Issue Date: March 17, 2008
Chemical Abstracts To Check on Wikipedia
The American Chemical Society's Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) has agreed to help Wikipedia, the online user-generated encyclopedia, make sure that entries on chemical substances of widespread general public interest include complete and accurate CAS Registry Numbers. Each number is a unique ID that CAS assigns to chemical substances. The CAS Registry contains more than 34 million organic and inorganic substances, but so far, only a few thousand of the most common chemicals are included in Wikipedia. Until now, contributors to the encyclopedia had been adding CAS numbers to chemical substances listed in the Wikiprojects-Chemicals section of the Wikipedia Chemistry Portal. But some numbers are incomplete or incorrect. Wikipedia recently approached CAS to address the issue. CAS is interested in the dissemination of information about chemistry and chemical substances "that is truly of interest to the general public," says Chris McCue, CAS's vice president of marketing. "In that regard, our mission and Wikipedia's mission run parallel and offer the prospect of some very positive and exciting cooperation."
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