Beilstein Crossfire and Gmelin via Commander

Updated: 2/23/00

The Beilstein CrossFire Database contains information on more than 6 million organic substances covering the literature from 1779 to about a year ago. The database is the most complete collection of structures, properties, and references to the literature in organic chemistry.

The Gmelin Database contains all the structural, factual, and bibliographic data cited in the Gmelin Handbook of Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry from 1772 to 1994 (plus a very small number of entries from 1995). Contents include approximately 470,000 coordination compounds (45% of the database), 14,000 glasses and ceramics, 3,200 minerals, and 55,000 alloys.

Access in the IUB Chemistry Library is from Computers 2, 3, and 4; the computers in C003B; and the computers in C006. Users on the Indiana University campuses can load the search software onto any machines with Windows and Winsock or LAN Workplace. A Mac version is also available for users with MacTCP. The files can be downloaded from the IUB Chemistry Library webpage ( The "Downloads" section of the homepage is in the lower right hand corner.

See Gary Wiggins or Roger Beckman
for help or more information.

Getting Started:

  1. Select the icon "Beilstein:shortcut to CrossFire and AutoNom" on the desktop (or from the Program menu in C006).
  2. Wait until the login screen appears and input at least one character into each of the "login id" and the "password" lines.
  3. Wait until the "Beilstein Commander (BC)" screen appears.
  4. Select either the Gmelin Database or Beilstein Database [towards upper-left part of screen]
  5. From the "Task" menu bar choose either "Structure Editor" or "Fact Editor."
  6. When done with the Structure Editor or Fact Editor press the "-->BC" button to return to the Beilstein Commander screen.
  7. Press the "Start" button to begin the search.
  8. Press the "Display Hits" button in the window that pops up.

Training and Guides :

For detailed information and training on the IUB campus see Roger Beckman or Gary Wiggins in the IUB Chemistry Library.

These guides are also available for purchase from Beilstein Information Systems for approximately $35. Contact Craig Miller (1-800-275-6094) for details.

Basic information on searching with the Beilstein Commander is available from the U. of Chicago CrossFire help guide. The URL is HTTP://

An excellent source of documents about CrossFire searching can be found at the British Chemistry Database Service. The URL is Choose the links which end in ".html".

For help or more information you may also contact the US Beilstein Helpdesk at .

Important Points to Remember:

Before printing always check the Field Availability under the View menu of the Display Hits Screen. Many substances have hundreds of citations associated with them and it would be easy to waste lots of paper. Select "Define User View" from the "Options" menu bar and then "User View" from the "View" menu bar to customize the display. Only the fields that appear on the screen will now be printed.

Basically Beilstein covers compounds containing carbon along with the following elements:

          Li, Be              B, C,  N,  O,  F
          Na, Mg                 Si, P,  S,  Cl
          K,  Ca                     As, Se, Br
          Rb, Sr                     Te, I
          Cs, Ba 

Compounds covered can be single components or salts and mixtures (if they have at least one organic component). Peptides are covered if they contain twelve or fewer amino acids. Polymers or polycondensation products are not treated. The following components are not typically treated as Beilstein compounds:

Gmelin covers compounds not covered in Beilstein, i.e., inorganic and organometallic chemistry as well as related fields such as mineralogy and metallurgy. Compounds are indexed with terms such as coordination compounds, alloys, ceramics, and inorganic polymers.

For more information on the printed Beilstein and Gmelin Handbooks and related tools see