Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

Sci.chem FAQ - Part 2 of 7

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Single Page )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Forum ]

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Subject: 7. General Chemistry-related Information on the Internet 
Compiled by:    Neil Flatter  
                Lev A. Gorenstein  
                Theodore Heise  
                Mark Perks  
Mutilated by:   Bruce Hamilton 

There are so many references that relate to chemistry on the Internet
that this section could become overwhelming in size.  Instead of trying to 
provide a comprehensive listing of all such sites, what follows is more a 
collection of pointers to other sources that carry a diverse range of
material related to chemistry.  By knowing where to look for an answer, 
these references should provide a springboard for an information search 
on the Internet. Specialist software and search engines are available to 
search for keywords using Gopher and the WWW, and they will also point to 
additional sources not accessed by the sites below. 

7.1  How can I access databases such as Chemical Abstracts?

These databases are almost all inevitably commercial, it costs serious
money to build and update them, thus it will cost money to access them. 
Either you or your institution will be paying the supplier. Do not 
expect to find copyrighted databases ( such as the Merck Index, Chemical
Abstracts, Kirk Othmer, or Sax ) freely available on the Internet.

There are several commercial suppliers of databases that contain chemical 
information. These can usually be accessed either via the Internet or 
telephone Packet Switching Networks. The most well known specialist database 
is the American Chemical Society's Chemical Abstracts [1], which is provided
by the Chemical Abstracts Service. CAS offers a commercial database service 
called STN International, which contains over 190 scientific and technical 

These databases cover all aspects of Chemistry, including CAS
Registry Numbers, and are accessible via the WWW.                   Chemical Abstracts Service.          STN Introduction                Dialog

The most universal and comprehensive database supplier is Knight Ridder, 
whose Dialog service offers over 40 databases that solely concentrate
on aspects of chemistry, including Chemical Abstracts since 1967 ( but it 
does not offer the actual abstract, just the bibliographic information ) 
and the CAS RN database [2]. Dialog also offers several hundred other
commercial and technical databases, and Knight Ridder also offers selected 
general and technical databases on a low-cost, home user ( off-peak :-) ) 
system known as " Knowledge Index "  at approx 25% of the normal Dialog cost.
Knowledge Index is also available from some on-line suppliers such as 
Compuserve - but remember that KI does not include CA. 

The ability to perform on-line searches is becoming an essential attribute 
for modern chemists. Major database suppliers offer a wide range of training 
courses and there are several excellent articles on searching the chemical 
literature ( database and/or journals) in journals such as J.Chem.Ed.[3-5]. 
If you have access to a CD-ROM database, you should practise your search 
logic on that first, before going on-line. Because of the cost structure of 
database suppliers such as Dialog, and the inappropriate selection of 
keywords by authors :-), it is often more cost-effective to focus on grabbing
around 100-200 titles and scanning them offline ( using the 30 minutes 
"hold search" function ), and then going back online to grab the desired 
abstracts and citation information.

7.2  What chemistry-related material is on the WWW?


There are several well-known search engines available on the WWW that will
provide updated searches for keywords. Because of the huge expansion of the
WWW, I've decided to select some sites and allow users to use search 
engines and/or web crawlers to locate resources. If you find a real 
treasure house of chemical goodies, email me the address and I'll check it
out. It is important to realise that many of the WWW search engines are 
complementary, and so it is useful to utilise several when trying to locate 
information on the web - good places to start are directories of various 
WWW search engines.

Free search engines include:-                          Alta Vista                                 Google                                  Lycos                                  Yahoo                                Infoseek                                 Excite                             Webcrawler

Chemistry Overview sites
    The fastest and best way to discover information about chemicals on
    the WWW is CambridgeSoft Corporation's Chemfinder free searching 
    server. This has to be one of the most convenient ways to obtain 
    chemical information on the Internet. Highly recommended.
    The Royal Society of Chemistry maintains an excellent list of sites 
    containing chemistry-related material, and is a good starting point.
    This is the new WWW site from the American Chemical Society, and
    is intended to be their prime location of chemical information.
Other very useful sites include;-
    The University of Sheffield comprehensive listing of WWW Chemical info.
    Over 2200 sites indexed as of September 1996.
    List of Chemical Services and Resources
    Comprehensive compilation of the NIST Chemistry WebBook, which 
    includes thermochemical, IR, and mass spectral data. 
    The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Chemistry.
    Gary Hieftje's site, covering many aspects of spectrochemistry.
    Gary Wiggins' extensive compilation of WWW chemical sites.
    Internet Journal of Science - Biological Chemistry  
    Chemical Abstracts Service offers a diverse range of information
    with a search facility.
   CambridgeSoft site, ChemDraw, glassware, clip-art
    The Chemistry Hypermedia project, especially chemical education.
    Another listing of Chemistry Internet Resources
    The searchable Yahoo Collection of Chemistry Resources
    Home of the ISIS/DRAW chemical structure drawing programme 
    ( free for academic and personal home use ).    
Chemistry Education

Many of the WWW chemistry directories above also have extensive links to 
educational resources, services, and institutions:-

Additional useful sites include:- 
    Journal of Chemical Education Online.
    A comprehensive listing of education resources.
    Internet Resources for Science and Mathematics Education compiled
    by Tom O'Haver.
    UC Irvine Science Education Program, not only chemistry.
    Typical University Organic Chemistry Laboratory information.
    Bassam Shakhashiri's home page - full of entertaining information. 

Other Chemistry-related Resources
    The Virtual Chemical Engineering Library
    The Electrochemical Science and Technology Information Resource.
    For the best science satire around, check out the Annals of Improbable 
    Research, successor to the Journal of Irreproducible Results. Whilst 
    the full version is only available via subscription services, such as
    ClariNet, smaller items are published free in the Mini AIR.
    Chemical Heritage Foundation site about history of chemical industry
    Diverse range of chemistry drawing, interpretation, and modelling software.

General Education Resources
Many of the Chemistry Overview sites also point to general science sites,
and use of the large search engines is recommended, but some additional 
sites include:-
    Journal of Molecular Modeling
    Internet Resources for Science and Mathematics Education compiled
    by Tom O'Haver.

Chemical Reference Spectra
    Comprehensive compilation of the NIST Chemistry WebBook, which 
    includes thermochemical, IR, and mass spectral data. 

7.3  What information is available commercially on-line?

As well as the database suppliers such as Knight-Ridder's Dialog ( and 
low-cost home-user Knowledge Index ) and CAS's STN International, there are 
several other technical database suppliers that include chemistry-related 
material, eg Orbit. These organisations usually approach institutional 
librarians and provide comprehensive descriptions of their available 
services. The best place to start is at your local library, talking to the 
librarian in charge of on-line services to ascertain what is available, and
what levels of support are provided. 

The obvious first places to start are Dialog and STN. The range of chemistry-
related databases are extensive. There are several full-text databases of
patents, full-text newspapers and journals, and many specialised databases.
- industry-specific     Aluminium Industry Abstracts, Paperchem
- subject-specific      Fine Chemicals Database, Chemical Engineering and
                        Biotech Abstracts
- chemical properties   Beilstein, Heilbron, Merck Index, Agrochemicals
- location-specific     IMS World R&D focus.
- chemical market       Chemical Business Newsbase, Chemical Industry Notes, 
                        Freedonia Market Research.

If you plan on using Knight Ridder's lower cost Knowledge Index, ensure that
the databases you are interested in are available on KI, as not all Dialog 
databases are.

With nearly 200 databases on STN and approximately 500 on Dialog, they both 
offer access to a wide range of information. For more specialist information, 
accessing individual businesses is required, and they can provide specialist
sales, marketing and technical support for their products - many such 
businesses are now accessible via the WWW. There are also the various 
registry companies like Thomas that list chemical and equipment suppliers,
and who also offer a free evaluation period:-

7.4  What information is available free on-line?

The best technique is to use a WWW search engine to locate information
you desire, but some interesting locations are listed below.
    CambridgeSoft Corporation's Chemfinder free searching server will
    locate much of the diverse information about chemicals ( physical 
    properties, CAS RN, MSDS, etc. )  available on the Internet.                        
    Chemistry Today is a daily news service that can also be obtained
    by email. 

Several science journals are now making some of their commentary items and 
abstracts available on the WWW, however subscriptions are still required 
for access to the full journal. These include:-                            Nature                      New Scientist

Many of the Journals published by the American Chemical Society and Royal 
Society of Chemistry also have homepages or articles available. The ACS 
index also includes some of the UK and Japanese journals as well.

American Chemical Society                    ACS Journal Index    Chemical & Engineering News    Chemical Health & Safety    Analytical Chemistry    Environmental Science
                                                   and Technology    Journal of the American
                                                   Chemical Society    Journal of Organic 

Royal Society of Chemistry             RSC Journal Index    Journal of Chemical
                                                   Research   Organic Process R&D.

Society of Chemical Industry                               Chemistry & Industry   

The Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan homepage is also available
via the ACS publications page.

7.5  What chemical patent information is available on-line?

Both Dialog and STN offer commercial access to US and International patents
online, many with full text - however the international ones, especially
those devoted to capturing the current status of patents can be expensive,
so ensure your searching skills are honed if you wish to avoid a large
    A new site that offers free searching of the last 20+ years of US 
    patents, and also provide the abstracts, some images, and the claim 
    summary free. Complete copies of the patents can also be ordered. 
    It has a good search engine, and probably should be the first site to 
    visit, but note that it requires a browser that supports frames
    (eg version 3 of Netscape or Internet Explorer).   STO Patent retrieval service
    Gregory Aharonian has struggled for several years to provide a free, 
    comprehensive patent title service. This excellent free service offers 
    the titles of chemical, mechanical, or electrical patents via email 
    to subscribers. Recently he also offered one years worth of patent 
    abstracts, but requires some financial donations to expand the 
    service.  The abstracts are freely retrievable by patent number (sorry 
    no searching yet, that needs the big donations). For subscription info, 
    send 'help' to   USPTO/CNIDR Patent Project
    This page provides access to both the U.S. Patent Bibliographic 
    Database, which includes bibliographic data from 1976 to 1997, and 
    the AIDS Patent Database, which includes the full text and images 
    of AIDS related patent issued by the U.S., European and Japanese 
    Patent offices.

7.6  Which FTP sites contain chemistry-related material?
    Jan Labanowsky's server, also contains an archive of the computational 
    chemistry mailing list.
    QCPE archive
    Dos and Windows public domain and shareware

7.7  What chemistry-focused mailing lists exist? 
    Chemistry laboratories (both academic and research), students' 
    experiments (high school, college and university), classroom 
    demonstrations and shows for the public of chemical processes, 
    chemistry stockroom management, lab safety, and  small-scale chemical 
    waste handling procedures.
7.8  How can I contact Chemical Societies electronically?

In general, most WWW sites will also contain email addresses that they
can be contacted through.
    The American Chemical Society homepage provides access information, 
    and additional email support is available via the following:-           ACS Division information               ACS expositions            ACS membership information           ACS national meeting information               Reaction Times (college newspaper)           ACS regional meeting information               ACS state and local government affairs
    The UK Royal Society of Chemistry, WWW and email address.
    The UK Society of Chemical Industry.
    The German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, GDCh)
    The Chemical Society of Japan ( English index )
7.9  How can I contact large chemical companies? 

Check their WWW pages for information.                            Argus Chemicals                             Dow Chemicals                         Eastman Chemicals                     GE Plastics                         Hoechst                           Eli Lilly                        Monsanto                   Quality Chemicals                        Rohm and Haas                   Sigma, Aldrich and Fluka                 Sumitomo Chemicals

You can observe the naming conventions, so try for 
other companies not listed, and you can also try using the on-line version
of the Thomas Register.

7.10 How can I contact chemical suppliers? 

Several major chemical suppliers now have on-line catalogues on the WWW.
    Sigma, Aldrich, Fluka, and Riedel de Haen chemical catalogues
    Acros Chemicals catalogue 
    Fisher Chemical catalogue
    Romil Chemicals catalogue ( high purity chemicals )  

Check out the FAQs in rec.pyrotechnics and alt.drugs, they may also list 
some legal suppliers. With the rapid growth of the WWW, it is usually
a good idea to conduct a search to locate suppliers, and you could try
the Chemsources or Thomas Register sites to locate addresses.

Use of WWW search engines and specific terms like "biochemicals" 
will locate the WWW and email addresses of speciality suppliers

7.11 How can I contact equipment suppliers 

Check out the FAQs in rec.pyrotechnics and alt.drugs, they may also list 
some legal suppliers. With the rapid growth of the WWW, it is usually
a good idea to conduct a search to locate suppliers on the Internet, 
and using the Thomas Register site to locate suppliers not on the Internet.
    Thomas Register                    ( manufacturers and suppliers )
    Sigma, Aldrich, Fluka and Supelco  ( techware and books )
    Fisher Catalogue                   ( general lab equipment )

7.12 How can I contact US government agencies?
    FedWorld Information Network at the National Technical Information 
    Service NTIS) was created "to provide a one-stop location for the public 
    to locate, order, and have delivered to them, U.S. Government 
    Executive Branch Gophers (Library of Congress) 
    National Institute of Standards and Technology
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (Searchable) 
    Department of Transportation 
    Environmental Protection Agency 
    Federal Communications Commission 
    Government Printing Office

7.13 Where can I find compilations of science humour?
    For the best science satire around, check out the Annals of Improbable 
    Research, successor to the Journal of Irreproducible Results. Whilst 
    the full version is available via subscription services, such as
    ClariNet, smaller items are published free in the Mini AIR.
    A huge 500kB compilation of science jokes regularly posted to Usenet.
    Search selections from the Annals of Improbable Research

7.14 Where can I purchase scientific software?

Aldrich and Fisher sell software, as do some of the Chemical Societies
    Sigma, Aldrich, Fluka and Supelco
    Fisher Catalogue          
    Diverse range of chemistry drawing, interpretation and modelling software.

Refer also to "Chemistry Overview Sites " and "Other Chemistry-related 
Resources" in section 7.2.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

Section Contents

Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Single Page

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM