the automatic searching of several major patent authorities and relevant Web sources. Chemical structure searching is not available at this time. Scopus is available on a subscription basis. SLA

SOPHIA GUEVARA, MLIS, is an information professional. She is the president-elect of the SLA Michigan Chapter and is the Digital Content section chair for the SLA Information Technology Division.

LURAY M. MINKIEWICZ is supervisor, external content management, at DuPont Company Central Research and Development, in Wilmington, Delaware. She is currently the chairelect of the SLA Chemistry Division and past president of the SLA Philadelphia Chapter.

Copyright Special Libraries Association May 2008

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