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The past illuminates the future. Phil Abrahams Customer Services Director RSC Publishing ACS, Division of Chemical Information 13th September 2006.

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The past illuminates the future

The past illuminates the future

Phil Abrahams

Customer Services Director

RSC Publishing

ACS, Division of Chemical Information

13th September 2006

What is knowledge

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it. When we enquire into any subject, the first thing we have to do is to know what books have treated of it. This leads us to look at catalogues, and at the backs of books in libraries”

Samuel Johnson, Boswell’s Life of Johnson

What is knowledge?

Knowledge accumulates

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”

Isaac Newton, 1675

Knowledge accumulates…

Knowledge blooms

…and interact of giants”

Knowledge blooms


It dies of giants”

Covered by later sedimentary layers of content

(Listen to the snapping sound of an over-stretched analogy)


The rsc bedrock archive
The RSC “Bedrock”/Archive of giants”

  • Archive launched December 2003

  • Now 1841-2004 articles

  • 1.4m pages, 240,000 articles

    • All content (+ adverts)

    • XML abstracts 1965ff

    • ↔ Reference linking 1990ff

    • 200Gb data

  • Athens-authenticated access

Pricing model
Pricing model of giants”

  • Outright purchase

    • Self-host

    • RSC-host + nominal maintenance fee

  • Annual lease

  • Consortia/multi-site


Search of giants”




Reference links post-1990, back & forth

CAS links

British Chemical Abstracts (i.e. pre-CAS)


Usage patterns of giants”

2nd most popular product

after Chemical Communications

14% total usage

Anecdotal usefulness of British Chemical Abstracts

10s of years of abstracting all chemical literature before CAS starts

Usage patterns

Just in case
(Just in case) of giants”

  • 1. Synthesis of thiol-derivatised gold nanoparticles in a two-phase Liquid–Liquid system

    Mathias Brust, Merryl Walker, Donald Bethell, David J. Schiffrin and Robin Whyman                                        

    Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1994

  • 2. Molecular beam studies of the interaction of oxygen with silver surfaces

    David A. Butler, Age Raukema and Aart W. Kleyn

    Journal of the Chemical Society, Faraday Transactions, 1996

  • 3. Synthesis and reactions of functionalised gold nanoparticles

    M. Brust, J. Fink, D. Bethell, D. J. Schiffrin and C. Kiely

    Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1995

  • 4. Rules for ring closure

    Jack E. Baldwin

    Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1976

  • 5. The preparation and properties of tris(triphenylphosphine)halogenorhodium(I) and some reactions thereof including catalytic homogeneous hydrogenation of olefins and acetylenes and their derivatives

    J. A. Osborn, F. H. Jardine, J. F. Young and G. Wilkinson

    Journal of the Chemical Society A: Inorganic, Physical, Theoretical, 1966

  • 6. Preparation and use of tetra-n-butylammonium per-ruthenate (TBAP reagent) and tetra-n-propylammonium per-ruthenate (TPAP reagent) as new catalytic oxidants for alcohols

    William P. Griffith, Steven V. Ley, Gwynne P. Whitcombe and Andrew D. White

    Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1987

  • 7. Recent advances in the chemistry of noble gas elements

    N. K. Jha

    Royal Institute of Chemistry, Reviews, 1971

  • 8. CCLXXI.—Degradation of quaternary ammonium salts. Part III

    Thomas Stevens Stevens, William Whitelaw Snedden, Eric Thomas Stiller and Thomas Thomson

    Journal of the Chemical Society (Resumed), 1930

  • 9. A study of the nucleation and growth processes in the synthesis of colloidal gold

    John Turkevich, Peter Cooper Stevenson and James Hillier

    Discussions of the Faraday Society, 1951

  • 10. A new method for the deoxygenation of secondary alcohols

    Derek H. R. Barton and Stuart W. McCombie

    Journal of the Chemical Society, Perkin Transactions 1, 1975

Example of use
Example of use III

  • Historic reference

    • A historical study of structures for communication of organic chemistry information prior to 1950 (Dr Helen Cooke, OBC, 2004, (22),3179-3191DOI:10.1039/B409980J )

How the future will re illuminate the past
How the future will re-illuminate the past… III

  • Linking’s the thing:

  • Tag chemicals

  • Link to resources

  • Link experimental data

  • Use InChI

  • Classify

  • Improved views

  • Scalable

How the future will re illuminate the past1
How the future will re-illuminate the past… III

  • Text mining

    • Subject terms

    • Ontologies

    • Chemicals

    • Roll-out on current papers 2007, then Archive…

  • Automated subject mapping (e.g. Ali Baba)

  • Researcher-links (e.g PubMed)

Through the looking glass
…Through the looking glass III

  • Chemicals

  • Subjects

  • People

What s next
What’s next? III

  • Content-tagging to allow:

    • Package-specific archives

    • Journal-specific archives

    • Pre-launched journal content

  • Functionality mark up to allow

    • Books archive

What s next1

RSC Books Archive III

750 digitised books

Googling: full text, chapter-by-chapter

On sale now – booth #622-5

Launching November at Online Information, London

One-time fee - £9000 ($17000)

What’s next?

Where does the money go

Technical & product investments III

Research grants

Support networks – local + international

Teacher training

Chemistry communication


Policy support/Policy execution

Campaign for chemical sciences

Where does the money go?

Summing up
Summing up III

  • Highest use T-5y – but:

  • Long tail of usage

  • Searching options are key

  • Usage boosted from date of

    • Abstract search capability

    • Reference linking capability

  • More sales, different emphasis, expected

  • More functionality being added

  • Your money returns to chemistry

Thank you questions
Thank you: Questions III

Phil Abrahams

E: [email protected]

T: 0044 1223 432301

F: 0044 1223 426017