Chemisches Zentralblatt – Historical Present
Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague
The most important reference work for chemistry, covering 140 years of chemistry history has been digitized and made available to chemical community as an electronic information source. By this undertaking, data collection about research and progress in chemistry disciplines has moved from depositories back onto the desks of practising chemists in a much more efficient and usable form. Clearly, the digitized form, covering all printed volumes from the first page in 1830 to the last page in 1969, requires a somewhat different approach to searching than electronic databases which we are using at present. The user is always looking for a string of characters representing an author’s name or a subject term or a chemical name and the search results are displayed as a set of references to pages of the printed volume. Displaying close vicinity of the given string helps to decide whether a reference is useful or not. Despite somewhat more laborious usage, the main value of the digitized version of Chemisches Zentralblatt is in bringing back this monument of information from storage to life and preventing the work of thousands of chemists from being lost and forgotten.
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