1778

  • Chemisches Journal, thought to be the first chemical journal, is established by Lorenz von Crell. Published 1778-84, subsequently renamed Chemische Annalen and published 1784-1803. It already included some abstracts.

1814

  • Thomas Thomson begins an annual retrospective review of chemical literature in his Annals of Philosophy, a practice later adopted by other editors like Berzelius.

1817

  • Leopold Gmelin publishes first edition of his Handbuch der Anorganischen Chemie.

1820

  • The Pharmacopoeia of the United States is published, establishing standard English and Latin names for drugs.

1830

  • In Germany Pharmaceutisches Centralblatt is issued as the first chemistry-related abstracts journal. Becomes Chemisches-Pharmaceutisches Centralblatt in 1850 and Chemisches Zentralblatt in 1856. The Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft assumes responsibility for publication in 1897.

1847

  • Quarterly Journal of the Chemical Society of London (later Journal of the Chemical Society) is first published. In 1871 it begins including abstracts of the chemical literature.

1857

  • The Société Chimique de Paris is established. Begins publication of Bulletin as well as Répertoire de chimie pure and Répertoire de chimie appliquée, which include abstracts.

1867

  • The Royal Society (London) begins publication of its Catalogue of Papers.

1879

  • ACS commences publication of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, including abstracts of foreign journals.
  • Index Medicus is first issued by the Library of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army; John Shaw Billings, librarian.

1881

  • Friedrich Beilstein issues the first edition of his Handbuch der Organischen Chemie, a ready reference to fifteen hundred organic chemicals.

1882

  • AAAS Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature is established.

1884

  • Lexicon der Kohlenstoffverbindungen, a formula index to Beilsteins Handbuch der Organischen Chemie, is published by Victor von Richter.
  • Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies begins abstracting section, “Index Notes,” covering about one hundred journals in the field of engineering. Becomes Engineering Index in 1896.

1889

  • First edition of Merck Index is published; at first it is just a list of chemicals and drugs available from Merck & Co.

1893

  • AAAS Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature presents plans for an international index to the chemical literature.

1895

  • First U.S. venture in chemical abstracting, the Review of American Chemical Research (a supplement to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Quarterly), undertaken by Arthur A. Noyes. In 1897 it is incorporated into the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

1900

  • Edwin A. Hill publishes his system for ordering molecular formulas in an index. It is first used by the Classification Division of the U.S. Patent Office.

1907

  • First issue of Chemical Abstracts (CA) is published, edited by William A. Noyes, Sr., in the United States, using volunteers as abstractors (a continuing tradition in CA until the 1960s).

1909

  • Austin M. Patterson, professor at Ohio State University, assumes editorship of CA, and its offices are moved from the University of Illinois at Urbana to Columbus.

1917

  • Editor Evan J. Crane publishes first CA decennial index (1907-16), which includes a new means of naming and indexing compounds developed by Austin M. Patterson and Carleton C. Curran.

1918

  • The Beilsteins Handbuch der Organischen Chemie makes possible substructure searching.

1920

  • Chemical Abstracts adds annual formula index, first to be used in an abstract journal. These formula indexes did not indicate molecular structures, or functional groups, but served as very broad screens for searching purposes.

1924

  • Eighth edition of Gmelin Handbuch der Anorganischen Chemie is published, under sponsorship of Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft.

1926

  • British Chemical Abstracts begins. Becomes British Chemical and Physiological Abstracts in 1938 and British Abstracts in 1946.
  • In the United States Biological Abstracts is first published.

1927

  • Nippon Kagaku Soran, a Japanese chemical abstracts journal, is published.

1934

  • Samuel C. Bradford, mathematician and librarian at the Science Museum in London, develops his “law of scattering” regarding differences in demand for scientific journals. This work influences bibliometrics and citation analysis of scientific publications.

1940

  • The Ring Index, by Austin M. Patterson and Leonard T. Capell, is first published.
  • Bulletin Signalétique, a French abstract journal, is first published.

1942

  • National Registry of Rare Chemicals established by the Armour Research Foundation in Chicago.

1946

  • USDA Library offers to furnish copies of all articles cited in CA to subscribers and members of the ACS. Project is halted in 1956 because of copyright issues.

1947

  • Preparation of the CA fourth decennial index (covering 1937-46) requires 1.6 million index cards, five miles of one-column galley proofs, and several years to produce.
  • First volume of first edition of Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology is published.

1948

  • Gmelin-Institut für Anorganische Chemie und Grenzgebiete of the Max-Planck Institut commences editing and publishing Gmelin Handbuch.

1952

  • The Institute of Scientific Information is established at the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow and in the following year begins publication of Referativnyi Zhurnal, Khimiya, a chemical abstracting journal. In 1955, the institute becomes the All-Soviet Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, the centralized abstracting and indexing service for all scientific fields.

1958

  • Kagaku Gijutsu Bunken Sokuho (Alerting Service of Scientific and Technical Information) by Japan Information Center for Science and Technology is published. Covers world science literature.

1960

  • Chemical Abstracts Services and the Union of American Biological Societies (later, its information service known as BIOSIS–BioSciences Information Service of Biological Abstracts) agree to exchange abstracting services to avoid duplication of efforts.

1961

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers publishes Chemical Engineering Thesaurus, derived from the DuPont Technical Information Thesaurus, developed by Mortimer Taube as a consultant to the Du Pont Company’s Engineering Information Center.

1969

  • Chemisches Zentralblatt ceases publication.

1970

  • BIOSIS, CAS, and Engineering Index begin study of overlap of journal coverage.

1980

  • Gmelin Handbuch begins transition from German to English.