Monday, June 6, 2016


Roots in alchemy 
1 : a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life. 2 : a power or process of transforming something common into something special. 3 : an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting 
1 : a science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo. 2 a : the composition and chemical properties of a substance *the chemistry of iron* b : chemical processes and phenomena (as of a organism) *blood chemistry* 
Merriam-Webster Dictionary 
  • elementary substances
  • forms of matter [of which all bodies are composed]
  • laws that regulate the combination of these elements
  • various phenomena that impact on substances and matter 
Chemistry is divided into two large subdivisions, which form the basis for all chemical study, research and work: 
  • Organic [pertaining to substances with carbon atoms]
  • Inorganic [deals with compounds generally not containing carbon and usually derived from minerals] 
Within each of these two groups, chemistry is divided into: 
  • Physical chemistry—the marriage of chemistry and physics in the study of gases, solids, or liquids
  • Analytical chemistry—qualitative analysis of chemicals in terms of structure
  • Biochemistry—the chemistry of living organisms
Chemistry research is also common in the following research areas:
  • Agricultural chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Forensic
  • Fuels and energy
  • Industrial chemistry
  • Stereochemistry [the study of the three-dimensional structure of molecules] 
Literature of chemistry 
If an army travels on its stomach, then chemicals surely travel on their journals. The cutting edge and the archival record of chemical research are both found almost exclusively within the realm of peer-reviewed journals. Chemists have never widely adopted other formats such as preprints or conference proceedings, and patents, another major segment of chemical literature, are not used as intensively by academics as by chemists in industry.
Flaxbert, David. 2001 (published 2003). “Conservations with Chemists: Information Seeking Behavior of Chemistry Faculty in the Electronic Age.” Science and Technology Libraries 21 (3/4): 5-26. 
  • Chemist publish most often in journals
    • Articles tend to be short, e.g. 1-2 pages 
      • Results in numerous publications by individuals
  • Patents crucial for pharmaceutical and chemical process industries
  • Most monographs collections of articles compiled by editor
  • Conference proceedings not as important as in other fields
  • Relative contributions of the Document Types to Chemical Abstracts
  • E-prints/preprints 
    • Chemists are the least likely in the field of science to rely on e-print servers 
    • American Chemical Society has a policy against publishing any paper posted on a preprint server
    • Only 6% of editors of top chemistry journals will publish articles that have appeared as e-prints 
  • Chemistry journals extremely expensive
  • Online versions of most mainstream print chemistry journals available, various pricing models 
  • Very few electronic only chemistry journals 
  • Better bibliographic control than any other scientific discipline 
    • Chemical Abstracts the premier abstracting/indexing service
    • Graphic nature of subject creates need to be able to search by chemical structure 
Chemical Abstracts 
  • Indexes over 12,000 of the world’s chemistry journals and other sources – technical reports, patents, etc.
  • Print version began in 1907; electronic 1967, available on DIALOG
  • Now includes over 800,000 entries per year
  • Printed edition updates weekly; online daily
  • Semi annual and 5-year cumulations 
  • Available in print on CD-ROM and online 
Chemical Abstracts – print edition 
  • Weekly issues: two volumes per year 
    • 80 subject sections divided into 5 broad groups 
      • Biochemistry
      • Organic chemistry 
      • Macromolecular chemistry 
      • Applied chemistry and chemical engineering
      • Physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry 
  • Coverage/scope 
    • Very comprehensive 
      • Journal articles
      • Patents
      • Books
      • Reports
      • Conference proceedings 
    • Little quality control 
  • Organization 
    • Abstracts
    • Indexes 
      • Index Guide
        • Key printed tool for identifying correct subject headings
      • Weekly indexing 
        • Author 
        • Patents
          • Only 1st version of patent indexed
        • Keyword 
      • Volume and collective indexes
        • Author 
        • General subject
        • Chemical substance/nomenclature 
          • Each substance assigned a unique registry number 
        • Molecular formula index 
          • Carbon, Hydrogen, all other elements in alphabetical order
          • Hill System Order 
What is a registry number? 
  • Unique identifying number given to a chemical structure 
  • In the form of XXXXXX-YY-Z where X, Y and Z are numerals 
  • 1st section is 2-6 digits, 2nd section is 2, 3rd section is 1 
  • Easier to use than complicated Chemical Name 
  • Also used by many other chemical reference sources 
Chemical Nomenclature 
 Common questions
  • Bibliography
  • History and biography
  • Existence, occurrence and source – location of raw material; its form; known compounds
  • Composition – natural and artificial products; specifications and standards; formulas
  • Methods of production; preparation and manipulation
  • Properties – physical and chemical; general and specific reactions
  • Uses – laboratory and industrial; general and special applications
  • Identification, testing and analysis – methods available; interpretation of results
  • Patents and trademarks
  • Statistical data – production; consumption; cost; supply; price; market 
High school students 
  • Should be exposed to chemical handbooks and scientific journals 
  • Should learn
    • How to use basic chemical reference tools e.g. CRC Handbook
    • What a scientific paper is, and be able to recognize the difference between a scientific journal article and an article on a scientific subject in a magazine or newspaper 
Material safety data sheets
  • Regulated under Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) legislation, for chemical products 
  • Designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance
  • Include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures 

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