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Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is a division of the American Chemical Society, and produces Chemical Abstracts, and related products. It is located in Columbus, Ohiomarker, United Statesmarker.CAS provides the largest databases of publicly disclosed chemistry-related information, makes them accessible through search and retrieval software and provides links to the original literature and patents. The term "Chemical Abstracts" is often used loosely to apply to all the different files and products, but the different parts now have specific names. In 2007 the Chemical Abstracts Service was designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of its significance as the most comprehensive repository of research in chemistry and related sciences.


The two principal databases that support the different products are CAplus and Registry.


Consists of bibliographic information and abstracts for all articles in chemical journals worldwide, and chemistry-related articles from all scientific journals, patents, and other scientific publications.


Contains information on more than 50 million organic and inorganic substances, and more than 60 million protein and DNA sequences. The chemical information is produced by CAS; the sequence information comes from CAS and GenBank, produced by the National Institutes of Healthmarker. The chemical information is prepared by the CAS Registry System, which identifies each compound with a specific CAS registry number, index name, and graphic representation of its chemical structure.The assignment of chemical names is done according the chemical nomenclature rules for CA index names, which is slightly different from the internationally standard IUPAC names, according to the rules of IUPAC.


The material from these basic and supplementary databases, is searchable in many ways. CAS databases are available via two principal database systems, STN, and SciFinder.


Chemical Abstracts Service Building B in August 2009.
Columbus, Ohio
STN International (Scientific & Technical Information Network) is a system operated jointly by CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe, and is intended primarily for information professionals, using a command language interface rather than a graphics interface. In addition to CAS databases, STN also provides access to many other databases which are similar to other commercial systems such as Dialog.


SciFinder is a CAS software client application designed primarily for use by professional chemists in commercial organizations. Versions for both the Windows and Macintosh operating systems are available. SciFinder Scholar is a version designed for universities and other academic institutions and lacks some supplementary features for multi-database searching. They are both designed with a graphics interface, making them particularly suitable for searching the Registry file for chemical structures.

CAS released a Web version of SciFinder in 2008.


Chemical Abstracts (CA) began as a volunteer effort and expanded from there. The use of volunteer abstractors was not phased out until 1994. Chemical Abstracts has also been associated with the American Chemical Society in one way or another since 1907.

For many years, beginning in 1909, the offices of Chemical Abstracts were housed in various places on the campus of Ohio State Universitymarker in Columbus, Ohio. But in 1965, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) moved to a new 50 acre site on the west bank of the Olentangy River, just north of the Ohio State campus. This campus would come to be well-known in the Columbus area and famous for the site of many Columbus Symphony Orchestra pop concerts. In 2009, the campus consisted of three buildings.

In 1907, William A. Noyes had enlarged the Review of American Chemical Research, an abstracting publication begun by Arthur Noyes in 1895 that was the forerunner of Chemical Abstracts. When it became evident that a separate publication containing these abstracts was needed, Noyes became the first editor of the new publication, Chemical Abstracts.

E. J. Crane became the first Director of Chemical Abstracts Service when the organization became an American Chemical Society operational division in 1956. Crane had been CA Editor since 1915, and his dedication to the organization was a key factor in its long-term success.

Dale B. Baker became the CAS Director upon Crane's retirement in 1958. According to CAS, his visionary view of CAS' potential "led to expansion, modernization, and the forging of international alliances with other information organizations." CAS was an early leader in the use of computer technology to organize and disseminate information.

The CAS Chemical Registry System was introduced in 1965. CAS developed a unique registry number to identify chemical substances. This number registry system would prove to be vital to chemical research, health and safety information, and the communication of chemical information. Agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyā€ˇ and local fire departments around the world now rely on these numbers for the definite identification of substances. According to the ACS, this is the largest chemical substance database in the world.

Robert J. Massie has been the President of CAS since 1992. Many new products and services have been released under his leadership.

See also


  1. Chemical Abstract Service, American Chemical Society.
  2. 50 Millionth Unique Chemical Substance Recorded in CAS REGISTRY,
  3. About STN International
  4. SciFinder Scholar, CAS
  5. " New SciFinder Available Via the Web". CAS. April 6, 2008.
  6. Chemical Abstracts Service. About CAS, CAS 100th Anniversary, CAS History: Milestones [Online]. Accessed 8.1.2009
  7. Chemical Abstracts Service. About CAS, CAS 100th Anniversary, CAS History: Milestones, 1958 Dale Baker [Online]. Accessed 8.1.2009
  8. David Flaxbart. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Winter 2007. Accessed 8.01.2009

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