IV. Division of Chemical Information, 1975–1993
Just after the approval to change the Division name, a membership brochure revised in May 1975 restated the following interests and scope of the Division:
- organization of chemical information, indexing, abstracting, classification, and nomenclature
- mechanized information storage and retrieval techniques
- research on and evaluation of indexing and searching methods
- foreign languages and their relation to chemical documentation
- training in chemical literature
- reproduction techniques, including production and use of microforms
- presentation of data, including notebooks, technical writing, reports, patent preparation, correlation and statistical methods
- library operation and bibliographic techniques
- searching the literature
- commercial aspects of chemical literature, such as cost estimation, market analysis, advertising, and new product literature
- current awareness methods
- input-output interaction of the chemist with the computer
For April 6, 1976, the Division was invited, along with other ACS units, to submit a write-up on recent advances and future trends to be sealed in a time capsule in the wall of the New York University building. The date of this event was exactly one century to the day after the founding of the ACS.
Herman Skolnik, the author of this document, wrote in an editorial that one can wait till April 6, 2076, to find out what he wrote or read it now. The following is the full text of the sealed message [Ref. 18].
“Chemistry became a science in the 19th century because chemists constructed a language, a system of symbols and nomenclature, on which a cumulative literature could be based. By the beginning of the 20th century, chemistry had a viable literature comprising journals, books, compendia, handbooks, and abstract services. This literature, barely large enough to fill a dozen library shelves, did not foretell a 1975 Chemical Abstracts containing about 300,000 abstracts of papers published in some 12,000 journals during the year.
Beginning with the expanding industrial needs of World Wars I and II and further augmented by the atomic energy and space programs, science and technology assumed a dominant role in the evolving 20th century. This role required an increasing number of scientists and engineers as reflected by an ACS membership that went from 1,800 in 1900; to 16,000 in 1920; 25,000 in 1940; 92,000 in 1960; and 110,000 in 1975. The chemical literature expanded at a somewhat faster rate, at about 8% per year or doubling every 12 years.
During this period of rapid growth, chemistry underwent an accelerating segmentation and specialization into a variety of disciplines and subdisciplines. One of these, chemical information science, took root in 1948 with the formation of the ACS Division of Chemical Literature, the 19th ACS division to be formed (there are now 28).
What chemical information science was about and the advances made in this discipline of chemistry may be gleaned since 1948 from the programs of the Division of Chemical Information (new name as of 1/1/75) and since 1960 from the pages of the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences. The size, growth, and complexity of the chemical literature over this period motivated the chemical information scientist’s involvement in the various aspects of communicating, categorizing, correlating, indexing, abstracting, storing, and retrieving chemical information.
Significant advances made since 1948 include: design of information systems using notched and optical coincidence cards and using tab cards with accounting machines; uniterm and multiterm indexing systems; notation and topological systems; chemical nomenclature systems; new molecular formula and fragmentation indexes; citation indexes; keyword indexes based on contents (KWIC) of articles, such as title, abstract and even the whole text; and the design of online computerized information systems.
Much of the activity in notation and topological systems and molecular formula and fragmentation indexes has been prompted by the failure of chemical nomenclature systems to be in harmony with the advancing frontiers of chemistry. Possibly we shall never achieve a truly systematic nomenclature system that can anticipate the requirements of new families of chemicals and that can be completely satisfactory for the indexing of chemicals. Yet the objective will remain worthy of our attention far into the future.
Chemical information scientists have paid considerable attention over the past several years to two problems over which they can do little other than express their opinions: the copyright controversy and the journal problem. The copyright controversy between publishers and those who photocopy rather than subscribe apparently will be solved by law someday, yet it is already becoming complicated by computer use with CRT terminals and massive printouts. The journal problem is a matter of pollution control. If the journal is an endangered species, as some scientists predict, then how do we account for its phenomenal growth to today’s 40,000 scientific and trade journals, of which about one-third is pertinent to chemistry or to chemical technology? But if we cannot control the dilution of the very good scientific journals with those of relatively low quality, we at least need to seek methods for controlling the input of only meaningful and original contributions into our information and databases.
We have acquired two important tools: computers and telecommunications. In recent years, chemical information science has been linked closely to these two tools, and will continue to be so for many years to come. But so far, they have been used with relatively little creativity and minimum concern for economy and effectiveness. We have tended to be enamored with the great storage capacity and phenomenal processing and printing speeds of third generation computers and their peripherals. Thus the majority of large information systems have been designed with keyword indexes, i.e., the words in the titles and less frequently the abstracts of authors. A consequence of the marriage of computers and telecommunications has been the expanding growth of the information industry: the database producers, such as Chemical Abstracts Service, and the database broker. It is the broker, for the most part, that markets most of the databases to potential users, individuals and libraries, for online interaction.
Although approximately one million online searches were made in 1975, with a strong upward trend, we are a long way from achieving a universal information network. Our weak links are: keyword indexes, the increasing separation of database producers from users, isolation of scientists from sought for information by a maze of terminal operating systems, and emphasis on the reference rather than the data or information in the reference.
Before we reach our utopia, a universal information network, we need to explore the fundamental nature of information. We need to create new systems that relate the unknown with the known and to design information systems that produce direct answers and data, as well as references, reliably, productively, and economically. We need to direct our research to the underlying principles that govern the properties, reactions, and uses of chemicals. Knowing goals, however, is a start in the right direction towards achieving a universal information network by or before April 6, 2076.”
In September 1977, the Long Range Planning Committee, chaired by Carlos M. Bowman, published a report, which identified five major subject areas and made appropriate recommendations:
- meetings: to establish stricter quality control, sponsor a separate meeting once every 2–3 years, provide for longer tenure and continuity in the position of the Program Committee Chairman, and survey members to determine their interests and needs
- publications: to increase the frequency of publication of the Chemical Information Bulletin and to increase its editorial content
- education: to provide educational courses or seminars coordinating subject matter with meeting content
- professional relations: to carry out a membership survey, disseminate information about job opportunities, institute a public relations efforts informing about the information profession, encourage personal professional development, and have a representative on the CHEMTECH editorial advisory panel
- relations with other Divisions and Societies: to establish intersociety and interdivisional liaisons and to sponsor some form of intersociety or interdivisional activity at least annually
Many of these recommendations were adopted, especially those on the continuity of the Program Committee chairmanship, professional relations, and intersociety and interdivisional liaisons, including having a representative on the CHEMTECH editorial advisory panel.
A membership brochure revised in 1979 updated or added the following subject areas to those listed in 1975:
- chemical literature sources
- evaluation of methods, systems, and tools
- new computerized online databases
- management of chemical information operations
- correlation of information and data
- historical, evolutionary, legal, and commercial aspects of chemical literature
The Long Range Planning Committee continued to exist, but no major reports were issued. On the other hand, the Divisional Executive Committee in 1987 instituted a regular series of special planning meetings which continue on an annual basis to this day. Carlos M. Bowman chaired the first of these meetings. A mission statement was adopted:
The Division of Chemical Information of the American Chemical Society is committed to providing a forum for the exchange of information and expertise among the generators, developers, providers, and users of chemical information worldwide through innovative, quality programs and publications, and through opportunities for career development and recognition of excellence.
The goals and objectives supporting the Mission were formalized to address such vital issues as:
- promoting and assisting the formation of Chemical Information Topical Groups in the ACS Local Sections
- participating in the technical programs of the ACS Regional Meetings
- promoting contact at the ACS National Meetings among members and between members and Divisional functionaries
- cosponsoring interdivisional, intersociety, and international symposia and meetings
- communicating with members through additional publications
- promoting research and development in chemical information science and technology
- monitoring legal and legislative issues, and taking appropriate stands
- promoting career development
- establishing a reporting mechanism for all such tasks by the identification of milestones and measurement of success
The most recent Divisional Bylaws, amended as of December 31, 1990, and reproduced in Appendix 1, reflect the objects of the Division as follows:
Name and Object
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be “The Division of Chemical Information of the AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY” hereinafter called the “Division” and the “SOCIETY”, respectively.
Section 2. The objects of this Division shall be those of the SOCIETY as they apply to chemical information and computer sciences which deal, first, with the fundamental concepts, relationships, theory, and methods pertaining to the collection, processing, communication, and utilization of chemical information and, secondly, with the theory, design, and operation of systems which process chemical information. Chemical information processing is regarded as including the collection, manipulation, correlation, organization, storage, transmission, retrieval, display, reproduction, dissemination, analysis, and evaluation of chemical information. Information processing systems include computer systems, communication systems, reprographic systems, and other associated devices.
In the 1993 “Information Industry Directory” (13th ed., Gale Research, Detroit), the Division is listed as a separate entity, described as providing a forum to inform chemists, chemical engineers, and others about the latest developments in producing and using chemical information.
The Division met under its new name for the first time at the 170th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in August 1975. At that time, the following were the members of the Executive Committee and the Divisional functionaries:
|Chairman||Barbara A. Montague|
|Chairman-Elect||Bruno M. Vasta|
|Past-Chairman||Charles E. Granito|
|Secretary||Mary H. Reslock|
|Assistant Secretary||Emma-June H. Tillmanns|
|Treasurer||Judy D. Hale|
|Councilors||Carlos M. Bowman;
Carleton C. Conrad
|Alternator Councilors||Margaret S. Hicks;
James E. Rush
|Editor, J. Chem. Inf. Comput. Sci.||Herman Skolnik|
|Audit||Patricia M. McDonnell|
|Computer Program Compilations
and Technological Forecasting
|Robert E. Maizell|
|Long Range Planning||Arthur C. Diesing|
|Membership||Emma-June H. Tillmanns|
|Nominating||Melvin L. Huber|
|Procedures Manual||David M. Krentz|
|Professional and Public Relations||Bernard S. Schlessinger|
|Program||Cynthia H. O’Donohue|
|Editor, Chem. Inf. Bull.||Gabrielle S. Revesz|
|Documentation Abstracts, Inc., Board||Frederic R. Benson;
Peter F. Sorter
|ASIS Liaison||Rita G. Lerner|
|SLA Liaison||Marian E. Wickline|
At the 171st ACS National Meeting, the Society’s Centennial Meeting in New York in April 1976, the Executive Committee noted with sadness the unexpected death of Richard L. Kenyon. An ACS executive, he joined the Society’s editorial staff in 1946 and was involved for many years in all aspects of information and communication, including editorship of the Chemical & Engineering News and directorship of the ACS Office of Planning for Information Systems.
At that meeting, Arthur C. Diesing reported, on behalf of the Long Range Planning Committee, the existence of three projects under study:
- joint technical meeting with ASIS and SLA
- poster sessions
- vendor symposia
A possibility of joining the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) was explored. Some potential advantages were cited, such as participation in the National Computer Conference and working directly with other societies affiliated with the AFIPS. Eventually, however, such a move did not occur.
The CHEMTECH Editorial Advisory Panel unanimously accepted the Division’s application for having a representative on the panel. Cynthia H. O’Donohue was appointed to that post for 1978.
At the 174th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in August 1977, the Council voted to increase Divisions’ representation on the ACS Council from 13 to 20%, effective January 1, 1978. The approved redistribution, based on the size of Division membership, called for a third Divisional Councilor and a third Divisional Alternate Councilor. For 1978, the Division appointed Peter F. Sorter as the third Councilor, and Charles E. Granito and Bruno M. Vasta as the second and third Alternate Councilor.
In the summer 1978 issue of the Chemical Information Bulletin, Bonnie Lawlor, its Editor, inserted an announcement:
“Attention Bounty Hunters:
The Division of Chemical Information has initiated a widespread search for a logo. Few identifying characteristics are available. It has been described as original, related to divisional activities, and appropriate for use in awards, publications, etc. A reward of twenty-five dollars will be given to whoever provides the logo selected. Put your creativity to the test and join the search.
Sketches of logos fitting the above description should be submitted by November 1, 1978.”
In the Spring of 1979, Gabrielle S. Revesz, the Divisional Chairman, announced:
“To All Bounty Hunters:
I would like to thank all of you who answered our call and submitted designs for a divisional logo. We had a hard time choosing from so many excellent ideas and ended up combining several to come up with what, we hope, will be acceptable to all. While no one won the prize, we nevertheless would like to acknowledge your contributions and hope that you will be willing to participate again in future competitions.”
and provided the logo:
On May 29–30, 1979, the Divisional Chairman (Gabrielle S. Revesz) and Chairman-Elect (Cynthia H. O’Donohue) attended a pre-White House Conference meeting in Washington, DC. The invited heads of information-related professional societies and associations were charged with the mandate to plan the involvement of these organizations in the White House Conference on Library and Information Services. A follow-up pre-White House Conference meeting took place on August 1, 1979, also attended by Cynthia H. O’Donohue.
Seldon W. Terrant represented the Division as an observer at the White House Conference on November 15–19, 1979. Five basic themes were considered:
- meeting personal needs
- enhancing life-long learning
- improving organizations and the profession
- effectively governing our society
- increasing international understanding and cooperation
Cynthia H. O’Donohue, as the Divisional representative, attended in turn a post-Conference follow-up, the Third Information Community Organizations Heads meeting in Washington, DC, on February 29, 1980.
When the Division’s name was changed to the Division of Chemical Information, the ACS assigned to it the acronym CHIF for use as a heading in the programs of the ACS National Meetings and as a running head in the ACS Book of Abstracts. The alphabetization in either one proceeded however, according to the full names of the Divisions. Thus, the order was:
|CHSA||Chemical Health and Safety|
|CMEC||Chemical Marketing and Economics|
which placed “CHIF” after “CHSA”. To remedy the situation, by the Fall of 1979 the Divisional acronym was changed to CINF which allowed for a correct parallel alphabetization of both acronyms and full Divisional names.
At the 179th ACS National Meeting in Houston in March 1980, the Executive Committee voted to formally establish a Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law (Howard M. Peters, chairman). Subsequently, the Division Bylaws were amended:
- to add a new Bylaw titled “Subdivisions”
- to specify the conditions for the existence of a Subdivision
- to provide for the appointment in the first year of a Chairman, a Secretary, and a Membership Secretary for the Subdivision
- to provide for the regular annual election cycle for officers of the Subdivision to start in the year following the formation of a Subdivision
- to include the chairman of each Subdivision in the Divisional Executive Committee
Although the Subdivision three years later became an independent ACS Division, the Bylaws were not changed again in case another Subdivision might be formed in the future.
In November 1980, the Division mourned the loss of Fred A. Tate, the 1978 Herman Skolnik Award winner, who was responsible for moving the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) into the computer age, including the development of the CAS Registry System. He was the ACS voice and international advocate of a worldwide chemical information system, especially through the cooperation of scientific organizations in the U.S., the United Kingdom, West Germany, France, and Japan.
At the 181st ACS National Meeting in Atlanta in March 1981, the Executive Committee discussed with the officers of the Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law the advantages and disadvantages of becoming an independent ACS Division. Several Divisional officers expressed opinion that there would be definite benefits to have a bigger Division and that fragmentation would not be useful, yet the officers of the Subdivision argued otherwise. The meeting lasted till 9:25 pm.
Because of the periodic recalculation of the Councilor divisor by the ACS Council Policy Committee, in 1982 the Division lost its third Councilor and third Alternate Councilor. The 1982 Divisional roster had a total of 1,076 (950 full members, 120 affiliates, and 6 national affiliates).
At the 184th ACS National Meeting in Kansas City in September 1982, the Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law was granted probationary ACS Division status as of January 1, 1983.
In 1983, a new Committee was established:
- Education Committee (Arleen N. Somerville, chairman).
In that year, the Division learned that both the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker) and the Chemical Society of Japan had created chemical information divisions.
The German Chemical Society established its Fachgruppe Chemie-Information in September 1982 with Dr. Robert Fugmann as its first chairman. Its first meeting was scheduled for October 27–28, 1983, in Frankfurt. From the very beginning, the Group published its bulletin, Mitteilungsblatt (No. 1 in September 1982), with Dr. Robert Fugmann and Dr. Ekkehard Fluck as coeditors. Both were well known to the Division and spoke at several Divisional sessions. The second issue of the bulletin of February 1983 announced our Divisional program for the Spring 1983 Seattle meeting. The Division sent a gavel to the Group with greetings and wishes for successful activities.
The Chemical Society of Japan established a Division of Chemical Information and Computer Science in January 1983 with Professor Shin’ichi Sasaki as its first chairman. Its first scheduled meeting was on April 1, 1983, in Kyoto. The 1983 Divisional Chairman, Barbara G. Prewitt, sent a congratulatory message prior to that meeting.
The results of a questionnaire conducted in 1983 by the Long Range Planning Committee (Merle I. Eiss, chairman) were published in the Spring 1984 issue of the Chemical Information Bulletin. There were 234 responses. Questions were asked relating to type of employment, membership in other professional societies, most useful means of keeping up in the field, attendance at the ACS national, regional, and local meetings, suggestions for improving the Bulletin, and types of programming preferred.
In June 1984, the Division mourned the passing of Emma-June Tillmanns-Skolnik. She was a very active member of the ACS. In the Delaware Local Section she served as Councilor and was the first woman chairman for that Section in 1982. Within the Division, she served as Assistant Secretary and Membership Committee Chairman (1974–1977) and later was responsible for updating and maintaining the Divisional Procedures Manual.
At the 188th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in August 1984, a Bylaw change was suggested making the Program Committee Chairman a voting member of the Executive Committee. The Program Chairman was to be appointed by the Divisional chairman with the consent of the Executive Committee.
As of December 31, 1984, the Division had a total of 1,264 members (1,129 full members, 123 affiliates, and 12 national affiliates).
Cordial relations, mutual exchange of experience and ideas, and increased contacts continued between the Division and the German Fachgruppe Chemie-Information. On the occasion of their meeting in Aachen in March 1985, the Divisional Chairman, Peter F. Rusch, sent greetings personally delivered by David W. Weisgerber, CAS Editor, who was a speaker at that meeting.
The Division was a founding member of the ACS Computer Secretariat and participated in its inaugural meeting at the 189th ACS National Meeting in Miami Beach in April/May 1985. Similarly, the Division took part in the organization of the ACS Biotechnology Secretariat and contributed a symposium to its first meeting at the 192nd ACS National Meeting in Anaheim in September 1986.
The year 1987 saw another “first” for the Division. It cosponsored and participated in the International Conference on “Chemical Structures: International Language of Chemistry” in The Netherlands in June 1987.
The year 1988 was noted for a major focus on the membership-related activities. A Sunday reception (in addition to the usual Tuesday evening social hour) took place at the 195th ACS National Meeting (3rd Chemical Congress of North America) in Toronto in June 1988. Its purpose was meeting old friends and welcoming new members, and providing the information on the meeting program as well as on the city attractions.
New committees to address the members’ concerns were established:
- Legislative Issues Committee (Murray D. Rosenberg, chairman)
- Public Relations Committee (Carol A. Duane, chairman)
- Publication Committee (Ann P. Moffett, chairman)
- Careers in Chemical Information Subcommittee (David S. Saari, chairman)
- Task Force for Chemical Information Posters (Carol A. Carr, chairman)
Also, a reporting mechanism for Committees was strengthened to improve the planning and implementation of various Divisional programs and to ensure continuity of commitments and actions.
In 1988, the German Fachgruppe Chemie-Information asked the Division for its brief history to which W. Val Metanomski responded by providing a manuscript on “Division of Chemical Information of the American Chemical Society — A Brief History”. It was subsequently published by the Fachgruppe in their Mitteilungsblatt (No. 16 of November 1989) [Ref. 32].
It is interesting to note that the Fachgruppe first established a working subgroup, Computer in der Chemie (Computer in Chemistry), and then, as of November 20, 1989, it changed its overall name to Fachgruppe Chemie-Information-Computer. Thus, the German Society, unlike the ACS, went into the direction of having one division encompassing both chemical information and computers in chemistry.
The 1989 Divisional Chairman, Bonnie Lawlor, stressed the commitment to the strategic goals from the previous year:
- to improve the image of the chemical information profession
- to increase member benefits
- to focus on career development
- to identify current issues affecting chemical information
- to promote inter-and intra-Society cooperation
To fulfill these goals, several organizational changes were implemented, and some, eventually, were incorporated into revised Bylaws:
- the appointed position of Membership Committee Chairman was raised to the level (as voting member) of the Executive Committee
- the position of Assistant Secretary was eliminated
- the Careers in Chemical Information Subcommittee was raised to a full Committee (Patricia E. O’Neill, chairman) status
The Division mourned the passing of William J. Wiswesser, the 1975 Patterson Award winner and the 1980 Herman Skolnik Award winner, on December 16, 1989. The obituary in the Chemical Information Bulletin described him as “a legend among us” and “a guru of concise storage and retrieval ofchemical structures”. He was best known for the WLN (Wiswesser Line Notation), a practical application of his pioneering research into mathematical, physical, and chemical methods of punch cards, and computer storage representation of interatomic relationships.
In 1990, the Public Relations Committee reported on the results of a questionnaire. It was to determine how Division members perceived the Division and the information profession, and whether its name matched these perceptions. Seventy percent of the respondents had a positive reaction to the name “Division of Chemical Information” well reflecting the profession.
On April 5, 1990, Gabrielle S. Revesz passed away. She was a role model for many younger people, teaching them what a true information professional really was. She was Divisional Chairman in 1979 and served as Editor of the Chemical Information Bulletin (1973–1977).
On September 3, 1990, George Vladutz, the 1989 Patterson-Crane Award winner, passed away. He was an active researcher, an innovator, a frequent contributor to the Divisional programs, and a friend to many in the chemical information field. On a more personal note, an obituary described him as “the intellectual, the generous host, the involved conversationalist, and the visionary”.
The 1991 roster of members had a total of 1,426 (1,264 full members, 121 affiliates, 27 national affiliates, and 14 student affiliates). In 1992, the number dropped slightly to a total of 1,409.
In the 1991 issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science, Judith E. Watson, the Divisional liaison representative to ASIS, published an article on “Inter-Society Cooperation Yields Mutual Benefits” [Ref. 37]. It described the Division’s background and highlighted joint ventures such as the sponsorship of Information Science Abstracts and the organization of Tri-Society Symposia.
In this and other sections of this History, many individuals are recorded who served in the Division, but it is not possible to acknowledge all. Even keeping track of all the Committees over the years, their changing names, scope, and chairmen has been a difficult task.
What is useful, however, is to take a “snapshot” of those who served the Division in a single year, 1993:
|Chairman||Gary D. Wiggins|
|Chairman-Elect||Gerald G. Vander Stouw|
|Past-Chairman||Joseph E. Clark|
|Secretary||Victoria K. Veach|
|Treasurer||Patricia L. Dedert|
|Program Chairman||Richard A. Love|
Arleen N. Somerville
|Alternate Councilors||Robert E. Buntrock;
Peter F. Rusch
|Archivist/Historian||W. Val Metanomski|
|Audit||Patricia M. Lorenz (chairman), Paul R. Finkernagel|
|Awards||Edlyn S. Simmons (chairman), Robert E. Buntrock, Leo P. Clougherty, Charles E. Gragg, David R. Lide, Jr., Charles Sullivan|
|Careers||Bruce Slutsky (chairman), Patricia E. O’Neill, Janice E. Mears, Mary Moulton|
|Constitution & Bylaws||Robert E. Stobaugh|
|Education||Carol A. Carr (chairman), Grace Baysinger, Robert E. Buntrock, James J. Heinis, Charles F. Huber, Maggie D. Johnson, Adrienne W. Kozlowski, Mary Ann Palma, Alan Smith, Arleen N. Somerville, Samuel H. Wilen|
|Fundraising||Louis P. Torre (chairman), Diane Hoffman|
|Legislative Issues||Maureen W. Matkovich|
|Long Range Planning||Gary D. Wiggins (chairman), Michael P. O’Hara, Jon C. Palmer, Gerald G. Vander Stouw, Joanne L. Witiak, Barbara G. Wood|
|Membership||Ruthann Bates (chairman), Barbara A. Hurwitz, Michael J. Knee, Mark R. Rycheck, Sherry White|
|Nominating||Joseph E. Clark (chairman)|
|Program||Richard A. Lowe (chairman), Mark A. Frentrup, Guenter Grethe, Mohammed Z. Hassan, Barbara A. Hurwitz, Edmund T. King, John Kloss, David S. Saari, William G. Town, Thomas E. Wolff|
|Procedures Manual||George R. Famini|
|Publications||Bonnie Lawlor (chairman), Richard A Lowe, Margaret A. Matthews, Patricia E. O’Neill, Patricia L. Rosso, Betty L. Unruh, Joanne L. Witiak|
|Tellers||A. Rahman Khan (chairman)|
|ACS Committee on Nomenclature||W. Val Metanomski|
|ASIS||Judith E. Watson|
|SLA||Katherine R. Porter|
|CHEMTECH||Lucille M. Wert|
|Documentation Abstracts, Inc.||Paul E. Swartzentruber, Judith E. Watson (alternate)|
|1994 Tri-Society Symposium||Judith E. Watson|
|Chemical Information Bulletin:|
|Editor||Margaret A. Matthews|
|Assistant Editor||Patricia C. Rosso|
|Business Manager||Joanne L. Witiak|
|Production Editor||Richard A. Lowe|
Members of the Division have always participated in the activities of other ACS Divisions and ACS Local Sections and served as their Officers and Councilors. On the national scene, many served on the ACS Committees, an essential part of the overall ACS governance, and on the editorial boards of the ACS journals.
A rather incomplete list of such Division members serving other ACS areas than the Division, compiled in 1985, had 66 names.
Several members, as Divisional or Local Section Councilors, chaired the ACS Committees and a more informal Divisional Officers Group (DOG):
- Carlos M. Bowman, Committee on Divisional Activities (1975, 1982–1983); Divisional Officers Group, “Top Dog” (1988)
- Carleton C. Conrad, Divisional Officers Group, “Top Dog” (1967)
- Merle I. Eiss, Committee on Copyrights (1984–1986)
- Madeline M. Henderson, Committee on Copyrights (1978–1980)
- Bonnie Lawlor, Committee on Copyrights (1993)
- Kurt L. Loening, Committee on Nomenclature (1964–1989)
- Ann P. Moffett, Committee on Divisional Activities (1990–1991); Divisional Officers Group, “Top Dog” (1990)
- Barbara A. Montague, Committee on Divisional Activities (1979–1981); Divisional Officers Group, “Top Dog” (1977)
- Frederick H. Owens, Committee on Copyrights (1981–1983)
- Ben H. Weil, Committee on Copyrights (1970–1977)
- Barbara G. Wood, Committee on Publications (1985–1987)
In 1986–1989, Herman Skolnik, the Divisional Archivist/Historian (1982–1989) conducted interviews with those Division members who made meaningful contributions to chemical information science (Dale B. Baker, Frederic R. Benson, Carlos M. Bowman, Kurt L. Loening, W. Val Metanomski, Ralph E. O’Dette, Gerard O. Platau, Bruno M. Vasta, and Ronald L. Wigington). Tape transcriptions of the interviews were deposited in the Center for the History of Chemistry in Philadelphia.
A joint session (open meeting) with the ACS Society Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service at the 205th ACS National Meeting in Denver in March 1993 was the last one for the Committee as it was then constituted. The ACS Council at its March 31, 1993, meeting dissolved the Committee and established in its place a Joint Board-Council Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service. Since the governance function with respect to CAS was taken over by the CAS Governing Board established in 1991, the new Committee is to act in an advisory and information exchange role between CAS, the Governing Board, and the ACS membership. Lura J. Powell, the Committee Chairman, established a subgroup (Jean G. Marcali, chairman) specifically charged with improving interactions between the Division of Chemical Information, the Division of Computers in Chemistry, and other Divisions, and the Committee.
As this history was going to press, the Division learned that Karl F. Heumann passed away on April 8, 1993. He was the 1960 Divisional Chairman and served the Division in numerous other assignments. He was also the first R&D Director at Chemical Abstracts Service (1955–1959) and the 1959 President of the American Documentation Institute (ADI).
A detailed list of symposia and general sessions at the ACS National Meetings for the 1975–1993 period is presented in Appendix 6. The information given includes the number of papers in each symposium or session, the name of the presiding chairman, and the name of the cosponsoring ACS Division or ACS Committee, if applicable.
The Division took part in all of the 36 numbered ACS National Meetings in that period, 170th through 205th, including the ACS/CSJ (Chemical Society of Japan) Chemical Congress in Honolulu in April 1979.
The total number of papers presented in the 1993 period was 1,739. As in the previous years, certain perennial topics were presented and debated frequently:
- Chemical Abstracts (CA)
Training was no longer confined to courses or instruction in literature searching, but now was extended to searching online. Various groups were involved such as database producers, online vendors, search intermediaries, and end users.
With the advent of the ability to search and retrieve information through structure and substructure searching, different nomenclature needs were discussed. On the one hand, the presence of systematic name fragments facilitated searches for substances containing these fragments. On the other hand, common and trivial names led directly to the retrieval of information through chemical dictionaries online.
The operation of Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and its publications and services continued to be the subject of both formal and informal papers, and of occasionally heated discussions ranging in scope from technical content to online searching to pricing.
Patent- and copyright-related problems continued to be of vital interest to the Division members. Patents and published patent applications continued to proliferate, patent offices became automated and incorporated many database building and searching techniques. Copyright Law interpretation became a primary concern to librarians, organizations, and individuals alike.
A group of chemists specializing in legal practice and of those involved with legal aspects of the intellectual property protection was formed as the Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law. Between 1980 and 1982, it was responsible for a large part of the Divisional program. With the formation of the ACS Division of Chemistry and the Law in 1983, the more legal aspects of patents, trademarks, and copyright, as well as discussions on laws in the workplace, environmental laws, and other government laws and regulations of concern to chemists, and on para-legal careers became their domain. Because of the many topics of interest to both Divisions, numerous symposia were joint or cosponsored.
It is again of interest to review trends in programming by listing the most popular topics in each succeeding decade. In the 1970’s topics discussed were:
- computer-assisted organic syntheses
- pattern recognition
- quantitative structure-activity relationships
- chemical reaction searching
- online databases, systems, and searching
- numerical databases
- environmental laws and information systems
- international activities and transborder data flow
- document access
The ability to search for and retrieve information online had the greatest impact on all aspects of information handling and that was reflected in many papers. Early systems were fairly complicated so that trained information intermediaries normally operated them. Gradually, the systems became more friendly, and more and more papers described their use and acceptance by the end users.
The 1970’s saw the emergence of online vendors, Lockheed’s DIALOG, System Development Corporation’s (SDC) ORBIT, BRS, and National Library of Medicine (NLM). These organizations as well as the users of their systems contributed many papers. The government systems such as MEDLINE, TOXLINE, and NIH/EPA Chemical Information System were described in detail.
Environmental laws, notably the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), had a tremendous impact on reporting, compiling, and retrieving information on toxic and potentially toxic substances. A comprehensive computer-based information system, established to support the decision-making responsibilities of the EPA, was the subject of papers and discussions.
As the databases proliferated, cooperation, networking, and resource sharing, national and international, became necessary and essential. The Division became a forum for reports from such organizations as UNISIST, INIS (International Nuclear Information System), IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry), ICSU (International Council of Scientific Unions), and their Committees such as AB (Abstracting Board) and CODATA (Committee on Data for Science and Technology).
Access to full documents, or rather regulations governing their distribution, copying, and lending, were discussed. In spite of the proliferation of information services and their sophistication, these services provided pointers only to the specific data needed. Very few numerical databases were then in existence. The chemists still needed to consult the original documents, and often wanted to keep copies in personal files.
In the context of all these developments, it should be mentioned that in 1974 a new ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry was created to recognize the large and growing importance of computer science to chemistry in analysis, education, marketing, organic syntheses, and theoretical calculations from an atomic and molecular perspective.
In the 1980’s, information on a plethora of newly developed fields, techniques, experiences, and uses was shared in papers, posters, and demonstrations. They were concerned with:
- artificial intelligence research and applications language processing
- natural language processing
- full-text capture and searching
- graphic manipulation of structures
- biotechnology information
- personal computers and minicomputers
- optical disks
- office automation and workstations
- electronic publishing and delivery
- new technology for information centers
- end user searching
- information careers for chemists
The availability of personal computers had the greatest effect on information retrieval. A common part of the laboratory and office, they shortened immeasurably the cycle of the generation, storage, transfer, and use of chemical information. Computers are now an integral part of laboratory instruments and data collected are being transferred to personal computers for further processing as well as for combining with graphics and text. Resultant manuscripts may be sent electronically to other researchers or to journals for publication. Telecommunications link the personal computer with remote databases, to search them and to retrieve the information for research.
The meetings that we have had in the 1990’s so far featured further refinement in topics discussed in the 1980’s such as:
- hypermedia in chemical information
- Markush structure databases and searching
- 3-D chemical databases and 3-D substructure searching
- similarity searching
- intellectual property protection
At the 170th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in August 1975, the first meeting at which the Divisional program appeared under its new name, papers were presented on a wide variety of topics ranging from the application of Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN) in substructure searching to chemical information networking to the impact of environmental laws on information requirements. The latter heralded the beginning of symposia related to environmental concerns for years to come. Most of these described the activities of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At the 171st ACS National Meeting, the Society’s Centennial Meeting, in New York in April 1976, the first Skolnik Award Symposium was presented. Included were papers that reviewed milestones in chemical information and progress reached thus far [Ref. 20]. Some also speculated on the potential future trends for chemical primary journals, chemical nomenclature, indexing and classification systems, notation and topological systems, and information industry. Herman Skolnik was not only the first recipient of the Divisional Award named in his honor, but he was also a member of the ACS Centennial Coordinating Committee and the chairman of the Committee on ACS Centennial History.
At that meeting, the Division started sponsoring a long series of vendor’s workshops and seminars with two workshops on “Using CA Volumes Indexes” and “Using CA Condensates.” This series continued for ten years till the 192nd ACS National Meeting in Anaheim in September 1986.
The 172nd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in August/September 1976, the Society’s West Coast Centennial Meeting, was made memorable by two general addresses: a) “From Then to Now” by the 1976 ACS President and 1951 Nobel Prize laureate, Glenn T. Seaborg, and b) “Chemistry — Key to Our Progress” by 94-year old former ACS President, Joel H. Hildebrand. At the Divisional luncheon Carlos M. Bowman expressed an opinion that there was too much talking to one another at the Divisional meetings and not enough contact and communication with bench chemists who needed facts and data [Ref. 21]. He also felt that too many papers had dealt with the methodology “how to do things”, rather than with the guidance on how new developments could be useful to others.
At both 1977 ACS National Meetings, the 173rd in New Orleans in March and the 174th in Chicago in August, patent literature was discussed at great length, especially how it had changed and how it should be handled.
The 175th ACS National Meeting in Anaheim in March 1978 was almost exclusively devoted to the handling of medicinal information including that mandated by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) andthat managed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The 177th ACS National Meeting in Honolulu in April 1979, which was the ACS/CSJ Chemical Congress with the participation of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Chemical Institute of Canada, and the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, provided a new and unusual experience of mounting joint symposia with the Japanese chemical information scientists.
Speakers at the “History of Abstracting” symposium at the ACS/CSJ Chemical Congress in Honolulu, HI, on April 4, 1979: Reiner Luckenbach, Eugene Garfield, W. Val Metanomski, Walter Lippert, Dale B. Baker.
Gabrielle S. Revesz was the Divisional Program Committee Chairman who collaborated with Shizuo Fujiwara on the chemical information program. The emphasis of the Divisional program was on international aspects of technical information retrieval and on large databases, numeric and bibliographic. Each symposium and session had two cochairmen, an American and a Japanese. Out of a total of 64 papers presented, 19 papers were by the Japanese researchers. The Divisional social event was a moonlight cruise along the Waikiki Beach, with a buffet dinner on board. For some participants, the rolling of the boat was too strong for comfort.
The meeting was memorable for some participants because of the difficulties of getting to and leaving the island, caused by the United Airlines’ strike. Those who did not fly in the preceding week had to find alternative routes, even through Seattle or Vancouver. Some never reached Hawaii and that included several speakers whose papers had to be either cancelled or read by someone else. When it came to leaving Honolulu, many had to wait even several days to find alternative airline carriers, including Australia’s Quantas.
At the 180th ACS National Meeting (2nd Chemical Congress of North America) in Las Vegas in August 1980, the Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law, led by Howard M. Peters and Hubert E. Dubb, made its official debut with the symposia on protection of intellectual and industrial property, on patent systems, and on specific environmental and workplace laws. There was also a symposium on the uses and applications of the Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN). This was the last symposium on the topic, since the use of the linear notations was decreasing as topological codes and connection tables became more and more applicable to chemical structure encoding, and to structure and substructure searching.
The meeting in Las Vegas was notable for an unusual circumstance. It was first planned for San Francisco and then moved at a short notice of a few weeks to Las Vegas. In spite of its being a joint meeting, only one Canadian presented a paper before the Division. Since the change in location was so sudden, some speakers could not adjust their travel plans and did not come. Their papers had to be read by others.
At the 181st ACS National Meeting in Atlanta in March/April 1981, some symposia addressed specifically professional issues such as careers in information science and in law-related activities.
At the 183rd ACS National Meeting in Las Vegas in March/April 1982, the Herman Skolnik Award was presented to Robert Fugmann from West Germany. He was the first winner of the Award from outside the U.S. Thus, the Award has become international in scope.
At the 184th ACS National Meeting in Kansas City in September 1982, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) observed its 75th anniversary with a commemorative symposium. It featured Dale B. Baker, Toni Carbo Bearman, Bryce Crawford, Jr., Paul Rhyner, and Edward E. David, Jr., who discussed not the past, but future information activities in the computer age.
At the same meeting, the Division hosted a five-member delegation from the Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, headed by their Deputy Secretary General.
The Divisional Chairman, Jean G. Marcali, officially represented the Division and spoke at the farewell dinner for the retiring CAS Editor, Russell J. Rowlett, Jr., in Kansas City on September 12, 1982.
At the 185th ACS National Meeting in Seattle in March 1983, within the framework of the symposium on “History of Chemical Information Science”, chaired by Herman Skolnik, various historical aspects of the Division were presented: a) historical overview (Herman Skolnik), b) its members (Peter F. Rusch), c) communications (Ben H. Weil), d) finances (Jean G. Marcali), e) organization (Carlos M. Bowman), meeting programs (W. Val Metanomski), g) papers published (Herman Skolnik), and h) future plans (Ralph E. O’Dette) [Ref. 24]. At the Divisional luncheon, Thomas L. Isenhour, Editor of the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences, spoke about future plans for the Journal.
At that meeting the newly formed ACS Division of Chemistry and the Law, headed by Hubert E. Dubb (Chairman) and J. Susanne Siebert (Secretary), made its debut with three symposia. The Division evolved from the Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law (1980–1982).
International interest and concerns were expressed at the 186th ACS National Meeting in Washington in August/September 1983. Symposia were mounted on “International and Transborder Flow of Information” and the “European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances (EINECS)”.
At that meeting, the Division contributed a paper on “Searching Fiber/Textile Literature: Sources and Methodology” by B. Z-P. Bass to an ACS Marcomolecular Secretariat’s symposium on “Polymers for Fibers”.
At the 188th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in August 1984, a major novelty was a joint session of the Division with the ACS Society Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service (SCCAS). The purpose was to introduce the Committee to the Division, to explain the ACS governance, and to provide a forum for exchanging views on topics of mutual interest. This practise of holding joint sessions has continued into the 1990’s, first once a year and since 1988 at every ACS National Meeting.
The ACS Computer Secretariat, of which the Division was a founding member, under the leadership of Rudolph J. Marcus, made its debut at the 189th ACS National Meeting in Miami Beach in April/May 1985 with a symposium on “The Use of Computers in Chemistry”. The attendance was excellent, 185 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon. The Division contributed two papers on “Path of Computerized Chemical Information” (Aldona K. Valicenti and Robert E. Buntrock) and “Computer Hardware and Software in Chemical Information Processing” (James E. Rush).
The Division hosted the 3rd ACS/ASIS/SLA Tri-Society Symposium on “New Technologies and Chemical Information — 1986” (chaired by Ruthann Bates and Joanne L. Witiak) at the 191st ACS National Meeting in New York in April 1986. At the Herman Skolnik Award Symposium “Challenges in Moving Toward a New International Chemical Information Order”, honoring Dale B. Baker, papers were presented by prominent speakers from Switzerland, France, Japan, and Germany. At the Divisional luncheon, Pamela S. Richards spoke on an unusual subject, “World War II Technical Information Activities of the Allied and Axis Powers”.
The ACS Biotechnology Secretariat, of which the Division was a founding member, made its debut at the 192nd ACS National Meeting in Anaheim in September 1986. Presented was a full week of symposia on the impact of chemistry on biotechnology, technology of biopolymers, biotechnology of agrochemicals, and biotechnology in agriculture, food, and waste treatment. The Division contributed a symposium on “Biotechnology Information”, organized by Ronald A. Rader.
At the same meeting, the ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry observed its 10th anniversary with a symposium on “The History of Computing in Chemistry”. W. Val Metanomski contributed a paper on “Impact of Computers on Chemical Literature”. The paper reflected the activities of the ACS Division of Chemical Information in the field expanding from “chemical literature”to “chemical documentation” to “chemical information”, and of its members who underwent a transition from “literature chemists” and “chemical librarians” to “chemical information specialists”.
At the 195th ACS National Meeting (3rd Chemical Congress of North America) in Toronto in June 1988, several symposia with emphasis on numerical data and numerical databases reflected the international participation. One symposium specifically described the activities of CODATA (Committee on Data for Science and Technology of the International Council of Scientific Unions). Out of a total of 58 papers presented before the Division, 10 were by Canadian, two by Mexican, one by German, and one by French speakers.
That meeting saw the last symposium of the ACS Computer Secretariat on “How the Computer Has Affected the Practice of Chemistry”. One session was contributed by the Division, organized by Bonnie Lawlor and chaired by Eugene Garfield.
At the 196th ACS National Meeting in Los Angeles in September 1988, Rudolph J. Marcus was honored at the Divisional luncheon for his contribution to the Society’s activities by single-handedly organizing, guiding, and nurturing the ACS Computer Secretariat. The Secretariat was needed as an umbrella organization to bring together various aspects of computer applications before the latter became part of everybody’s professional life.
The 202nd ACS National Meeting was the 4th Chemical Congress of North America in New York in August 1991. The Division presented symposia focused on synthesis planning, chemical reaction searching, and three-dimensional structure handling. The international aspect was highlighted by the symposium on “International Flow of Information: North America and Europe”, organized by Edmund T. King.
A good illustration of the variety of topics and the versatility of Divisional activities was the program at the 204th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, in August 1992. Symposia were given on genome information, hypermedia in chemical information and education, topological information in molecular modeling, and biotechnology patent information.
The variety of topics was also evident at the 205th ACS National Meeting in Denver in March 1993, where symposia dealt with stereochemical information, competitive intelligence, and environmental information management systems.
For the 206th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in August 1993, symposia are planned to cover new technologies for the delivery of chemical information, chemical information careers in transition, spectroscopic databases, computational approaches for matching chemical structures, chemical information instruction, and electronic notebooks.
For all the ACS National Meetings, the assignment of hotel rooms for Divisional meetings and social functions has always been done by the ACS Department of Meetings and Divisional Activities. Special requirements have been honored for most meetings, such as having cosponsored and related symposia organized by other Divisions, as well as Divisional governance functions, in the same hotel or convention center where the Divisional own symposia and sessions were held.
Occasionally, however, the Division was unlucky in having its meeting room or social function in hotels ill equipped for the purpose or far away from the center of the ACS National Meeting activities. Here are a few instances of such experiences to be reminisced by the participants in years to come:
- Hotel Konover in Miami Beach in September 1978, farthest north on Collins Avenue, 4.1 miles from the Convention Center, site of the ACS Exposition
- Hotel Warwick in New York in August 1981, where corridors and rooms were refurbished with accompanying noise, just outside the meeting room while the sessions were being held
- Hotel DiLido in Miami Beach in April 1985, where
- hotel staff did not know or pretended not to understand much English, which was convenient for handling, or rather ignoring, complaints
- for the ExecutiveCommittee meeting, the seating was arranged in tables of four, ideal for a bridge tournament
- at the luncheon when someone asked for a slice of bread, a whole loaf was delivered still wrapped in plastic foil
- Hotel Milford Plaza in New York in April 1986, definitely a third-class, not noted for cleanliness
- Hotel Pennsylvania in New York in August 1991, farthest south on 7th Avenue, 22 city blocks from New York Hilton Hotel, site of the ACS Exposition
A detailed list of symposia and sessions at the special and joint meetings is presented in Table VII, along with the number of papers and the names of organizers and chairmen.
- 1st Tri-Society Symposium, June 11, 1978 — Kansas City, MO
- What Is and What Is Not Indexed in Chemical Information (Toni Carbo Bearman)
Structural Retrieval Methods in Chemical Information (James E. Rush)
Structural Activity (Paul N. Craig)
Future of Chemical Information (Otis C. Dermer)
Current Awareness in Toxicological Information (Richard A. Parent)
Accessing Online Data Files
Impact of Computer Searching on Chemical Information
- 2nd Tri-Society Symposium, October 17, 1982 — Columbus, OH
- New Techniques and Systems (5) (W. Jeffrey Howe)
Interface With End Users (3) (Ronald G. Dunn)
Panel Discussion on Evolving Roles of End Users and Information Specialists in Chemical Information Transfer (Ronald R. Dueltgen)
- 1984 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, December 18–19, 1984 — Honolulu, HI
- Communicating Chemical Information (6) (Leslie W. Shemilt)
International Solutions to Problems of Nomenclature (11) (Kurt L. Loening)
Computer Manipulation of Chemical Information (6) (Shin’ichi Sasaki)
- 3rd Tri-Society Symposium, April 14, 1986 — New York, NY
- Chemical Information Technology, Optical Storage Technology, Human Factors (5) (Ruthann Bates)
Artificial Intelligence Expert Systems, Telecommunications, Information Access, Online Retrieval (5) (Joanne L. Witiak)
- 1st International Conference, May 31–June 4, 1987 — Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
- R&D in Chemical Information Science, Retrospect and Prospect (Michael F. Lynch) (Keynote Address)
Future Trends in Integrated Information Management: Is There a Strategic Advantage? (Myra N. Williams) (Plenary Lecture)
Integrated In-House Chemical Databases (7) (David K. Johnson)
Substructure Searching Methodology (11) (Peter W. Nichols; Reiner Luckenbach)
New Technologies (7) (Bonnie Lawlor)
Chemical Reactions (6) (Gerald G. Vander Stouw)
Poster Papers (11) (David K. Johnson)
- 1989 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) National Meeting, August 1989 — Philadelphia, PA
- What’s New in Databases for Chemical Engineers
- 1989 International Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, December 20, 1989 — Honolulu, HI
- The Terminology of Biotechnology: A Multidisciplinary Problem (23) (Kurt L. Loening; J. Rokach; A. Tsugita)
- 2nd International Conference, June 3–7, 1990 — Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
- Chemistry in Three Dimensions (Ernest L. Eliel) (Keynote Address)
Chemical Structures (33) (Wendy A. David K. Johnson; Gerald G. Vander Stouw; Peter W. Nichols; William G. Town; Reiner Luckenbach; Joanne L. Witiak) on representation of and search for information, 3-D databases, 3-D substructure searching, similarity searching, generic searching, reaction searching, computer-assisted synthesis, nomenclature, information systems, and the Standard Molecular Data (SMD) Format.
Poster Papers (10) (David K. Johnson)
- 4th Tri-Society Symposium, June 10–11, 1990 — Pittsburgh, PA
- Carnegie Mellon University Library (Field Trip)
Putting Technology to Work in the World of Chemical Information (8) (Gary D. Wiggins)
Clearinghouse for Chemical Information Instructional Materials (Poster Session) (Carol A. Carr)
- 3rd International Conference, June 6–10, 1993 — Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
- The Use of Mathematically and Formally Logical Computer Programs in Chemistry
and Their Applications to Reactions (Ivar Ugi) (Keynote Address)
Chemical Structure Representation and Search (7) (Gerald G. Vander Stouw)
Chemical Reaction Handling (7) (Reiner Luckenbach)
Processing of Chemical Structure Information (7) (John M. Barnard)
3-D Chemical Structure Handling (6) (Wendy A. Warr)
Poster Papers (29)
The 1st Tri-Society Symposium (originally referred to as “Seminar”) was held in conjunction with the 69th Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference in Kansas City on June 11, 1978. The host was the SLA Chemistry Division and the topics included indexing, retrieval of structures, accessing online files, and toxicological information. The program attracted more than 100 attendees.
The precedent for a cooperative effort of the three groups was established. An organizational meeting on the next Symposium planned for 1981 took place as early as November 15, 1978, with Gabrielle S. Revesz representing the Division, yet the plan was abandoned on June 10, 1980. Even a last minute detailed proposal by Harry M. Allcock did not produce the desired result. The reasons cited for cancelling the project were “organizing complexity, meeting conflicts, and loss of spirit”. The organizers agreed “to shake hands and quit”, because “the financial and organizational risks were looming larger, and the potential for benefit smaller”.
It took a determined effort on part of James M. Cretsos, on behalf of the American Society for Information Science (ASIS) — Special Interest Group on Biological and Chemical Information Systems (SIG/BC) to put the project back on the front burner in March 1981. Once all three societies became convinced that such a meeting would be very beneficial to the professional needs of the three groups, planning proceeded smoothly.
The 2nd Tri-Society Symposium was on “Technology and Its Impact on the Future of Chemical Information Processing” and was held in conjunction with the 45th ASIS Annual Meeting in Columbus on October 17, 1982. The emphasis was on new techniques and systems, and interfaces with end users. Over 90 participants attended. The final report by James M. Cretsos, the symposium organizer, stressed the cooperative spirit of the three cosponsoring groups and recommended repeating such a symposium every three years, in conjunction with the national meeting of the host organization.
The 3rd Tri-Society Symposium on “New Technologies and Chemical Information: 1986” was held in conjunction with the 191st ACS National Meeting in New York on April 14, 1986. A logo was designed to reflect a common bond of the three groups — chemistry (C) — with acronyms of the three parent organizations (ACS, ASIS, and SLA):
The speakers from various segments of the information community (database producers and vendors, government agencies, industrial users, and information consultants) reviewed optical storage technology, artificial intelligence and expert systems, telecommunications, and integrated information network architecture. The impact of new technologies on chemical information processing, and the human factors involved therein, were also covered. In his report, W. Val Metanomski, the symposium organizer, noted excellent attendance (150–160) and the satisfaction of the participants at having been appraised of the new technologies, which were changing the ways chemical information was handled and paving the way for modern tools in the future.
Now that the cycle of each participating society hosting the Tri-Society Symposium had been completed, it was the turn of the Special Library Association (SLA) (Chemistry Division) to host the 4th Tri-Society Symposium. It was organized by Gary D. Wiggins and held in conjunction with the 81st Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in Pittsburgh on June 10–11, 1990. “Putting Technology to Work in the World of Chemical Information” was its theme. The Symposium was well attended. The organizers indicated continuing support for such a cooperation among the chemical information groups of the three societies.
The 5th Tri-Society Symposium is being planned in conjunction with the 57th ASIS Annual Meeting in Alexandria, VA, in October 1994.
The 1st International Chemical Information Conference on “Chemical Structures: The International Language of Chemistry” was held in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, on May 31–June 4, 1987 [Ref.28]. It was cosponsored by the Chemical Structure Association (UK), the Chemical Information Group of the Royal Chemical Society, die Fachgruppe Chemie-Information in der Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, and the Division. Wendy A. Warr chaired the Conference and Charles L. Citroen was the Dutch host. The keynote address on research and development in chemical information science was given by Michael F. Lynch and the plenary lecture on future trends in integrated information management by Myra N. Williams. Attending the Conference were 187 participants from 13 countries. There were 33 papers, grouped under four major topics, 11 poster papers, and an exhibition of various publications and software. The purpose of the Conference was admirably fulfilled. It brought together experts and an international, professional audience to discuss the latest developments in the handling of chemical structures. It also promoted cooperation among major chemical information groups in Europe and North America.
The 2nd International Conference on the same topic was held again in Noordwijkerhout in June 3–7, 1990 [Ref. 34]. The Royal Netherlands Chemical Society was an additional sponsor. Wendy A. Warr chaired the Conference and Charles L. Citroen was again the Dutch host. The keynote address, “Chemistry in Three Dimensions”, by Ernest L. Eliel provided an excellent introduction to the key subject of the Conference. Unlike in 1987, aspects of chemical nomenclature such as automatic generation, integration into the structure-based systems, and use in industry, were on the program. About 180 participants from 13 countries attended. In addition to 33 papers presented, 10 poster papers were displayed, and demonstrations of software for the access to various databases were given by 12 exhibitors. As in 1987, the Conference fulfilled the expectations of the organizers and participants as an excellent forum to learn about the advances in the handling of chemical structures which are the core of any chemical information system.
The 3rd International Conference, cosponsored by the same five organizations, scheduled for June 6–10, 1993, again at Noordwijkerhout, will be chaired by Gerald G. Vander Stouw. By now the Conference has established its place as a forum to exchange experience and ideas in further development in the field among the organizations and individual researchers involved with chemical structures and chemical information. Chemical structure representation and search, 3-D chemical structure handling, and chemical reaction handling will again be the main themes of the Conference. There is much to report and discuss on what has transpired in the field since the 1990 Conference. Twenty-eight papers, 29 poster papers, and an exhibition featuring commercial software and services, and software from research projects, are planned.
The 1984 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PAC CHEM ’84), which took place in Honolulu on December 16–21, 1984, had technical program organized not along the Divisional lines, but on 10 subject areas. One was “Information Transfer/Computation” which covered chemical information and related areas. Herman Skolnik and Kurt L. Loening, on behalf of the ACS, were the organizers of the symposium on ”Chemical Information Science”, covering the aspects of communicating chemical information, international solutions to problems of nomenclature, and computer manipulation of chemical information. Out of a total of 23 papers, six were presented by Japanese, five by Canadian, and two by Australian participants.
The 1989 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (PACIFICHEM ’89) in Honolulu on December 17–22, 1989, was organized along similar lines. This time, nine major subject areas were identified, among them “Information Transfer” which covered computation, economics, education, and management as well. The Division again supported and indirectly participated in the event. Joanne L. Witiak was the area coordinator on behalf of the ACS. The symposium most related to Divisional activities was on “The Terminology of Biotechnology”, organized by Kurt L. Loening and presented within the “Bioscience and Technology” subject area. Out of a total of 19 papers and four poster papers, five were by Japanese, two by Canadian, one by Australian, and one by Dutch speakers.
The Division participated in the 1989 National Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in Philadelphia in August 1989 through a symposium on “What’s New in Databases for Chemical Engineers”.
The Division did not participate officially in ACS Regional Meetings. It depended mostly on the interest and resourcefulness of individual Division members in respective geographical areas to organize and chair symposia on the subjects related to the field of chemical information.
In 1980, the Division decided to play a more positive and visible role in the ACS Regional Meetings by offering advice and help to the Regional Meeting organizers. The Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM) had already established a tradition of having chemical information symposia on its program, primarily because of the existence of Chemical Information Topical Groups in the Delaware and Philadelphia Local Sections. The Central, Great Lakes, and Northeast Regional Meetings became target for the inclusion of chemical information symposia on their programs.
Almost every year the Divisional Chairman-Elect and the Program Committee Chairman attended the ACS Divisional Officers Conference (DOC) and the Program Coordination Conference (PCC). It was at the latter conference that attempts were being made to establish contact with the Regional Meeting chairmen and program chairmen. At times, these contacts were successful in promoting chemical information as a field to be covered at the ACS Regional Meetings.
In the late 1980’s, the Divisional Program Committee had one member whose specific assignment was to coordinate Regional Meeting activities. The effort was very successful as evident by the presence of chemical information topics at three ACS Regional Meetings in 1986, four in 1987, and three in 1988. On a number of occasions, the symposia presented at the ACS National Meetings were repeated at a Regional Meeting.
A complete list of participation in the ACS Regional Meetings is not available, yet most of them for the period 1975–1993 are listed in Table VIII.
- 10th Middle Atlantic, February 1976 — Philadelphia, PA
- Chemical Documentation (13) (Herman Skolnik; Peter F. Sorter)
- 11th Middle Atlantic, April 1977 — Newark, DE
- Searching the Patent Literature (9) (Carleton C. Conrad)
Online Databases: Users’ Experiences and Evaluations (8) (Stuart M. Kaback)
General (8) (Ralph E. Miegel)
Workshop: Nomenclature (CAS Staff)
- 12th Middle Atlantic, April 1978 — Hunt Valley, MD
- Chemical Documentation (13) (Melvin L. Huber)
- 13th Middle Atlantic, March 1979 — West Long Branch, NJ
- Systems for Structures and Data: Access to Nonbibliographic Chemical Information (10) (Melvin L. Huber; D. Lewis)
- 11th Central, May 1979 — Columbus, OH
- Science Information in Today’s Society (3) (Ralph E. O’Dette)
- 14th Middle Atlantic, April 1980 — King of Prussia, PA
- Development and Use of Reliable Data Bases for Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships (QSAR) (11) (Sidney Siegel; Amy Rispin)
- 15th Middle Atlantic, January 1981 Washington, DC
- Aids to Use Multiple Online Files (5) (Paul N. Craig)
Statistical Correlations of Biological Activity with Chemical Properties (5) (Paul N. Craig)
- 13th Central/15th Great Lakes, May 1981 Dayton, OH
- Using the Computer To Do Research — the Emerging Computer Chemistry (5) (Gerald G. Vander Stouw)
- 16th Middle Atlantic, April 1982 — Newark, DE
- Online Today: Where Are We Now, Where Are We Heading? (4) (Charles H. Nelson)
General (4) (Charles H. Nelson)
- 14th Central, June 1982 — Midland, MI
- Chemical Information (12) (Carlos M. Bowman)
- 17th Middle Atlantic, April 1983 — White Haven, PA
- Cost-Effectiveness of Online Searching of Chemical Information (6) (Robert E. Buntrock)
General (7) (Jean G. Marcali)
Numeric Databases (7) (B. Feuer)
Copyright — Bane, Boon or Both? (5) (Frederick H. Owens)
- 16th Central/18th Great Lakes (3rd Joint), May 1984 — Kalamazoo, MI
- Current Topics in Chemical Information (10) (Patricia F. Roush)
Direct End-User Access to Chemical Information (5) (Ronald R. Dueltgen)
Poster: Careers in Chemical Information
- 16th Northeast, June 1986 — Binghamton, NY
- Tutorial on Chemical Information (Arleen N. Somerville)
Cost-Effective Information Access for Chemists in Small Companies (5) (Arleen N. Somerville)
- 20th Middle Atlantic, September 1986 — Baltimore, MD
- Literature Searching for Chemical Reactions (5) (Barton K. Bower)
- 42nd Southwest, November 1986 — Houston, TX
- Exploring the Fringes of Chemical Information Retrieval (7) (L. Levine)
- 19th Central, June 1987 — Columbus, OH
- Finding Information in Patent Databases (5) (Edlyn S. Simmons)
Communicating of Chemical Knowledge in the Nineties (4) (Gerard O. Platau)
General (4) (Marian S. Bursten)
Poster: Careers in Chemical Information
- 21st Great Lakes, June 1987 — Chicago, IL
- End-User Views of End-User Searching (5) (Ronald R. Dueltgen; Robert E. Buntrock)
- 17th Northeast, November 1987 — Rochester, NY
- Computer-Searching of Chemical Databases (7) (Arleen N. Somerville)
- 43rd Southwest, December 1987 — Little Rock, AR
- Searching the Chemical Database (4) (J. L. York; C. G. Winter)
- 9th Rocky Mountain, March 1988 — Las Vegas, NV
- Rcent Developments at Chemical Abstracts Service (4) (Harry F. Boyle)
- 22nd Middle Atlantic, May 1988 — Millersville, PA
- Technology Update: Sources and Access to Chemical Informationn (5) (Andrea Holladay)
- 20th Central, June 1988 — Morgantown, WV
- Cost-Effective Chemical Information Retrieval (5) (Carol A. Duane)
- 1988 Pacific Conference on Chemistry and Spectroscopy, October 1988 — San Francisco, CA
- (originally announced as 24th Western Regional Meeting)
Computer Information (8) (P. Cohan)
- 23rd Middle Atlantic, May 1989 — Cherry Hill, NJ
- Workshop: Searching the Chemical Literature on Your Personal Computer (Andrea Rosanoff)
- 22nd Central, June 1990 — Saginaw, MI
- (Sasanne V. McKinley; Carlos M. Bowman)
Materials and Chemical Information (6) (J. R. Downey; R. K. Shastri)
Patent Information (6) (Michael S. Feider)
Software for Chemists (6) (Ingrid L. Knox; E. W. Otterbach)
- 25th Middle Atlantic, May 1991 — Newark, DE
- General (5) (L. Kronk)
Second Careers in Chemical Information (6) (Bruce Slutsky)
- 27th Middle Atlantic, June 1993 — Hempstead, NY
- Me and My Mac (4) (Norman R. Schmuff)
Over the years, active, knowledgeable, and willing Division members volunteered to be tour speakers lecturing on broad or specialized subjects related to chemical information at the ACS Local Section meetings. Usually, two or more geographically close Sections were visited at a time, mainly to reduce expenses associated with travel. The most recent “ACS Speakers List, 1992–1993”, published by the ACS Local Speaker Service, includes two related subject areas with several names within each:
- Chemical literature
- Ralph O. Allen
- Maureen W. Matkovich
- O. Bertrand Ramsay
- Herman Skolnik
- Information retrieval
- Rudolph J. Marcus
- John D. Peterson
- Herman Skolnik
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Ralph E. O’Dette also participated in the tour speaker program and delivered a number of presentations before the ACS Local Sections.
In 1976, at the 171st ACS National Meetings in New York in April, the Division sponsored the first of a long series of vendor’s workshops/seminars which were to continue on a regular basis for 15 years. The Division members expressed interest in being informed about the publications and services of the various providers of chemical information in a more technical environment as opposed to strictly commercial advertising at the Exposition. The workshop/seminar organizers were asked to present technical-like papers prepared by their staff as well as by users of the specific services, who were willing to share their experience. Often hands-on tutorials were included. The organizations that participated were:
- database producers (Chemical Abstracts Service, Institute for Scientific Information, BioSciences Information Service, Derwent Publications, National Library of Medicine, IFI/Plenum Predicasts)
- online vendors (DIALOG, ORBIT, Questel)
- publishers of handbooks and dictionaries (Beilstein, Gmelin, Heilbron’s Dictionary of Organic Compounds, Merck)
- chemical marketing service (SRI International)
- graphic software provider (Molecular Design Limited)
At times, these workshops/seminars coincided with the introduction of new editions or innovations, e.g., the 5th edition of Heilbron’s Dictionary of Organic Compounds and the 11th edition (100th anniversary) of the Merck Index.
A detailed list of workshops, seminars, and demonstrations presented at the ACS National Meetings is given in Appendix 7.
In 1977, the Division, together with the Divisions of Chemical Education and Computers in Chemistry, sponsored the ACS Workshop on Computers III in Upper Montclair, NJ, on June 26–29 (Mark L. Lyndrup, Coordinator). The Division contributed the workshop on “Computer-Based Information Storage and Retrieval” (Peter F. Sorter; Melvin L. Spann).
The ACS Department of Educational Activities published in April 1977 a booklet “Careers Nontraditional” (Pamela Ayre and Patricia M. Lemaire, editors) [Ref. 22]. Two chapters were devoted to careers in information science. The opportunities in information science were presented in the form of interviews with Trisha M. Johns (G. D. Searle & Company’s Chemical Data and Literature Section) and Rona Sun (Smithsonian Science Information Exchange). Ronald R. Dueltgen was also identified in one of the chapters.
The 1977 Long Range Planning Committee (Carlos M. Bowman, chairman) identified education as one of the five areas of activity the Division needed to be involved in. It recommended restructuring the Education Committee to better assess member needs, to institute the development of systematic evaluative compilations of existing courses, and to provide specific courses and seminars at the meetings, coordinated with the meeting content.
Implementation of these recommendations continued to be discussed by the Executive Committee. In 1980, the Committee voted not to establish an Education Committee, as it felt that opportunities for continuing education had been expanded within the meeting programs. At the 181st ACS National Meeting in Atlanta in March/April 1981, information on careers in library and information science, and on legal and para-legal careers in chemistry, was provided through two symposia.
In 1982, David K. Johnson represented the Division at the meetings of the ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT). He was asked to communicate the Divisional views on the Committee’s criteria for instruction in chemical information. In 1983, the Division was in securing a proper content of the chapters on “Chemical Literature and Information Retrieval” and “Library” in the CPT’s “Undergraduate Professional Education in Chemistry: Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures”. These guidelines have noted that “students preparing for professional work in chemistry must learn how to retrieve specific information from the enormous and rapidly expanding chemical literature”.
At the 184th ACS National Meeting in Kansas City in September 1982, a symposium on “Chemical Literature and Information Retrieval in the Chemistry Curriculum” (George Gorin; Herman Skolnik, chairmen) was presented. In the December 1982 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education, several papers were published from an earlier symposium, “Instruction in Chemical Literature”, including those by George Gorin and Gary D. Wiggins.
In 1983, the Education Committee was reestablished (Arleen N. Somerville, chairman) with specific goals such as:
- to aid college and university professors and/or librarians in teaching the use of chemical information
- to interact with other ACS bodies, such as the Committee on Professional Training (CPT)
- to assist industrial information centers in educating their scientists in the use of chemical information
Two Divisional officers attended the workshop on the “Potential of the Science of Chemistry”, organized by the ACS Committee on Science in Washington, DC, on September 2–3, 1983, and reported that the workshop had no relevance to the Division’s areas of interest.
In 1984, the Committee conducted a survey of the chemical information programs of 331 chemistry departments to identify difficulties faced by the departments in implementing information instructions. Many departments answered that their curriculum was too crowded to accommodate a separate chemical information instruction course and that even in other courses information instruction could not be included. Arleen N. Somerville described the survey, analyzed the results, and suggested remedies in a paper on “Perspectives and Criteria for Chemical Information Instruction” published in the May 1990 issue of the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences [Ref. 33].
Promoting careers in chemical information has always been one of the Division’s challenges. To this end, a poster “Careers in Chemical Information” on three boards was created, a project guided by Patricia F. Roush with the support of Dow Chemical U.S.A., with the intention of displaying it at a number of meetings, especially at the ACS Regional Meetings. This was done in the period 1984–1987. The individual 22 panels promoted by words and pictures such fields as:
- abstracting, indexing, technical writing
- chemical nomenclature
- substructure searching
- analysis and evaluation of information
- structure-activity correlations
- molecular modeling
- chemical business information
- environmental and regulatory information
- information resource management
- copyright and patent laws
Also in 1984, the Division produced a videotape (23 minutes) entitled “Chemists and Questions”. It demonstrated how chemists, engineers, managers, and others can improve their understanding of chemistry by working with chemical information professionals. It provided answers to such questions as:
- how do chemists get their answers?
- what are the careers in the chemical information profession?
- how can chemical information professionals contribute to achievements in research and development, and in market development?
- what do you need to know to justify information costs?
The videotape project was the initiative of Jean G. Marcali, the 1982 Divisional Chairman, who also guided the project from its inception, arranged for a professional producer (Dorothy Arthur), reviewed the scripts, organized the taping sessions, and promoted the product. Six Division members (Carlos M. Bowman, Jean G. Marcali, Ann P. Moffett, Ralph E. O’Dette, Barbara G. Prewitt, and Bruno M. Vasta) volunteered as spokesmen and actors. The Division was grateful for support provided by the E. I. DuPont Company for hosting all the participants and allowing the use of facilities for photography.
The tape was subsequently shown at the 187th ACS National Meeting in St. Louis in April 1984, at the 188th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in August 1984, at the 16th Central/18th Great Lakes ACS Regional Meeting in Kalamazoo, MI, in May 1984, at the ACS Delaware and Philadelphia Local meetings, at an ASIS meeting in Philadelphia, and before the Industrial Technical Information Managers Group (ITIMG) in Naperville, IL.
The tape was listed in the 1985 Catalog of ACS Videocourses and promoted by at least five other means. The production cost a total of $17,269. Purchase price of the tape was $275, rental $80 per week. By the end of 1984, nine copies were sold. More copies were sold and rented in subsequent years which brought back $6,300 to the Divisional Treasury. Originally, the recovery of expenditures was not expected.
Informing students and chemists about chemical information as a career option in chemistry has not been an easy task. Prior to creating the Careers Committee, the Division attempted to work with the ACS publications. For the Winter 1984/1985 issue of the pHilter (ACS Student Affiliates Newsletter), Ben H. Weil wrote an article on “Chemical Information Work — Satisfying Colleagues and Curiosity”, featuring interviews with Rosemarie Parker, William M. Anthony, Joanne L. Witiak, Karen Friever, and David K. Johnson [Ref. 27].
In 1985, the Education Committee mailed a 23-page bibliography of available published guides and aids to chemical literature, compiled by Linda K. Heideman, Ann Razgunas, and Gary D. Wiggins [Ref. 25], to all chemistry departments that responded to the Committee’s 1984 questionnaire on instruction information. In 1986, the Committee completed a computer searching training module for CAS files on STN, as the first of an intended series. This was quickly followed by the DIALOG version. By September 1988, 276 STN modules and 226 DIALOG modules were distributed.
At the 191st ACS National Meeting in New York in April 1986, the ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a symposium “CPT 1936–1986, What Next?”. Arleen N. Somerville contributed a paper on “Perspectives and Criteria for Chemical Information Instruction in the Undergraduate Curriculum”. In 1989, the CPT published a commemorative 23-page booklet on that symposium.
At the same meeting, the Division cosponsored a symposium on “Using the Chemical Literature with Students Today”(Gary D. Wiggins; Carol A. Carr, organizers). Arleen N. Somerville reported on the activities of the Divisional Education Committee at that session.
For the ACS Division of Chemical Education, Barbara G. Wood organized a symposium on “Scientific Information: A Multi-Faceted Career” to which eight chemical information professionals (Barbara J. Peterson, Victoria K. Veach, Robert E. Buntrock, Peter F. Rusch, Carlos M. Bowman, Marianne C. Brogan, Sandra E. Erb, and Bonnie Lawlor) contributed. It was an early try to convince professors that chemical information offered viable, respectable careers.
In 1987, the Education Committee in conjunction with the Special Libraries Association (SLA) opened a Clearinghouse for Chemical Information Instructional Materials (CCIIM). It also incorporated the ACS Tomorrow’s report on chemical information into its own agenda to promote education.
In 1988, the Careers in Chemical Information Subcommittee (David S. Saari, chairman) was formed to collect existing materials on careers, and to disseminate appropriate information to students or recent graduates. A Task Force (Carol A. Carr; chairman), working with the editorial staff of the Journal of Chemical Education, created two posters on chemical information, primarily dealing with online searching. The first 2' x 3' poster, “Chemical Information in the Computer Age. From Bits to Bytes: The Chemical Information Cycle”, was published in Winter 1988 as part of the Journal’s “Chemistry Currents”series. The second poster, “Chemical Information in the Computer Age. Online Chemical Databases — Many Paths to Information”, was published in Summer 1989.
The ACS Education Division published in 1988 yet another booklet on “Careers in Chemistry: Questions & Answers”, in which one section was devoted to “Non-traditional Careers in Chemistry”, among them chemical information specialists [Ref. 29].
On November 1, 1989, as part of the National Chemistry Week, the Division sponsored a “Careers in Chemical Information” workshop in New York (Bruce Slutsky, organizer).
At the 201st ACS National Meeting in Atlanta in April 1991, Patricia E. O’Neill contributed a paper on “Chemical Information Industry: Opportunity Knocks” to a symposium on “Nontraditional Careers in Chemistry”, organized by the ACS Younger Chemists Committee.
At the 202nd ACS National Meeting in New York in August 1991, the Executive Committee considered the request from William G. Town, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chemical Structure Association Trust for a contribution to an endowment to be used for assisting in the education of future information scientists and information specialists. The Division donated $1,000.
Since 1991 Arleen N. Somerville continued to be successful in promoting chemical information instruction through the Journal of Chemical Education. She served as editor of “The Chemical Information Instructor” column, which debuted (with a specially designed cover) in the July 1991 issue, and as the author of “Information Sources for Organic Chemistry” published in the July 1991, October 1991, and May 1992 issues of the Journal. The latest article for the column was on “Subject Searching of Chemical Abstracts Online: Searching in the Basic Index”, also by Arleen N. Somerville, published in the March 1993 issue of the Journal.
In 1992, the Careers Committee published “Salary Survey: Scientific Information Professionals with a Focus on Chemistry”, compiled by Patricia E. and Joanne L. Witiak. The compilation was based upon 589 responses to a 1991 salary survey and presented data correlating salary with such factors as time with employer, area, type of organization, group function, job function, and educational degree.
The compilation was favorably reviewed by Edward R. Silverman in the March 22, 1993, issue of The Scientist, with quotes from interviews with Patricia E. O’Neill, Arleen N. Somerville, Edlyn S. Simmons, Joseph E. Clark, and Victoria K. Veach [Ref. 39].
In 1992, the responsibility for the Clearinghouse for Information Instructional Materials (CCIIM) was assumed by Gary D. Wiggins of the Indiana University Chemistry Library. Under Carol A. Carr’s leadership since the inception of the project in 1985, the collection of the CCIIM has grown to nearly 200 items dealing with publications such as Beilstein and Chemical Abstracts, and topics such as physical properties, nomenclature, and online searching.
In 1993, the Education Committee, recognizing that chemistry departments were facing new challenges with increased reliance on electronic access to information, decided to update the 1984 survey on “Chemical Information Instruction in United States Colleges and Universities”:
- to reflect the current status of information instruction
- to recognize trends
- to identify how the Committee could best assist
The questionnaire was sent to all 595 chemistry departments that granted chemistry degrees in May 1992. Report on the survey is expected to be presented at the ACS National Meeting in Chicago in August 1993.
Consistent with the change in the Division’s name, the Divisional bulletin acquired a new name, Chemical Information Bulletin, with Issue No. 2 of Volume 27, published in Fall 1975.
Under the editorship of Gabrielle S. Revesz (till Spring 1977), Bonnie Lawlor (Fall 1977–1982), and Margaret A. Matthews (1983—1993), the Bulletin has continued to be the prime vehicle of communication among the Division members, especially between the Divisional Executive Committee and members at large. A relatively small fraction of members regularly attends the Divisional meetings which have been almost exclusively conducted at the ACS National Meetings. But all members need to be informed about the technical programs, activities, membership benefits, and news about the profession.
The Bulletin has continued to include the abstracts of papers to be presented at the Divisional symposia and sessions, and frequently of those presented at the cosponsored symposia as well. This has allowed all the members to be familiar with the technical content of papers often reporting the most recent advances in and application of new technologies.
Incidentally, because of misunderstanding rather than by design, the Information Science Abstracts (ISA) in its two issues (Volume 22, No. 1 and 2/3 of January and February/March 1987, respectively) published 414 abstracts based on abstracts published in the Chemical Information Bulletin in the period 1983–1987. While the Division might have been flattered by the coverage of the Bulletin in the ISA, it became immediately obvious that this was a mistake since the ISA had not normally covered abstracts of presentations such as those published in the Bulletin.
Till 1977, the Bulletin was published twice a year. Between 1978 and 1990, it appeared three times a year: in spring prior to the Spring ACS National Meeting, in summer prior to the Fall ACS National Meeting, and in fall/winter. The third issue, usually mailed in December, contained as a rule the Membership Directory. Often enough, the cover of that issue had a different color, blue, green, or peachy, to distinguish it from the other two regular issues.
In 1991, two issues were published, because the third projected issue was moved to the following year. Starting with 1992, the first issue became an “administrative” issue with information for the members published at the beginning of the calendar year rather than at the end. It contained:
- Chairman’s Message
- 1992 Milestone Calendar
- Call for Nominations
- 1992 Publication Schedules
- 1992 CINF Symposia
- Constitution and Bylaws
- Membership Directory
- 1992 CINF Committees
- 1992 CINF Functionaries
Advertisements have continued to be a big factor in reducing publication expenses. Especially successful were two Bulletin’s Business Managers, Ruthann Bates (1986–1987) and Ronald R. Dueltgen (1989–1991). Since 1987 the revenue for advertisements exceeded the expenses. The average number of full-page advertisements was 21 per issue and there were a number of half- and quarter-page advertisements as well.
The Division has been grateful for the support provided by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) which since 1973 absorbed the cost of typing, artwork, and foreign postage.
From time to time, the Executive Committee discussed the publication of an interim newsletter to inform the Division members of pertinent matters between the two consecutive issues of the Chemical Information Bulletin. First such Newsletter was published by Ann P. Moffett in February 1986. It specifically focused on the events to take place at the forthcoming ACS National Meeting in New York in April 1986, providing details on the 3rd Tri-Society Symposium, the Herman Skolnik Award Symposium, and the Divisional luncheon and Business Meeting.
When the mission statement was adopted in 1987, one of the objectives supporting the mission has been “communicating with members through additional publications”. In response to that, another issue of the Newsletter was published by Ann P. Moffett in March 1988, reporting on the 1987 planning sessions and on the events at the forthcoming meeting in Toronto in June 1988.
In November 1989, Bonnie Lawlor launched a new version of the newsletter, named CINF News. Its first issue contained highlights from the 198th ACS National Meeting in Miami Beach in September 1989, and information on future ACS meeting programs and on the 1990 2nd International Conference on Chemical Structures in The Netherlands.
Two issues of CINF News were published in 1990 and two in 1991. In the July 1991 issue, a new column “The Pen Writes On …” by Betty L. Unruh was introduced to cover news and “hot” topics in the information industry, primarily outside the ACS.
A new format and a greatly enriched content were introduced in the Fall 1991 issue, which contained among others highlights from the August 1991 Executive Committee meeting, Councilors’ report from the August 1991 ACS Council Meeting, and a report on the ACS standards on evaluating and certifying undergraduate degrees with respect to libraries and chemical information retrieval skills.
Three issues were published in 1992 with additional features such as “Letter from Europe”, “CINF Member Demographics”, “A Brief History of the CINF”, “Copyright News”, and numerous other Committees’ reports and announcements.
For 1989–1992, Richard A. Love (ACS Advanced Technology Group) was the CINF News Production Editor. For 1993, Richard A. Lowe (Institute for Scientific Information) took over that responsibility.
A number of problems became associated with the publication of papers presented at the Divisional symposia at the ACS National Meetings and other Division-sponsored meetings. While many an author were most willing to participate in a given symposium to present a report on their activities, a state-of-the-art review, or a description of a specific application of software to a chemical information problem, a few authors only were willing to invest additional time in preparing a publication-quality manuscript and, often needed, a camera-ready copy.
Unlike other professional organizations or even other ACS Divisions which regularly publish and request the speakers to submit a full manuscript or an extensive summary before the meeting, this Division has never had such requirements. Consequently, it often fell upon the symposium organizer to literally twist the arms of the participants to make them submit after the meeting, and without much delay, publication-quality manuscripts.
An additional problem has been created by a kind of tug of war between editors of journals such as the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences and book publishers such as the ACS Books Department which publishes the ACS Symposium Series. Both solicit symposia papers, but each has a different criteria for acceptance. The journal editor sends each paper for peer review and some papers are rejected because they do not fit the criteria of original, previously unpublished, research. The symposia often include historical or survey papers that have no new science to report. The book publisher, on the other hand, does not object to publishing a whole symposium including such introductory or review material, but is carefully looking at a potential market first.
Both ways of publishing have been advantageous to the Division. The Division has always been bitally interested in channeling papers to the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences, which has become internationally recognized as a forum for exchange of ideas and applications in chemical information science and which the Division still regards as its “unofficial organ”. On the other hand, publishing a symposium as a proceedings has allowed the symposium organizer a greater control of the book’s content, has directed the message to a more focused group, and has provided the Division with royalties as additional income.
As is seen from Table IX, seven symposia from the ACS National Meetings were published in the ACS Symposium Series, while symposia from the three international meetings, cosponsored by the Division, were published as proceedings by a commercial publisher.
- “Computer-Assisted Structure Elucidation”, Smith, D. E. (ed.), ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 54, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1977, 151 pp.
- “Computer-Assisted Organic Synthesis”, Wipke, W. T.; Howe, W. J. (eds.), ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 61, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1977, 239 pp.
- “Retrieval of Medicinal Information”, Howe, W. J.; Milne, M.; Pennell, A. F. (eds.), ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 84, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1978, 231 pp.
- “TSCA’s Impact on Society and Chemical Industry”, Ingle, G. W. (ed.), ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 213, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1983, 240 pp.
- “Graphics for Chemical Structures: Integration with Text and Data”, Warr, W. A. (ed.), ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 341, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1987, 160 pp.
- “Chemical Structures: The International Language of Chemistry”, Proceedings of the Conference, Leeuwenhorst Congress Center, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, May 31–June 4, 1987, Warr; W. A. (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988, 472 pp.
- “Chemical Structure Information Systems: Interfaces, Communication, and Standards”, Warr, W. A. (ed.), ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 400, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1989, 132 pp.
- “Expert Systems for Environmental Applications“, Hushon, J. M. (ed.), ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 431, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1990, 232 pp.
- “The Terminology of Biotechnology: A Multidisciplinary Problem”, Proceedings of 1989 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, PACIFICHEM ’89, Loening, K. L. (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1990, 216 pp.
- “Chemical Structures 2: The International Language of Chemistry”, Proceedings of The Second International Conference, Leeuwenhorst Congress Center, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, 3rd June to 7th June 1990, Warr, W. A. (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1993, 496 pp.
When the Division changed its name in 1975 from the Division of Chemical Literature to the Division of Chemical Information, the Journal of Chemical Documentation also changed its name to the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences, effective with Volume 15, Issue No. 1 (February 1975).
Not only this name change reflected the increasing involvement of the Division and of other ACS members in computerized operations such as data acquisition and analysis, data manipulation and display, pattern recognition, and automation, but it also identified a forum for publication of papers presented before a newly formed (1974) ACS Division of Computers in Chemistry. In fact, two of its founding members, Peter G. Lykos and W. Todd Wipke, were invited to join the Journal’s Advisory Board.
Although the Journal has never been formally pronounced as the official organ of the Division and the Division has never attempted to influence the Editor’s publication policies, very close ties have continued to exist between the Journal and the Division. Prominent and active members of the Division have continued to serve on the Journal’s Advisory Board. The Division directly has contributed by encouraging speakers at the Divisional symposia and sessions to submit their papers for publication in the Journal.
Examples of such published symposia are:
- User Reactions to CAS Data and Bibliographic Services (Vol. 15, No. 3, August 1975)
- Impact of Copyright Developments on Chemical Information Transmission and Use (Vol. 16, No. 2, May 1976)
- Information Handling and Processing by the Food and Drug Administration (Vol. 17, No. 2, May 1977)
- Retrieval of Polymer Information (Vol. 19, No. 2, May 1979)
- Techniques and Problems in Retrieval of Numerical Data (Vol. 20, No. 3, August 1980)
- Uses and Applications of the Wiswesser Line Notation Today (Vol. 22, No. 2, May 1982)
- Scientific Communication Pathways (Vol. 26, No. 2, May 1986)
- Searching for Markush Structures (Vol. 31, No. 1, February 1991)
- Computer Retrieval of Polymer Information (Vol. 31, No. 4, November 1991)
- Numeric/Factual Materials and Chemical Databases (Vol. 33, No. 1, January/February 1993)
While the symbiotic relationship with the Division has continued to exist, the Journal has increasingly attracted papers with no association with a previous scientific meeting, and papers from outside the U.S. Clearly, the Journal has gained an international status of a prime journal in chemical information science.
As an example, from a total of 62 papers published in 1979, 30 were from the area of chemical information and 32 from the computer science field. Out of a total of 62, 29 were presented before the Division and 29 were written for publication only and never presented anywhere. One-third of all the papers (21) came from outside the U.S.
In mid-1981, Herman Skolnik expressed his intention to relinquish the position of the Editor. He commented in his last editorial on “Changing of the Editor” on his experience as the Editor for 21.5 years and on the international importance of the Journal [Ref. 23].
Thomas L. Isenhour was named a new Editor, effective as of July 1, 1982. He noted in his first editorial in August 1982 the exponential development in computers and envisioned the opening of new areas of computerized chemical investigations for which he hoped the Journal would become a forum. Carlos M. Bowman was appointed an Associate Editor with special responsibility for the chemical information-related manuscripts. In 1982, Peter C. Jurs was appointed the Book Review Editor, and in 1984, Stephen R. Heller became the Software Review Editor.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Journal, the Silver Anniversary Issue (Volume 25, No. 3, August 1985) with a glossy silvery cover was published. It was presented as a review of the past 25 years and a predictor of the future [Ref. 26]. W. Val Metanomski and Charles L. Wilkins acted as special Associate Editors who solicited papers from the best experts in the field. The issue contained 37 papers covering every conceivable topic of chemical information and computer sciences from publishing, storing, and retrieving primary and secondary information to storing, naming, searching, and retrieving chemical structures to generating and organizing specialized databases to providing chemical instruction to applying automation and robotics in the laboratory. Among them were contributions from Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Rumania, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It is worth noting that six of the authors (Charles L. Bernier, Eugene Garfield, Joseph H. Kuney, Noel Lozac’h, Herman Skolnik, and Robert E. Stobaugh) 25 years earlier contributed papers to the very first issue of the Journal in 1961.
In mid-1988, Thomas L. Isenhour tendered his resignation. George W. A. (Bill) Milne was named a new Editor as of July 1, 1989. Shortly thereafter, three Associate Editors, Pierre Buffet from France, Reiner Luckenbach from Germany, and Wendy A. Warr from the United Kingdom were appointed to reflect the international nature of the Journal. Gary D. Wiggins became the new Book Review Editor and Stephen R. Heller has continued as the Software Review Editor.
The November 1990 issue (Volume 30, No. 4) was dedicated to the memory of George Vladutz, the 1989 Patterson-Crane Award winner, who passed away on September 3, 1990.
The May 1991 issue (Volume 31, No. 2) was dedicated to Michael F. Lynch, the 1989 Herman Skolnik Award winner, on the occasion of his 25th anniversary of joining the Faculty at the University of Sheffield, England, from where a steady stream of significant research papers has been reaching the Journal, from him, his colleagues, and his students.
Interesting statistics showing for the period 1982–1991 the upward slope in the percentage of papers from outside the U.S. published in the Journal were presented by the Editor in the November 1991 issue of CHEMTECH [Ref. 38.] The average for the last three years (1989–1991) was 55%.
Since the Journal in the past few years enjoyed a steady growth, the frequency of publication was increased in 1992 from four to six issues per year.
Starting with the March/April 1993 issue (Volume 33, No. 2), the Journal’s papers have been divided into three sections, “Chemical Information”, “Chemical Computation”, and “Molecular Modeling”. This merely formalized what the Journal had been publishing already. A subtitle, “Includes Chemical Computation and Molecular Modeling”, has also been added. Anton J. Hopfinger and Kenny Lipkowitz were named as additional Associate Editors to deal with papers on chemical computation and molecular modeling.
As one of the founders of this abstracting journal, the Division has continued to participate actively on its governing body, Documentation Abstracts, Inc., through the following representatives on the Board of Directors:
|1976–1977||Peter F. Sorter, President
Frederic R. Benson
|1978–1982||Peter F. Sorter, President
Ralph E. O’Dette
|1983||John T. Dickman
Ralph E. O’Dette
|1984–1987||Murray D. Rosenberg, President (1986-1987)
John T. Dickman
|1988–1993||Paul E. Swartzentruber, Secretary (since 1990)|
When in 1988 the Divisional representation was reduced to one member on the Board, the Division has started appointing an alternate representative whose role was to act for the representative whenever the latter could not attend the Board’s meeting:
|1988–1991||David F. Zaye|
|1992–1993||Judith E. Watson|
The number of sponsoring organizations grew from the original three to eight:
- ACS Division of Chemical Information (ACS/DCI)
- American Society for Information Science (ASIS)
- Special Libraries Association (SLA)
- American Society of Indexers (ASI) (since 1978)
- American Library Association (ALA) (since 1985)
- Association of Information and Dissemination Centers (ASIDIC) (since 1985)
- Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) (since 1985)
- Medical Library Association (MLA) (since 1985)
Accordingly, the Board of Directors was enlarged from the original six members to 18 in 1986, but it was trimmed down to eight when the new Bylaws went into effect in 1988. Currently, there are ten members, including two representatives from the Plenum Publishing Corporation.
In an effort to improve the currency and the efficiency of publication, the Board awarded a contract in 1981 to Plenum Publishing Corporation which continues to publish Information Science Abstracts to date.
When this change occurred, Frank Columbus of Plenum took over the editorship for four years (1981–1984). In 1985, Harry M. Allcock from Plenum became the Editor, the post he held till 1992. In 1993, Anne Meagher became the Managing Editor. Harry M. Allcock, as Technical Advisor, continues to serve on the Board of Directors.
In the years 1976 through 1980, the journal published on the average 4,500 abstracts per year. In the years 1981, 1982, and 1983, it published 5,892, 5,995, and 7,202 abstracts, respectively. When in 1984 the frequency of publication was increased from six issues to 12 issues per year, 12,000 abstracts were published. In later years (1987–1989), the number dropped to 8,400, then increased to 9,200 (1990–1991), and dropped again to 8,800 in 1992.
At the 191st ACS National Meeting in New York in April 1986, Dorothy Thomas presented an informative paper on “Information Science Abstracts: An Overview of History, Purpose, and Goals” [Ref. 30].
The journal observed its 25th anniversary in 1990 with a glossy ivory and silver cover [Ref. 36]. A special historical editorial, provided for the occasion by Ben-Ami Lipetz, former Editor (1966–1980), was published in the March 1990 issue (Volume 25, No. 3).
Since September 1983, the journal can be accessed online as the DIALOG File 202, and since September 1992 is available on a single CD-ROM. The latter is enhanced with information science records from the ERIC database.
In January 1971, a new ACS monthly magazine, CHEMTECH, made its debut under the editorship of Benjamin J. Luberoff. Subtitled “The Innovator’s Magazine”, it was intended to cover interdisciplinary areas of chemistry and chemical engineering. From the very beginning, its Advisory Panel has consisted of official representatives of selected ACS Divisions. Among the 11 Divisions on the first such panel, the Division of Chemical Literature, as it was known then, was not included.
In 1977, the Divisional Long Range Planning Committee recommended that the Division should seek representation on the CHEMTECH Advisory Panel. The Division’s application was unanimously accepted by the Panel and Cynthia H. O’Donohue was appointed a Divisional representative for 1978.
Since then the Division has had a continuous representation on the Panel, renamed Advisory Board in 1985, as follows:
|1978–1982||Cynthia H. O’Donohue (chairman, 1981)|
|1983–1984||Gabrielle S. Revesz|
|1985–1987||Stuart M. Kaback|
|1988–1993||Lucille M. Wert (chairman, 1992)|
Their active participation was beneficial to both the magazine and to the Division, since they directly or indirectly contributed to the articles addressing chemical information issues such as:
- Rowlett, R. J., Jr. “Gleaning Patents with CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS” (Vol. 9, No. 6, June 1979)
- Kaback, S. M. “Patents: Keys to Knowledge” (Vol. 10, No. 3, March 1980)
- Revesz, G. S.; Cassidy, P. A. “Modern Literature Searching: The Case of C4” (Vol. 14, No, 1, January 1984)
- Kaback, S. M. “Access All the Information in Patents” (Vol. 15, No. 3, March 1985)
- Rickter, D. “Wandering through Darkest Abstracts” (Vol. 15, No. 8, August 1985)
- Nelson, G. L. “Whither Chemical Information” (Vol. 15, No. 12, December 1985)
At the 202nd ACS National Meeting in New York in August 1991, CHEMTECH celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In the end of 1991, Benjamin J. Luberoff, the founding Editor, retired having served for 21 years (1971–1991). He spoke twice before the Division as a luncheon guest speaker on August 19, 1972, in New York and on August 25, 1992, in Washington, DC, almost to the day 20 years apart!
A new Editor, Abraham P. Geilbein took over the reins in January 1992. A new format for CHEMTECH was introduced in January 1993.
For its performance in 1982, the Division received the ACS Outstanding Intermediate Division Award, established by the ACS Committee on Divisional Activities. The Division was cited for excellence of administration, dissemination of information to members, sponsorship of journals, production of an educational videotape, and outstanding programming at the ACS National Meetings. Specifically identified for 1982 were the Tri-Society Symposium (with the American Society for Information Science and the Special Libraries Association) and the international character of the Herman Skolnik Award, given in 1982 to Robert Fugmann of West Germany. On hand to receive the Award plaques at the 187th ACS National Meeting in St. Louis in April 1984 were the 1982 Divisional Officers (Jean G. Marcali, chairman; Barbara G. Prewitt, chairman-elect; and Ann P. Moffett, treasurer).
At the semiannual Divisional Officers Group (DOG) dinner at the 196th ACS National Meeting in Los Angeles on September 24, 1988, the Division received, for the second time, the ACS Outstanding Intermediate Division Award for its 1987 performance. The Division was cited for carrying out its mission to provide a forum for the exchange of information, for cosponsoring and participating in the First International Conference on Chemical Information in The Netherlands, for programming and demonstrations at the two ACS National Meetings, for providing assistance to four ACS Regional Meetings, and for encouraging a direct interaction between the bench chemists and information resources through programs, publications, awards, and member-assistance. The 1987 Divisional Officers (W. Val Metanomski, chairman; Arleen N. Somerville, chairman-elect; Bonnie Lawlor, secretary; and M. Karen Landsberg, assistant secretary) were on hand to receive the Award plaques.
The five factors that contributed most to both Awards were:
- long-range planning
- continuity of management
- monitoring of technological advances
- response to changing needs of members
- quality and comprehensiveness of annual reports
In response to a request by Karl S. Vorres, Chairman of the Divisional Officers Caucus, W. Val Metanomski made a brief presentation on “ACS Division of Chemical Information — An Award-Winning Division” at the Caucus meeting in Miami Beach on September 9, 1989, highlighting those very factors which contributed most to the 1987 Award.
In 1976, in honor of the first recipient, the Division established the Herman Skolnik Award to recognize outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science. It was not a coincidence that the first Award was given at the ACS Centennial Meeting in New York. It was fitting at the time of celebrating the 100th anniversary of founding the ACS to recognize chemical information as one of the integral functions of the whole Society.
Bruno M. Vasta, the 1976 Divisional Chairman is to be credited with initiating and implementing the Award. A year earlier, at the 169th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in April 1975, he had suggested the Division establishes an award to be granted for an outstanding paper, research endeavor, or other significant contribution in the field of chemical information. He further proposed the award to be named the Herman Skolnik Award in honor of the Editor of the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences.
Upon the receipt of the Award, Herman Skolnik described the Award in an editorial [Ref. 19] as proof that
“chemical information science has achieved the final mark of maturity: a continuing tradition of responsible authorities. When we honor a member of our discipline, we honor the discipline.”
The original Award consisted of a $350 honorarium and a walnut plaque. In recent years, the honorarium has been increased in 1989 to $500, in 1991 to $1,000, and in 1993 to $2,000.
The “Call for Nominations” announcement and brochure refer to the Award as recognizing the continuing advancement of chemical information in areas such as:
- design of new and unique computerized information systems
- preparation and dissemination of chemical information
- editorial innovations
- design of new indexing, classification, and notation systems
- chemical nomenclature
- structure-activity correlations
- numerical data correlation and evaluation
Each Award winner gives an address at the time of the presentation of the Award at the ACS National Meeting. In 1976, and regularly since 1982, an Award Symposium has been organized by the recipient on the topic close to that of the address.
The Herman Skolnik Award Winners are listed in Table X. There were no Awards in 1979 and 1985. Two Awards were given in 1989. Detailed citations are given below.
1976 — Herman Skolnik — for outstanding and sustained service in the field, as one of the founders of the Division, founder of the ACS Delaware Valley Chemical Literature Group, science historian, founder and Editor of the Journal of Chemical Documentation (Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences since 1975), inventor of a notation system, innovator in indexing, and organizer of symposia and panel discussions at the ACS local, regional, and national level.
1977 — Eugene Garfield — for contributions to information science that have had considerable impact on both the academic world and the information industry, especially the successful application of scholarly work to the business of information, such as founding of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), publication of innovative secondary journals and indexes (Current Contents, Index Chemicus, and Science Citation Index), and enjoying acceptance of his innovations through effective educational marketing programs.
1978 — Fred A. Tate — for conceiving, developing, and implementing computer-based information-handling systems and procedures across the full-range of Chemical Abstracts Service’s (CAS) operations, which had provided prototypes for other secondary services, for his leadership in the development of the CAS Chemical Registry System, and for close international cooperation between the United Kingdom, West German, French, Japanese, and United States groups in the development and use of chemical information systems and services.
1980 — William J. Wiswesser — for pioneering mathematical, physical, and chemical methods of punched-card and computer-stored representation of molecular structures, leading to the creation of the Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN) for concise storage and retrieval of chemical structures, which was adopted by the largest chemical and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to manage their respective chemical structure files, and by a number of secondary indexes, atlases of data, and catalogs of chemical compounds.
1981 — Ben H. Weil — for distinguished and dedicated services to the chemical profession, particularly in definition and documentation of chemical literature, pioneering and continuing work in chemical information systems and copyright, including one of the first punched card indexing systems placed in actual use, founding and editing of the Divisional bulletin, Chemical Literature, standardization of abstracts, and contribution to the creation of the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC).
1982 — Robert Fugmann — for development of the GREMAS system (Genealogical REtrieval of MAgnetic tape Storage), the first truly sophisticated computerized retrieval system, based on a faceted hierarchical fragment code for each part of a chemical molecule, and for development of the TOSAR system (TOpological representation of Synthetic and Analytical system Relations) for the retrieval of reactions and other concepts, including establishment of indexing concepts for nonstructural information and creation of theoretical basis of information systems.
1983 — Russell J. Rowlett, Jr. — for guiding Chemical Abstracts’ transition from a manually produced abstracting and indexing publication to a computer-generated family of products, and for his leadership in the improvement of patent coverage, the CAS Registry System, timeliness of CA Volume and Collective Indexes, and quality control through a shift from volunteer abstractors to full-time professional document analysts and through the unified document analysis utilizing to the fullest extent man-machine interactions.
1984 — Montagu Hyams — for contribution to handling of patents by founding in 1951 a one-man business from his house, Derwent, which through his vision, leadership, and business acumen has become, as Derwent Publications Limited, the world leader in patent-based information services producing a diversified range of patent- and journal-based information services available both in printed form and as online computer-searchable databases.
1986 — Dale B. Baker — for leadership of Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) in its move from the conventional abstracting and indexing service of the 1950’s to the world’s premier automated information storage and retrieval system through courageous embarkation on new paths and approaches including promotion of international sharing of scientific and technical information, which provided direction for the entire information industry.
1987 — William Theilheimer — for pioneering a chemical reaction documentation system, embodied in 40 yearbooks of “Theilheimer’s Synthetic Methods of Organic Chemistry” and paving the way to modern chemical reaction databases through codification of chemical reactions and categorization of reactions in terms of reaction type and essential bond breaking and formation.
1988 — David R Lide, Jr. — for the creation of the National Standard Reference Database Series of computer-searchable numeric databases, administration of the Standard Reference Data Program of the National Bureau of Standards, founding and editing the Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, and participation in national and international data activities of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA).
1989 — Michael F. Lynch — for pioneering research of more than two decades on the development of methods for the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of chemical structures and reactions as well as related bibliographic information, including generic structure storage and retrieval, automatic subject indexing, articulated subject index production, document retrieval system, and database management.
— Stuart A. Marson — for development of innovative, user friendly software which has allowed the bench chemist to more productively utilize chemical information as daily resource such as the first complete commercial system for graphic input, storage, searching, and retrieval of chemical structures (MACCS) and the chemical reaction information system (REACCS).
1990 — Ernst Meyer — for playing a major role in revolutionizing chemical information technology through the use of computer methodology since the late 1950’s for input and searching techniques for topological and fragment representation of chemical substances, including generic or Markush structures and considering structure-activity correlations.
1991 — W. Todd Wipke — for pioneering work in the development of methods for representing and manipulating chemical information such as computer-assisted design of organic syntheses, simple interfaces and smart systems, methods for molecular modeling and conformational analysis, and editorial innovations in starting an electronic journal Tetrahedron Computer Methodology.
1992 — Jacques-Emile Dubois — for the development of the DARC Topological System which led to various applications in search and retrieval of chemical substructures and structures and in artificial intelligence such as in applying sequences of substructure, structure, and hyperstructure in locating chemical entities in their structural context and in evaluation of their local or global properties according to topological or topographical information.
1993 — Peter Willett — for contributions to the development of chemical information science which includes the identification of reaction sites and the development of maximal common subgraph algorithms in reaction retrieval systems, the introduction of similarity measures through classification and clustering in chemical substructure searching, 3-D searching of chemical molecules and biological macromolecules, and text searching.
1976 — Herman Skolnik
1977 — Eugene Garfield
1978 — Fred A. Tate
1980 — William J. Wiswesser
1981 — Ben H. Weil
1982 — Robert Fugmann
1983 — Russell J. Rowlett, Jr.
1984 — Montagu Hyams
1986 — Dale B. Baker
1987 — William Theilheimer
1988 — David R. Lide, Jr.
1989 — Michael F. Lynch
1989 — Stuart A. Marson
1990 — Ernst Meyer
1991 — W. Todd Wipke
1992 — Jacques-Emile Dubois
1993 — Peter Willett
In 1986, the Awards Committee was reestablished under the chairmanship of Merle I. Eiss (1986–1988) with the goals to better define and formalize requirements for the Herman Skolnik Award, to investigate the possibility of the Award being made an ACS National Award, including the incorporation of the Patterson-Crane Award into the ACS National Award, and to institute a Student Scholarship Award. The Committee also considered the establishment of an award for the best paper submitted to the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences.
These matters continued to be considered during the next few years under the chairmanship of W. Val Metanomski (1989), Ruthann Bates (1990), and Edlyn S. Simmons (1991–1993). In 1989, the Executive Committee accepted the recommendation for the Herman Skolnik Award Selection Jury to consist of the Divisional Chairman, Divisional Chairman-Elect, and the Divisional Awards Committee Chairman. Prior to that, the Divisional Past-Chairman was a member of the Selection Jury. The suggested award for the best paper did not get the support from the new Editor of the Journal, George W. A. Milne, and his Editorial Advisory Board, and the idea was abandoned accordingly.
In 1991, the Committee made several recommendations, which were subsequently approved by the Executive Committee:
- to discontinue any considerations and efforts towards making the Herman Skolnik Award an ACS National Award, and rather to build an appropriate Divisional endowment and work toward making this internationally recognized annual Award even more prestigious by increasing the honorarium
- to establish the Divisional Meritorious Service Award for outstanding contribution to the Division
- to award Certificates of Appreciation to outgoing Divisional Officers, Committees’ Chairmen, and other Members, who deserved thanks for service and valued contributions
This Award was established in 1992 to recognize a member’s outstanding contribution to the Division. The criteria for the Award are, for instance, preparation of a major report or study, continuing leadership in a particular area, or sustained active contribution to major tasks over many years.
W. Val Metanomski was the first recipient of the Award given at the Divisional luncheon at the 204th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, on August 25, 1992. He was cited for his contributions to the Program Committee (1976–1983), his leadership as Divisional Chairman (1987), and the fulfillment of numerous other tasks including the latest commitment to prepare a history of the Division for the 1993 celebration of the 50th anniversary of chemical information within the ACS. The Division was awarded the ACS Outstanding Intermediate Division Award in 1982 and 1987, when he was its Program and Divisional Chairman, respectively.
In 1989, the Division established the annual Student Scholarship Award to recognize chemists pursuing graduate studies in information, library, or computer science, leading to a career in chemical information. The Award consists of a certificate and a $1,000 stipend. It is usually presented at an ACS Local Section meeting in the vicinity of the recipient’s residence or school.
The recipients of this Award were:
1989 — Joan M. Evans (College of Information Studies, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA)
1990 — Eric A. Johnson (School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY)
1991 — Leann Hankom (School of Library and Information Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA)
— Craig Jenkins (Department of Library and Information Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC)
1992 — James J. Heinis (School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC)
— Robyn Stewart (School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada)
1993 — Linda Halliburton (School of Information and Library Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY)
Herman Skolnik was honored at the Divisional luncheon at the 184th ACS National Meeting in Kansas City on September 14, 1982, with a plaque for over 20 years of service as Editor of the Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences.
Harry M. Allcock was presented at the Divisional luncheon at the 192nd ACS National Meeting in Anaheim on September 9, 1986, with an Award recognizing his numerous and various contributions to the Division. His hospitality at the “Harry’s Party” on Monday evening at every ACS National Meeting as long as one cares to remember has become a Divisional tradition and a best place to renew professional acquaintances and to meet new members of the profession.
Matthew Hahn and John Leneve, graduate students at the University of California at Santa Cruz, were awarded a grant of $250 each to attend the 1st International Conference on Chemical Structures in The Netherlands in 1987.
Carlos M. Bowman and Gerald G. Vander Stouw were presented at the 204th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, in August 1992 with Certificates of Appreciation for service and valued contributions to the Division.
The Austin M. Patterson Award was originally established in 1949 by the ACS Dayton Local Section to acknowledge meritorious contributions in the field of chemical literature, especially in the documentation of chemistry. Austin M. Patterson was the first recipient of the Award in recognition of his work as Editor of Chemical Abstracts (1909–1914) and his leadership in organic chemical nomenclature.
In 1975, the Award was expanded to honor E. J. Crane, who was Editor of Chemical Abstracts (1915–1958) and the first Director of Chemical Abstracts Service (1956–1958), and renamed the Austin M. Patterson-E. J. Crane Award. From that time, the Award has been sponsored and administered jointly by the ACS Dayton and Columbus Local Sections. According to the agreement between the two ACS Local Sections, the seven-member selection jury consists of three members of the Dayton Section, three members of the Columbus Section, and the Chairman of the ACS Division of Chemical Information (or a designated personal representative).
The Award is presented every two years and consists of a personalized commendation and a $2,000 honorarium.
Since the Division started to participate in the selection of the Award winner, the following distinguished members of the chemical information community received the Award:
|1977||Benjamin H. Weil|
|1979||Dale B. Baker|
|1981||W. Conard Fernelius|
|1985||Bruno J. Zwolinski|
|1987||Kurt L. Loening|
|1989||George E. Vladutz|
|1991||David R. Lide, Jr.|
Each Award winner presented an Award address at a banquet held either in Dayton or Columbus. Each made a major contribution to the documentation of chemistry or to chemical information theory or practice. Each has been an active member of the Division, as an officer, a Committee member, or a speaker on numerous occasions at the ACS National Meetings.
The most enduring tradition, Divisional luncheons at the ACS National Meetings, continued throughout that period, almost always capped with a talk by a knowledgeable, interesting, and often witty speaker. Some luncheons were joint with other ACS Divisions such as Computers in Chemistry, and Chemistry and the Law. The subjects covered up-to-date information on general societal concerns, on some of the ACS activities, on new technological developments in information storage, retrieval, and distribution, and on other “hot” topics.
The luncheon speakers are listed in Table XI. They included:
- a Nobel Prize laureate (Melvin Calvin)
- a future chairman of the ACS Board of Directors (Paul V. Smith, Jr.)
- an ACS senior executive (D. H. Michael Bowen)
- the ACS Computer Secretariat founder (Rudolph J. Marcus)
- editors of the ACS journals (Thomas L. Isenhour, Benjamin J. Luberoff)
- pioneers in information processing (Carlos M. Bowman, Robert L. Chartrand, Everett H. Brenner, Peter B. Schipma, Harry M. Allcock)
- researchers and educators (William E. Hanford, Robert Fugmann, Charles H. Davis, Jack H. Stocker, Stephen Hanessian)
- government administrators (Adlene Harrison, Paul deFalco)
- a noted science historian (Pamela S. Richards)
At almost every ACS National Meeting, the Division held a reception or a social hour, usually on Tuesday afternoon. The receptions were often associated with the Herman Skolnik Award Ceremony. Those receptions were sponsored by the companies associated with the Award winner as employers, publishers, or service organizations. Other receptions were sponsored by database producers, publishers, and vendors who presented workshops and seminars at those meetings.
The sponsoring organizations were:
- Beilstein Institute
- Chemical Abstracts Service
- Derwent Publications
- Dialog Information Services
- Hampden Data Services
- IFI/Plenum Data Corporation
- Institute for Scientific Information
- S. Karger AG
- Maxwell Online
- Merck Index
- Molecular Design Limited
- ORBIT Search Service
Special celebrations to which the Division was invited were receptions commemorating:
- 75th anniversary of Chemical Abstracts Service in Kansas City on September 14, 1982
- 100th anniversary of the Merck Index in Miami Beach on September 12, 1989
- 25th anniversary of the CAS Registry System in Boston on April 24, 1990
Starting with the 195th ACS National Meeting (3rd Chemical Congress of North America) in Toronto in June 1988, the Division also held a Sunday evening reception to welcome new members, to meet old acquaintances and make new friends, to supply programs and badge holders, and to provide information on the city’s tourist attractions and restaurants. This has been continued through 1993.
Planned for the 206th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in August 1993 is the 50th anniversary gala celebrating the formation in 1943 of the Division’s predecessor, the Chemical Literature Group. Especially honored going to be the Herman Skolnik Award winners and past Divisional chairmen.
Special events which the Division organized or was invited to were tours and excursions, most with buffet dinners or receptions, at the ACS National Meetings such as:
- Moonlight cruise on a catamaran boat along Waikiki Beach in Honolulu on April 3, 1979
- Engineering Societies Libraries tour in New York on August 26, 1981
- Chateau St. Michel Winery tour near Seattle on March 22, 1983
- Library of Congress reception in Washington, DC, on August 30, 1983
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery tour in St. Louis on April 10, 1984
- Boat cruise on Delaware river in Philadelphia on August 27, 1984 (courtesy of the Institute for Scientific Information)
- Walking tour of the Philadelphia Historical Area on August 28, 1984 (courtesy of the Chemical Information Topical Groups of the ACS Philadelphia and Delaware Local Sections)
- Conservation Institute tour in Marina del Rey, CA, on September 8, 1986 (courtesy of the Institute)
- Boat cruise with music and dance on Mississippi river in New Orleans on August 31, 1987 (courtesy of the Institute for Scientific Information)
- Exploratorium Science Museum tour in San Francisco on April 7, 1992 (courtesy of Dialog Information Services)
The Executive Committee has usually been meeting twice a year at the ACS National Meeting on a Sunday preceding the week of technical sessions.
For many years, the Committee members, together with other Committees’ chairmen, enjoyed a leisure dinner on Sunday nights in local restaurants. Some of them are still remembered for their decorum (The Forge in Miami Beach in 1985) or elegance (Brennan’s in New Orleans in 1987). On the other hand, the dinner at Bookbinders in Philadelphia in 1984 is better to be forgotten by some participants.
Often enough a discussion continued at the table on a topic not quite wrapped up at an earlier formal session. Primarily, however, this social event helped the members to get to know each other better and to cement the working relationships which helped considerably in cooperating on Divisional matters for years to come.
Since 1975, these dinners were subsidized by the Division. Some Executive Committee members questioned, however, whether the expense was justified since only a relatively few members directly benefited. In 1986 the subsidy became partial and in 1987 the arrangement for dinner payment went “Dutch”. The last well-attended dinner took place at the June 1988 meeting in Toronto and is remembered by the participants for the restaurant making an error in addition and presenting a bill with at least twice the amount owed.
The demise of these dinners was primarily caused by the lack of time. In 1988 the Division introduced another regular social event, a Sunday night reception which has become a welcome feature and a good place to meet old and make new friends. The ACS on Monday nights has now another combined technical/social function, SCI-MIX, where posters are presented and in which the Division regularly participates. And, at most ACS National Meetings, the Divisional Tuesday night reception is also held, which is specially popular when it follows the Herman Skolnik Award Symposium.
Harry’s Party has been hosted by Harry M. Allcock (IFI/Plenum Data Corporation) at every ACS National Meeting since the early 1960’s. While “unofficial”, it has become a Divisional tradition to which every attendee looks forward on Monday evening.
Every party is well attended and is always considered as the best place to renew old acquaintances, to make new friends, and to exchange most-up-to-date information, especially on newest trends in information processing as well as who manages whom and what. The best remembered party was the one in the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on August 25, 1980, when Harry and his associates served drinks standing in a huge decorative bathtub.
The main sources of Divisional revenues continued to be:
- Divisional dues
- allotment from the ACS, based on membership and attendance at the ACS National Meetings
- fees for advertisements in the Chemical Information Bulletin
- interest and dividends on investments
- royalties from the ACS-published symposia proceedings
In 1979, the dues were increased to $3 for a full member and $4 for an affiliate. The income from dues in the early 1980’s averaged $3,000 per year.
In later years, the dues were as follows:
|1983–1984||$3 and $4 for a member and an affiliate, respectively|
|1985||$3 and $5|
|1986–1993||$4 and $7|
With the membership approaching and exceeding 1,400 in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the income from dues averaged $5,300 per year.
From the ACS Development Fund, started in 1975, a steady regular income developed in the following years. Since 1978, the ACS apportioned the fund on the basis of Divisional membership, attendance at the Divisional sessions at the ACS National Meetings, and the stated preference for Divisional programs as noted on the meeting registration form. This ACS allotment brought the Division an average $3,800 per year in the early 1980’s and increased to $4,500–$5,000 in more recent years.
A couple of detailed examples show how the allotment was calculated:
|for 1980||for 1985|
|Membership at $1 per member||865.00||1,141.00|
|For Spring Meeting||802.86||1,816.96|
|For Fall Meeting||1.002.40||1,744.97|
In 1991, the Council approved a change in the formula for the allocation of ACS funds to the Divisions, as recommended by the Committee on Divisional Activities. The new formula is based on a different percentage ratio of allocation for orally presented papers versus displayed poster papers, and for attendance at regular sessions versus attendance at the Exposition. It follows from all the sample calculations that this Division, unlike some other ACS Divisions, will not experience much change in this source of income.
In 1977, the revenue from advertisements in the Chemical Information Bulletin increased significantly. In the early 1980’s, it amounted, along with institutional subscriptions to the Bulletin, to some $1,800 per year. Under the management of Ruthann Bates (1986–1987) and Ronald R. Dueltgen (1989–1991) it rose to an average of $6,800 per year in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
The last significant and steady source of revenue was interest on investment. As the Divisional assets grew in the late 1970’s, $5,000 were invested in a saving certificate and another $2,500 in a saving account. In 1979, $13,000 was reinvested in money market certificates. Renewed and increased investments brought $2,500 per year in interest in the early 1980’s. In 1981, a money market certificate earned as much as 16.4% annual interest.
How to invest the Divisional assets has been the subject of many discussions. Counsel of experts was sought on occasions. With increasing Divisional assets and decreasing rates of interest for regular saving certificates and saving accounts, the Executive Committee in the early 1990’s started to look into ways of improving return on investment. At the 204th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, in August 1992, the Committee heard a presentation by Ross M. Wilson from the ACS Office of the Treasurer on how the ACS invested its assets. In December 1992, the Division invested a portion of its assets in the ACS Investment Pool.
Typical expenses over the years were:
- publication of the Chemical Information Bulletin (and also, more recently, of CINF News)
- support of special meetings and symposia such as PAC CHEM Congress and Tri-Society Symposia
- support of technical sessions and demonstrations at the ACS National Meetings (this started in earnest in the mid-1980’s)
- membership promotion such as printing and distributing Divisional brochures
- subsidy of social events
- administrative costs such as printing and mailing ballot forms
- educational activities, especially the production of a videotape in 1981–1983 (while a total cost was $17,269, some $6,300 was recovered through sales and rentals)
- support of special activities such as those of the Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law, the ACS Secretariats, and the ACS Divisional Officers Group (DOG)
- Divisional awards (honoraria and costs associated with award administration)
- special recognitions (luncheon speaker’s gift, past-chairman’s pin)
In 1986, the Division opened the Herman Skolnik Award Fund with a transfer of $2,500 from the Divisional treasury. A donation for the Award Fund was received in the form of stock which on sale realized a profit of $7,916. Over the years, annually $2,500 or $5,000 were transferred to the Fund. With the accrued interest the Fund had a total of $29,027 by the end of 1992.
Originally, the Award Fund was specifically destined to be the source of regular interest to support the Herman Skolnik Award when it becomes the ACS National Award. When the Division decided not to go in that direction, but to keep the Herman Skolnik Award under its wing and jurisdiction, the Fund became an overall Award Fund for all Divisional awards, including the Student Scholarship Award and any future monetary awards the Division might establish.
In the 1980’s the Divisional total assets grew at a much higher rate than during the preceding decades. By the end of 1982, Jean G. Marcali, the 1982 Divisional Chairman (who was the Treasurer for 1976–1980) reported assets at $29,180. By the end of 1991, the total assets were at a record high of $70,162, even after the Division made unbudgeted contributions such as:
- $2,000 for the continuing development of the Standard Molecular Data (SMD) Format, then under review by a subcommittee of the ASTM Committee E-49 on Computerization of Material and Chemical Property Data
- $1,000 to the Chemical Structure Association Trust established to promote internationally the education of information scientists and information specialists
- $300 to the ACS Campaign for Chemistry
The 1992 expenses and the 1993 projected expenses exceeded the income and the total assets were accordingly reduced. The Executive Committee, however, felt that the Division should support technical sessions and educational activities to the fullest extent possible.
To look into new ways of adding to the Divisional treasury and to be able to financially support some additional activities, the Executive Committee established for 1993 the Fundraising Committee (Louis P. Torre, chairman).