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Which should you ask your library to buy ? SciFinder Scholar, CA Student Edition, or General Science Abstracts: Patricia E. Kirkwood University of Arkansas Engineering and Mathematics Librarian We are a small school We have no access to a consortia We need to meet the CPT guidelines

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which should you ask your library to buy
Which should you ask your library to buy?

SciFinder Scholar, CA Student Edition, or General Science Abstracts:

Patricia E. Kirkwood

University of Arkansas

Engineering and Mathematics Librarian

the issue to resolve

We are a small school

We have no access to a consortia

We need to meet the CPT guidelines

Libraries want a defined cost with campus wide access

The Issue to resolve
committee for professional training

Undergraduate Professional Education in Chemistry – Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures, 2/27/2007 draft

    • http://acswebcontent.acs.org/education/cpt/cpt_newdraftguidelines.pdf
  • Library Requirements
    • http://www.chemistry.org/portal/a/c/s/1/acsdisplay.html?DOC=education\cpt\library.html
Committee for Professional Training
4 4 chemical information resources

Students must have print or electronic access to Chemical Abstracts, including the ability to search and access full abstracts.

4.4 Chemical Information Resources
chemical abstracts

Available where:

    • SciFinder Scholar
    • STN on the Web
    • STN Easy
    • CAS Student Edition


Chemical Abstracts
6 undergraduate research

The student conducts undergraduate research with a faculty advisor, allowing the student to draw on faculty expertise and encouraging a student-faculty mentor relationship. The research project should be envisioned as a component of a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. It should be well-defined, stand a reasonable chance of completion in the available time, apply and develop an understanding of in-depth concepts, use a variety of instrumentation, and be grounded in the chemical literature.

6. Undergraduate Research
7 development of student skills

7.2 Chemical Literature Skills.

Students should be able to use the peer-reviewed scientific literature effectively and evaluate technical articles critically.

They should learn how to retrieve specific information from the chemical literature, including the use of Chemical Abstracts and other compilations, with online, interactive database-searching tools.

Approved programs must provide instruction on the effective retrieval and use of the chemical literature.

A specific course is an excellent means of imparting information-retrieval skills, though such a course usually would not qualify as an in-depth course. Integrating the use of these skills into several individual courses is also an effective approach. Both library and online exercises should be a part of such instruction.

7. Development of Student Skills
added issues

We have less that 5K a year for 35 FTE students to learn chemical searching

And our faculty need access to Chemical Abstracts as well.

We have an excellent librarian, however, chemistry is not one of his subject strengths.

Who is going to teach the students about information retrieval?

Added issues
three possible products

SciFinder Scholar

  • CA Student Edition
  • General Science Abstracts

All use controlled vocabulary.

All available for under $5K

All index selective science journals with titles used by undergraduates in their assignments included.

Three possible products
database features

Librarians and scientists look at databases differently.

You need a product that students can become comfortable with rather quickly that doesn’t hide the realities of this process.

Database features
scifinder scholar

1 seat shared between 3 schools

  • Access to full features of Scholar including structure searching
  • Includes –
    • Chemical Abstracts (including Registry)
    • ChemCats
    • CASReacts
    • Medline
SciFinder Scholar


scifinder scholar basics

Over 9,500 currently published journals and patent information from more than 50 active patent issuing authorities



1890 –

SciFinder Scholar basics
scifinder scholar issues

Client server software

Not available off campus

Requires special set up for training account access

Is not a search engine non-science librarians are comfortable

Restricted to 1 user at a time.

SciFinder Scholar ISSUES
ca student edition

Available through OCLC First Search – an interface that is familiar to many librarians

316 Journals (all ACS journals, all but 1CPT recommended journals) indexed

No conferences included

Dissertations included

No patents included

1967 to current

Uses RN and all controlled vocabulary of full CA

Does not have the registry file component

CA Student Edition


general science abstracts information

HW Wilson Product

Available on many platforms with and without full text added

300 journals in all science areas with a large focus in chemistry and biology

Controlled vocabulary

General Science Abstracts information
content analysis

SciFinder Scholar indexes all CPT required and recommended journals, but not every article of every journal.

CA Student Edition is a subset of SciFinder

General Science Abstracts has journal that are most likely available at small institutions or through Interlibrary Loan

Content analysis
cpt journal recommendations


    • Accounts of Chemical Research
    • Angewandte Chemie International Edition
    • Chemical Communications
    • Chemical Reviews
    • Chemical Society Reviews
    • Journal of Chemical Education
    • Journal of the American Chemical Society
    • Nature
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Science
CPT journal recommendations
cpt journal recommendations18

Analytical Chemistry

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry of Materials
  • Dalton Transactions
  • Environmental Science & Technology
  • Faraday Discussions
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Journal of Chemical Physics
  • The Journal of Organic Chemistry
  • The Journal of Physical Chemistry A
  • The Journal of Physical Chemistry B
  • Langmuir
  • Macromolecules
  • Nature - Structural Biology
  • Organic Letters
  • Organometallics
  • Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry
CPT journal recommendations

Highly recommended

cpt also recommends
CPT Also recommends

Applied Spectroscopy

Biochemical Journal

Bioconjugate Chemistry

Bioorganic Chemistry

Canadian Journal of Chemistry

Chemical Physics Letters

Chemistry - A European Journal

Chemistry and Biology

Chemistry Letters (Japan)

European Journal of Biochemistry

European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry

European Journal of Organic Chemistry

Helvetica Chimica Acta

Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Inorganica Chimica Acta

Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

Journal of Catalysis

 Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling

Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation

Journal of Chromatography

Journal of Coordination Chemistry

Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry

Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

Journal of Molecular Biology

Journal of Organometallic Chemistry

Journal of Polymer Science

Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry

New Journal of Chemistry

Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Spectrochimica Acta


Tetrahedron Letters

Trends in Biochemical Sciences

coverage in summary
coverage in summary

55 Titles in common

    • 7 of 10 general content titles
    • 7 of 18 highly recommended titles
    • 1 of 34 also recommended titles
  • SciFinder Scholar
    • All recommended titles and many many more
  • Chemical Abstracts Student Edition
    • all remaining general titles
    • 10 of 11 remaining highly recommended titles
    • 26 of 33 remaining also recommended titles
  • General Science Abstracts 
    • 1 of the remaining highly recommended titles
review journals in common
Review Journals in Common
  • Reviews of Modern Physics
  • Annual Review of Biochemistry
  • Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science
  • Annual Review of Genetics
  • Annual Review of Microbiology
  • Annual Review of Neuroscience
  • Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
  • Annual Review of Physiology
  • Annual Review of Plant Biology
other common titles
Other common titles
  • American Journal of Botany
  • American Journal of Human Genetics
  • American Journal of Physiology
  • American Journal of Science
  • American Zoologist
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • The Biological Bulletin
  • Canadian Journal of Chemistry
  • Cell
  • Chemical Innovation
  • Developmental Biology
  • Environmental Health Perspectives
  • Genetics
  • Geological Society of America Bulletin
common titles also include
Common Titles also include
  • Nature
  • The New England Journal of Medicine
  • New Scientist
  • Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
  • Physics Today
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • Science
  • Scientific American
  • Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • JAMA
  • Journal of Bacteriology
  • The Journal of Cell Biology
  • The Journal of Experimental Biology
  • The Journal of General Physiology
  • The Journal of Geology
  • The Journal of Nutrition
acs titles not in gsa
ACS titles NOT in GSA
  • Bioconjugate Chemistry
  • ACS Chemical Biology
  • ACS Nano  NEW IN 2007
  • Chemical Research in Toxicology
  • Chemistry of Materials
  • Crystal Growth & Design
  • Energy & Fuels
  • Industrial & Engineering
  • Chemistry Research
  • Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society
  • Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data
  • Organometallics
  • Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
  • Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation
  • Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry
  • Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Journal of Proteome Research
  • Langmuir
  • Macromolecules
  • Molecular PharmaceuticsNano Letters
  • Organic Letters
  • Organic Process Research & Development
library concerns

Predictable pricing

Access – time restrictions, access limits,

Timely access

Student training

Software and computing requirements

Library concerns
why chemical abstracts

The known tool for locating chemical information

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Robust
  • Required by CPT
    • Small schools need this certification
  • Also need access for faculty research and student research projects
Why Chemical Abstracts
skills that can be taught in either version of chemical abstracts

Control vocabulary

  • Breadth of chemical literature
  • Interdisciplinary nature of chemistry
  • Boolean Logic
  • The two step process
    • Identify the article
    • Determine how to get the article
Skills that can be taught in either version of chemical abstracts
skills that can not be taught with ca student edition

Structure searching

Registry File

Citation trails

Reaction searching

When do your students need to learn these skills?

Skills that can not be taught with CA student Edition
other alternatives not explored

STN Easy

STN on the Web

These versions are “pay as you go” and could be used to enhance access for research access as well as structure searching

Other alternatives not explored