1950 - 1960
1960 - 1970
1970 - 1980
1980 - 1990
1990 - present
Hans Peter Luhn develops prototype
of the Luhn Scanner for IBM. Its technology is based on IBM punched cards,
run vertically through a specially adapted scanner, using photo-electric
cells. It does not require fixed-field searching. It is first demonstrated
at the World Chemical Conclave in New York City, September 1951.
The Information for Industry Index to U.S. Patents
(IFI/Plenum) begins publication using Mortimer Taube's Uniterm system for
Mortimer Taube and Alberto F. Thompson of the AEC Technical
Information Service present "The Coordinate Indexing of Scientific Fields"
before the Symposium on Mechanical Aids to Chemical Documentation sponsored
by the ACS's Division of Chemical Literature. This paper contains the first
use of the term coordinate indexing.
James W. Perry and Robert S. Casey
publish Punched Cards: Their Application to Science and Industry.
A second edition appeared in 1958 with Madeline Berry and Allen Kent as
At Johns Hopkins University's Welch Medical Library, Eugene
Garfield develops machine methods for compiling Current List of
Medical Literature (later merged with Index Medicus) and applies
the IBM 101 punched-card sorter to search this
At Sharp and Dohme, Claire Schultz
employs Calvin Mooers's superimposed coding and the Remington
Rand punched-card sorter to perform chemistry searches.
In Great Britain, Derwent Publications, Ltd., begins patent
abstracting services with Central Patents Index. Punched cards are
used to construct the indexes.
Karl Heumann and Raimon Beard report on the U.S. National
Research Council's Chemical-Biological Coordination Center survey of the
use of punched cards, classification systems, etc. in documenting work
in the chemistry and biology fields.
The Institute of Scientific Information is established at
the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow and in the following year begins
publication of Referativnyi Zhurnal, Khimiya, a chemical abstracting
journal. In 1955 the institute becomes the All-Soviet Institute for Scientific
and Technical Information (VINITI), the centralized abstracting and indexing
service for all scientific fields.
National Research Council issues a call for the comparative
study of the best notation systems for structural formulas.
In France, Jacques-Emile Dubois does initial work on the
DARC (Description, Acquisition, Retrieval, and Correlation) system.
Robert Cahn, Christopher Ingold, and Vladimir Prelog present
a nomenclature system for the unambiguous specification of stereoisomers.
IUPAC approves rules for chemical
nomenclature that are subsequently issued in book form--the famous Red,
Blue, and Green Books, dealing with inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry,
Eugene Garfield Associates, Inc.,
begins project with Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association to scan and
index the current literature on steroid compounds. The coding sheets produced
are then used by the U.S. Patent Office to make punched cards for searching
by patent examiners to find current literature. This project leads indirectly
to Index Chemicus.
Robert Fugmann and co-workers at Farbwerke Hoechst, West
Germany, develop Generic Retrieval by Magnetic Tape Storage (GREMAS), a
high-performance fragmentation coding, storage, and retrieval system for
low molecular weight organic compounds.
U.S. Patent Office and National Bureau of Standards develop
the experimental HAYSTAQ (Have You Stored Answers to Questions) system
using a Standards Electronic Automatic Computer (SEAC) for use in searching
patent files, with particular focus on chemical information.
International Conference on Scientific Information (ICSI)
is held in Washington, D.C.
National Federation of Science Abstracting and Indexing Services
is founded. In 1972 it becomes National Federation of Abstracting and Indexing
Kagaku Gijutsu Bunken Sokuho (Alerting Service of
Scientific and Technical Information) by Japan Information Center for Science
and Technology is published. Covers world science literature.
Hans Peter Luhn (IBM) and Herbert Ohlman (System Development
Corporation) display first key word in context (KWIC) indexes at ICSI.
Eugene Garfield Associates publishes first issues of Current
Contents/Life Sciences, covering life sciences, pharmacy, and chemistry
in a format that was prototyped in 1952. Garfield also begins work on his
algorithm for converting chemical names into molecular formulas.
Beilsteins Handbuchadopts CIP (for Cahn, Ingold, Prelog).
CIP is now used nearly universally.
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Ascher Opler (Dow Chemical Company) reports on the use of
a light pen for graphical entry of chemical structures into a computer.
CAS and the Union of American Biological Societies (later,
its information service known as BIOSIS--BioSciences Information Service
of Biological Abstracts) agree to exchange abstracting services to avoid
duplication of efforts.
U.S. National Science Foundation begins funding research
and development on new information handling projects at CAS, then led by
Dale B. Baker, director, who is soon joined by Fred
A. Tate, director of the research department. These projects include
the Chemical Registry and a comprehensive national computerized chemical
information system. By 1974 this funding exceeds $23 million.
Institute for Scientific Information, formerly Eugene Garfield
Associates, publishes first issues of Index Chemicus (briefly called
Current Abstracts of Chemistry), a monthly alerting service to new
chemical compounds and reactions. It features a computer-based molecular
formula index constructed from chemical names.
CAS publishes first five monthly samples of Chemical Titles
(CT ); bi-weekly issues begin in 1961. CT is first periodical
to be organized, indexed, and composed almost completely by computer and
to use Hans Peter Luhn's KWIC method.
American Institute of Chemical Engineers publishes Chemical
Engineering Thesaurus, derived from the DuPont Technical Information
Thesaurus, developed by Mortimer Taube as a consultant to the Du Pont Company's
Engineering Information Center.
Based on earlier work done by Donald J. Gluck and colleagues
at DuPont, CAS's Harry L. Morgan develops an algorithm to translate two-dimensional
structural diagrams into a tabular form (or connection table) that can
be manipulated and searched via computer. This algorithm becomes fundamental
to the CAS Chemical Registry System.
Robert E. Maizell (Olin Corp.) and Charles N. Rice (Eli Lilly)
begin using CAS tapes to produce in-house alerting service for chemists.
Similar program is developed for students by Purdue University at about
the same time.
George E. Vladutz, a Soviet chemist, enunciates the basic
idea for a computerized retrieval system for chemical reactions.
With funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health,
Institute for Scientific Information publishes the first issue of Genetics
Citation Index (GCI) and the prototype of Science Citation
Index (SCI), relying on computer indexing. While GCI
is not continued, SCI is first offered commercially in 1964.
MEDLARS (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System),
an off-line batch service, begins operation from the National Library of
University of Sheffield Postgraduate School of Librarianship
and Information Science is founded and two years later begins extensive
research program in computerized retrieval methods for chemical and textual
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research develops the Army
Chemical Typewriter, which enables the input of chemical structures to
a computer using a paper tape punching machine.
CAS inaugurates Experimental Chemical Registry System, assigning
unique numbers to each new substance.
Meyer Mike Kessler, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
develops Technical Information Project (TIP), an experimental online searching
Douglas Engelbart develops the mouse as an input device.
Used shortly thereafter for manipulation of chemical structures in input
and searching at the Lister Hill Center of the National Institutes of Health.
Subsidized by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation,
the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and the Office
of Science and Technology, CAS Chemical Registry System begins. At first
the system is only available for use in-house at CAS.
CAS offers batch (off-line) access to users of the Chemical
CAS provides online searching of its structure files for
the National Cancer Institute.
Computer processing of CA is introduced on a rudimentary
scale. CA indexes are running about 22 months behind the close of
a volume period at this time.
Partially funded by National Institutes of Health, Chemical
Biological Activities is introduced by CAS. It was published simultaneously
in printed form and on computer tape and was the first computer-produced
service to include full text, searchable abstracts.
Imperial Chemical Industries in Great Britain begins work
on a project named CROSSBOW (Computerized Retrieval of Organic Structures
Based on Wiswesser).
CAS works with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and
the Food and Drug Administration to develop computer-based substance identification
techniques. NLM uses the CAS Registry techniques to develop the Chemical
Dictionary Online (CHEMLINE) and Toxicology Information Online (TOXLINE)
Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre is established by
Olga Kennard in the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University.
CAS markets microfilms of all abstracts published since 1907.
Chemical Notation Association is founded in the United States.
Chemical Society Research Unit in Information Dissemination
and Retrieval is established at the University of Nottingham under the
directorship of Anthony K. Kent. In 1969, it becomes the U.K. Chemical
The International Council of Scientific Unions establishes
the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) to improve the
quality and accessibility of scientific data collected worldwide.
West Germany's Internationale Dokumentationsgesellschaft
für Chemie is founded with the cooperation of German chemical companies.
CAS introduces the hetero-atom-in-context system in its chemical
Association of Information and Dissemination Centers is established
by various private and public national and international organizations
to deal with production, distribution, and use of electronic products and
Information Industry Association is founded by Eugene Garfield,
Saul Herner, and others.
CA Condensates, an alerting service covering the full
range of documents abstracted and indexed by CAS, commences. This is the
first publicly available computer file to forthcoming issues of CA.
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The U.K. Consortium on Chemical Information, the Gesellschaft
Deutscher Chemiker, and CAS form a partnership to develop and operate a
common, computerized information system for chemistry and chemical engineering.
Great Britain's Chemical Notation Association is founded.
Chemisches Zentralblatt ceases publication.
U.S. Department of Defense implements ARPANET (advanced research
projects agency network) to demonstrate how communications between computers
could promote cooperative research among scientists.
Elias J. Corey and W. Todd Wipke of Harvard University develop
the OCSS-LHASA (Organic Chemical Synthesis Simulation-Logic and Heuristics
Applied to Synthetic Analysis) synthesis planning system. Beginning with
a molecular structure input by light pen or mouse,
the system suggests starting materials and reactions to produce the molecule.
Japanese Information Center for Science and Technology begins
online service of its database.
On an experimental basis, U.S. National Library of Medicine
begins offering online access service, known as AIM-TWX (Abridged Index
Medicus Accessed by Teletypewriter Exchange Service), to the MEDLARS database.
Uses ORBIT software developed by System Development Corporation.
U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
begins offering online search service RECON (remote console) to NASA facilities.
Uses DIALOG software developed by Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation.
BIOSIS, CAS, and Engineering Index begin study of overlap
of journal coverage.
European Association of Information Services is established
to coordinate and advance the interests of operators of computerized data
Japan Association for International Chemical Information
is founded to increase the international flow of chemical information.
U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Environmental
Protection Agency announce the establishment of the Chemical Information
U.S. National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE (Medical Literature
Online) becomes operational.
Commercial online systems, ORBIT (System Development Corporation)
and DIALOG (Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation), become available
in the United States.
INPADOC (International Patent Documentation System) is founded
by the World Intellectual Property Organization and the government of Austria.
Later integrated into the European Patent Office.
NATO's Computer Representation and Manipulation of Chemical
Information is held at Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.
Herman Skolnik becomes the first recipient of the Skolnik
Award of the ACS Division of Chemical Information.
CA Search, a file of CA
references and indexing, is introduced and soon becomes the most widely
used chemical database in the world.
CAS ONLINE becomes operational on a pilot basis.
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Molecular Design Limited, a supplier of computer software
for chemical and pharmaceutical companies, is founded by Stuart A. Marson,
Steve Peacock, and W. Todd Wipke.
Gmelin Handbuch begins transition from German to English.
The Chemical Society, the Royal Institute of Chemistry, and
other organizations merge to form the Royal Society of Chemistry in Great
The ACS publication, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry,
is made available in full text on an experimental basis on the BRS (Bibliographic
Retrieval Service) online system.
Fachgruppe Chemie-Information is founded within the Gesellschaft
Great Britain's Chemical Structure Association is established.
Division of Chemical Information and Computer Science is
founded within the Chemical Society of Japan.
CA File, the most complete online equivalent of CA,
U.S. National Science Foundation incorporates ARPANET into
its new INTERNET (interactive network).
CAS ONLINE is incorporated, along with non-CAS databases,
into Scientific and Technical Network International, a joint operation
of CAS, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, and Fachinformationzentrum
Journal of Biological Chemistry becomes first journal
to ask authors to reference an electronic database, in this case of nucleotide
First International Conference on Chemical Structures held
in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.
National Center for Biotechnology Information is founded
to oversee the information components of the Human Genome Project.
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First International Conference on Chemical Information held
in Montreux, Switzerland.
Tetrahedron Computer Methodology, edited by W. Todd
Wipke, becomes the first journal published in electronic form only, available
on floppy disks.
DIALOG Information Services files $150-million lawsuit against
CAS, charging violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act for attempting to
monopolize control of the chemical literature.
CAS responds to DIALOG lawsuit and counter sues for $30 million,
charging DIALOG with breach of contract and fraud.
The CORE project, to create a prototype of an electronic
library of ACS journals, is established cooperatively by ACS, CAS, Bellcore,
OCLC, and Cornell University.
Gmelin Database is made commercially available.
First sites appear on the World Wide Web.
DIALOG and CAS settle lawsuit and promise further cooperation;
terms not disclosed.
SciFinder, a client server for scientists, is marketed by
CAS Registry System records over
1 million new substances this year.
CAS begins Internet coverage of chemical science resources
on the Internet that are only available in electronic form.
ACS creates ChemCenter, a web service to access a wide variety
of chemical information. Includes full text of 26 ACS journals.
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At the end of the year, the Registry file contains 17.2 million
substances. The Registry database contains over 23 million names.
CHRONOLOGY OF CHEMICAL INFORMATION
SCIENCE (BY DATE)
CHRONOLOGY OF CHEMICAL INFORMATION
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