Issue Date: March 12, 2007
Elsevier Acquires Beilstein Database
Elsevier, the Amsterdam-based scientific publisher, has acquired the Beilstein Database from the Beilstein Institute for the Advancement of Chemical Sciences, a nonprofit foundation in Frankfurt, Germany.
Since 1998, Elsevier has produced and marketed the database through an exclusive agreement with the Beilstein Institute. It will now merge the database with the German arm of its MDL Information Systems subsidiary, which already offers Beilstein data through its CrossFire Beilstein product.
Covering organic chemistry literature dating back to 1771, the database contains records of more than 9.8 million compounds and 10 million reactions, as well as 320 million pieces of experimental data on chemical properties, according to the partners. It also includes more than 900,000 abstracts from 1980 to the present, as well as pharmacological and toxicological data on organic chemicals.
Elsevier says it has updated or added about 5 million compounds to the database during the nine-year partnership. It also has been building a customer base in the academic sector and in the pharmaceutical industry. Following the acquisition, the publisher plans to further integrate chemical structure data and text information.
For its part, the Beilstein Institute intends to focus on its mission to advance the chemical sciences, says Director Martin J. Hicks. The institute's efforts emphasize information and communication, including symposia, software development, related research grants, and its open-access publication, Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry.
The Beilstein Database competes with services such as Thomson Scientific's ISI Web of Knowledge and Chemical Abstract Services (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society. Both have records dating back some 100 years. ISI broadly covers about 230 scientific disciplines and includes 2 million chemical structures. CAS databases, meanwhile, hold nearly 25 million abstracts of chemistry-related literature and patents and records on about 31 million chemical substances and 12 million reactions.
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