Chemical Literature (Chem 184/284)
Lecture 2: Types of Primary Literature
Primary Literature: Publication of Information
Publication is, as the name implies, the making public of information,
by whatever means -- oral, printed or electronic.
Publication has become a means not only for disseminating information,
but also a tool for evaluating a scholar's performance: "Publish
Types of Publication
The major forms of primary scientific publication include:
The scientific journal was invented in the mid-1600's as a means of speeding
scholarly communication: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
As science grew, so did the volume of literature and the specialization
of journals. Today there are over 100,000 scientific journals.
Types of Journals
Journals vary widely in degree of specialization, from
Very broad, covering all of science (more or less...)
Journal of the American Chemical Society; Physical Review Letters
Covering all of a major section of science, such as chemistry, biology
Journal of Organic Chemistry; Biochemistry
Covering a major subsection of science, such as organic chemistry or
solid state physics
Biological Mass Spectrometry; Fullerene Science and Technology
Covering a highly specialized area of research.
Types of Journal articles
News and reviews: Science News; Chemical & Engineering News
These magazines specialize in short summaries of "hot" current research,
usually in language aimed at the non-specialist, written by professional
journalists (with some scientific background) rather than by professional
Major reviews: Accounts of Chemical Research; Chemical Reviews
These journals specialize in longer articles summarizing the research
in a particular field, usually over a specified chronological range. These
are generally written by scientists who are expert in the field.
Major original papers: Journal of the American Chemical Society; Tetrahedron
These journals (the majority of scholarly journals) carry full-length
articles on original research.
Brief communications: Tetrahedron Letters, Physical Review Letters
Some journals specialize in rapid publication of short announcements
of research results.
Mixtures of the above: Science; Nature
Some journals carry several or all of the above types of articles.
The majority of scientific journals publish peer-reviewed articles,
also called refereed articles.
In these journals, the editor sends submitted articles out to persons expert
in the field of the article.
The referee comments on the article and the research it presents.
The editor then decides whether to accept the article as is, send it back
to the author for revision, or reject it outright.
Reviewing helps uphold scientific standards, but it adds to the delay between
research and publication -- often a year between submission and publication.
Technical reports are an outgrowth of government-funded research.
In return for funding, the government expects regular progress reports.
These reports are published through the National Technical Information
Service (NTIS) to give the public access to funded research.
Why use technical reports?
They often have information before it appears in journal form -- but they're
Sometimes they contain data which appears nowhere else.
Accessing Technical Report Data
NTIS indexes their own technical reports -- index available on CD-ROM (1983-pres.);
online (1969-pres.); fiche (1964-present) and in print.
Some agencies are putting up technical report indexes, or even the reports
themselves on the Web
Chemical Abstracts indexes technical reports...based on the NTIS indexes,
so the indexing is more detailed for chemicals than the original NTIS indexing,
but more lag time and the indexing is less detailed than CA give to journals..
Technical reports are identified by report number, e.g. AD-A 211653, or
DE90-006464. Some reports have more than one report number assigned. The
user may have to check the NTIS indexes to verify the report number.
Reports are available at Government Depository libraries across the courntry.
Papers presented at a conference are often the fastest way of publishing
hot new information.
But conference papers are often hard to locate in print; indexing can be
slow, and they are not refereed in most cases.
Accessing Conference Papers
Chemical Abstracts indexes conference papers in chemistry. Other indexes
are specially devoted to conferences.
Papers may be published as part of a journal, as a special monograph, or
as part of a monographic series. Conference proceedings can be difficult
to locate in an online catalog. If your catalog allows keyword searching,
use significant words from the information ON THE CONFERENCE (conference
editors, location of the conference)
Dissertations and theses are a major form of academic publication.
They often contain information, especially experimental detail, not reported
elsewhere, or reported much later.
Accessing Dissertation Information
Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI, published by UMI)
indexes most North American and many European dissertations.
As with technical reports, Chemical Abstracts gets dissertation info from
DAI and adds chemical indexing..
Copies can often be obtained from University
Microfilms (UMI) at http://www.umi.com/hp/Products/Dissertations.html,
or by interlibrary loan.
Patents are a monopoly on the manufacture and sale of inventions granted
by a government in return for the publication of the details of the invention.
Patents may be assigned by the inventor to another person or corporation.
Example: all patents for work done at the University of California are
assigned to the UC Regents.
Patents are the most important form of publication for industrial research.
For more information on patents in general see also: InfoSurf:
Patent Resources on the Internet at http://www.library.ucsb.edu/subj/patents.html.
Patents as information sources
sources of legal information - who owns the right to manufacture a given
invention in a given country.
sources of business information -- competitive intelligence -- What
companies are working in a given field? Who are the prime inventors or
experts in a field?
sources of technical information.-they give the necessary information to
replicate an invention.
What may be patented?
Machines -- includes means of production and consumer goods.
Manufactures -- mainly consumer goods
Designs -- e.g. packaging, decoration
Plants -- agriculture, horticulture
Processes -- including chemical ones
Compositions of matter -- i.e. chemical substances
Requirements for patentability
Novelty - The invention must be "new"; not existing in "prior art".
Unobviousness -- The invention must not be obvious to an observer
"skilled in the art".
Utility -- The invention must be useful. You can't patent a compound;
only a use for a compound.
Disclosure of patent information
The patent application must contain:
Explanation of the utility of the invention
Enough detail so that someone "skilled in the art" could reproduce it
Indication of the "best choice" if more than one alternative is described.
(This frequently comes up in chemical and drug patents.)
Patents on the international level
Patents are a government monopoly, so an inventor must apply in each country
where such a monopoly is desired. Exception: European Patent Office allows
application in multiple European countries at once. World International
Property Organization (WIPO) streamlines application in multiple countries.
Different countries have different rules on patentability and time of disclosure.
Quick disclosure of unexamined patents (e.g. Japan) vs. disclosure of issued
Patent laws are converging somewhat, due to the most recent General Agreement
on Trade and Tariffs (GATT)
Chemical Patents and Markush Structures
Chemical patents often have claims made for a whole family of compounds.
These are called Markush claims, after the first inventor to successfully
claim a generic structure. The inventor need not have tested or even prepared
all members of the family -- just make a chemically plausible claim of
Accessing Patent Information
Chemical Abstracts indexes patents with "new" chemical information, but
only the first version received if the patent has been applied for in multiple
countries. Fairly good detail on chemical information in patents.
Special patent databases cover patents in other ways.
Several Web patent databases are available, with varying types of "added
value" indexing, including:
The US Patent and Trademark Office has its own bibliographic
database at http://patents.uspto.gov/.
IBM has a free Web site for US
patents at http://www.patents.ibm.com/ibm.html.
Questel/Orbit has a commercial site (QPAT)
at http://www.questel.orbit.com/patents/welcome.html, with links
to lots of patent information on the Web.
Chemical Abstracts Service has a commercial site (Chemical
Patents Plus) at http://casweb.cas.org/chempatplus/ which adds
CAS indexing to full-text chemical patents
Derwent's World Patent Index collects all patents for the same invention
into "patent families" and provides excellent indexing. For more information,
see the Derwent web site at http://www.derwent.com.
IFI Plenum does value-added indexing
of US patents.
Many patent databases exist for other specific patent offices - JAPIO,
The UCSB Library will order copies of patents for students, faculty and
Electronic publishing, through listservs, bulletin boards, electronic archives,
and the World Wide Web, is of growing importance to the scientific community.
Starting with tightly knit research areas, where the latest information
is vital (e.g. particle physics), electronic publishing is spreading to
all areas of science.
Types of Electronic Publication
WWW (World Wide Web) [You're using it now!!}
Bulletin boards (BBS)
Dial-up systems, often devoted to single topics.
One of the earliest forms of electronic networking.
Uses hypertext-linked documents
Developed at CERN; made popular by free NCSA Mosaic Web-browser software.
Allows transfer of text, graphics, audio, video...and more.
Currently the hottest medium for electronic publishing.
Issues in Electronic Publishing
Full text vs. page image - More specifically, is plain ASCII text better
than HTML-formatted text or page images such as Postscript files or Adobe
Acrobat PDF files.
Individual publication vs. journals - Anyone can put a publication up on
the web these days; so is the "filtering" mechanism of the big, traditional
refereed journal still necessary?
Electronic equivalents of print journals (for example Journal
of Biological Chemistry at http://www.jbc.org vs. pure electronic
journals (such as Internet Journal of Chemistry
at http://www.ijc.com) - Many traditional print journals are creating
electronic editions, but some are trying to exploit the format to the fullest,
with hypertext citations, integrated sound, animation and video, etc.
New Technology, New Problems
Return to Internet Page
Indexing -- Chemical Abstracts and some other services now index e-journals,
but not all e-sources get indexed.
Citation -- Standards for citing electronic publications are now coming
out from various sources, but not everyone agrees.
Archiving-- Electronic sources tend to be transient; archives are only
beginning to be created.
"The Invisible College"
Networking between scientists in a given field can be extremely important.
Exchange of preprints, especially electronically, is growing rapidly.
Being active in scholarly societies (e.g. ACS) and communicating with your
colleagues is vital to stay on top of your field!
How to Teach Chemical Information
This page created by Chuck Huber
(firstname.lastname@example.org)and modified by Carol Carr. Last modified:
March 24, 1998.