Chemical Abstracts Service
Chemical Abstracts is a periodical index that provides summaries and indexes of disclosures in recently published scientific documents. Approximately 8,000 journal
Academic journal
An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research...

s, technical report
Technical report
A technical report is a document that describes the process, progress, or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research problem. It might also include recommendations and conclusions of the research...

s, dissertations, conference proceedings, and new book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

s, in any of 50 languages, are monitored yearly, as are patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 specifications from 27 countries and two international organizations. Chemical Abstracts ceased print publication on January 1, 2010.


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


CAplus 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.


Registry 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
The GenBank sequence database is an open access, annotated collection of all publicly available nucleotide sequences and their protein translations. This database is produced and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information as part of the International Nucleotide Sequence...

, produced by the National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

. The chemical information is prepared by the CAS Registry System, which identifies each compound with a specific CAS registry number
CAS registry number
CAS Registry Numbersare unique numerical identifiers assigned by the "Chemical Abstracts Service" toevery chemical described in the...

, 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
IUPAC nomenclature
A chemical nomenclature is a set of rules to generate systematic names for chemical compounds. The nomenclature used most frequently worldwide is the one created and developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry ....

, 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.


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
Command language
A command language is a domain-specific interpreted language; a common example of a command language are shell or batch programming languages. These languages can be used directly at the command line, but can also automate tasks that would normally be performed manually at the command line...

 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
Dialog (online database)
Dialog is an online information service owned by ProQuest, who acquired it from Thomson Reuters in mid-2008.Dialog was one of the predecessors of the World Wide Web as a provider of information, though not in form. The earliest form of the Dialog system was completed in 1966 under the direction of...



SciFinder is a CAS database of chemical and bibliographic information. Originally available only as a software client
Client (computing)
A client is an application or system that accesses a service made available by a server. The server is often on another computer system, in which case the client accesses the service by way of a network....

 application, a web version was released in 2008.

The client version is 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. Both the commercial and academic versions have a graphics interface, making them particularly suitable for searching the Registry file for chemical structures.


CASSI stands for Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI). This formerly print-only database is now available to the public as a free resource to look up and confirm publication information. In electronic format (online), CASSI provides titles and abbreviations, CODEN
CODEN – according to ASTM standard E250 – is a six character, alphanumeric bibliographic code, that provides concise, unique and unambiguous identification of the titles of serials and non-serial publications from all subject areas....

, ISSN, publisher
Scientific journal
In academic publishing, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to further the progress of science, usually by reporting new research. There are thousands of scientific journals in publication, and many more have been published at various points in the past...

, and date of first issue (history) for a selected journal. Also included is its language of text and language of summaries.

The range of coverage for this database is from 1907 to the present, including both serial and non-serial scientific and technical publications. The database is updated annually every December. Hence the database was last updated in December 2009.


Chemical Abstracts (CA) began as a volunteer effort and developed from there. The use of volunteer abstractors was phased out in 1994. Chemical Abstracts has 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 University
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University, commonly referred to as Ohio State, is a public research university located in Columbus, Ohio. It was originally founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and is currently the third largest university campus in the United States...

 in Columbus, Ohio. In 1965, CAS moved to a new 50 acres (202,343 m²) site on the west bank of the Olentangy River, just north of the Ohio State campus. This campus became well known in the Columbus area and famous as the site of many Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Columbus Symphony Orchestra
The Columbus Symphony is an American symphony orchestra based in Columbus, Ohio. The oldest performing arts organization in the city, its home is the Ohio Theatre. The orchestra's current President and Chief Creative Officer is Roland Valliere...

 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 Agency‎ 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

  • FIZ Karlsruhe
  • PubChem
    PubChem is a database of chemical molecules and their activities against biological assays. The system is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information , a component of the National Library of Medicine, which is part of the United States National Institutes of Health . PubChem can...

  • ChemSpider
    ChemsSpider is a free chemical database, owned by the Royal Society of Chemistry.-Database:The database contains more than 26 million unique molecules from over 400 data sources including those listed below.* A-L: EPA DSSTox, U.S...

  • Chemical database
    Chemical database
    A chemical database is a database specifically designed to store chemical information. This information is about chemical and crystal structures, spectra, reactions and syntheses, and thermophysical data.- Chemical structures :...

  • Beilstein database
    Beilstein database
    The Beilstein database is the largest database in the field of organic chemistry, in which compounds are uniquely identified by their Beilstein Registry Number. The database covers the scientific literature from 1771 to the present and contains experimentally validated information on millions of...

  • Inorganic Crystal Structure Database

External links

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