All of the above information was taken from the CAS web pages ( entitled CAS Offers Wide Range of Chemical Information Services From: Chemical & Engineering News, (31 Oct 1994 ) Vol. 72, No. 44, pp. 23; Copyright 1994 by the American Chemical Society and reproduced here by permission of the copyright owner.
ORGANIZATION: Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) of the American Chemical Society
ACTIVE DATES: 1907-present
PERSONS INVOLVED: Dale B. Baker; Evan J. Crane; Eugene Garfield; Karl F. Heumann; Arthur B. Lamb; David R. Lide, Jr.; Austin M. Patterson; Herman Skolnik; Fred A. Tate; George E. Vladutz

"What was to become the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) began in 1907 as virtually a one-person operation of the American Chemical Society (ACS). In 1956, ACS renamed the operation Chemical Abstracts Service and elevated it to divisional status. A pioneer in the computerization of scientific information, CAS developed the CAS Chemical Registry System in 1965 to identify and record chemical substances reported in the literature.

In 1983, CAS signed an agreement with Fachinformationzentrum (FIZ), Karlsruhe, Germany, another producer of scientific and technical information, to form a new on-line service called STN International. In May 1984, STN International was in operation. By November 1987, the Japan Information Center of Science & Technology had joined CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe as an operator of STN International. Today, more than 188 scientific and technical databases are accessible through this network. The Messenger software used to search information on STN was developed by CAS staff during the 1980s.

An equally significant CAS accomplishment was development of STN Express, an advanced software package that permits on-line searchers to build text or structure queries off-line at their personal computers and then log on automatically to STN International to search for this information.

In the early 1980s, CAS and Planning Research Corporation were chosen to develop and install a multi-million-dollar computer system for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO). This system automated patent processing, making PTO the first automated patent office in the world.

The best known of CAS printed products is Chemical Abstracts. Each weekly issue carries more than 9,500 abstracts of findings in chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields reported in journal articles, patents, technical reports, dissertations, conference proceedings, and books from around the world. In 1993, CAS offered the 12th Collective Index and a companion abstract product on CD-ROM.

Among other well-known CAS printed products are Chemical Industry Notes (CIN) and two popular publications that cover current research and issues - CASelects and CAS BioTech Updates. The CASelects series comprises about 250 titles covering specific topics. The series, which is published every two weeks, contains CA abstracts and bibliographic information. CAS BioTech Updates has 15 specific areas covering various facets of biotechnology. It also contains business summaries from CIN and keyword and author indexes.

CAS has eight databases - CA, REGISTRY, CAOLD, CAPreviews, CIN, CHEMLIST, CASREACT, and MARPAT - available on STN International. CA is a bibliographic file that provides access to the abstracting and indexing information that has been published in printed CA since 1967. REGISTRY is a companion file for chemical substance searching and identification. The largest file of substance information in the world, REGISTRY, can be searched by using structures, substructures, or text terms, including molecular formulas and chemical names. Proteins and nucleic acid sequences are searchable by inputting the desired string of amino acid or nucleotide codes.

CAOLD supplements the CA file by providing access to about 700,000 documents abstracted in CA before 1967. CAPreviews gives a preview of documents that will be appearing in the CA file. The CIN file is an on-line version of the printed publication. CHEMLIST contains information about chemicals subject to regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

CASREACT and MARPAT are two of the newest files on STN International and have no print counterparts. CASREACT is a file of more than 1million organic chemical reactions appearing in the literature since 1985. MARPAT is a file of Markush structures - generic chemical structures used legally to protect classes of compounds - that have appeared in the patent literature since 1988."


Chemical Abstract Service
INCLUDES: CAS holds a collection of various files of unknown dates related to CAS but none of the collections have been processed or arranged. The CAS has no archives program and many files have been destroyed.
SOURCE: Conversation with the CAS library staff, W. V. Metonomski and Dale Baker.


Page updated 14 January 1998