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Elsevier Acquires the Beilstein Database, World’s Leading Archive of Chemical Data


Elsevier, the leading global publisher of scientific, technical and medical information, today announced the acquisition through its subsidiary MDL Information Systems GmbH, of the Beilstein Database, the world’s largest compilation of chemical facts and the premier database in the field of organic chemistry.

Elsevier has been exclusively involved in both the production and marketing of the Beilstein Database under a partnership agreement since 1998. Since then, Elsevier has added or updated close to 5 million compounds to the database and has helped to build a strong and established customer base in both the corporate pharmaceutical and academic sectors. As a result of the agreement announced today, Elsevier will assume ownership and acquire the rights to the Beilstein Database.

The Beilstein Database covers organic chemistry from 1771 to date. It contains over 9.8 million compounds, 10 million reactions (making it the world’s largest reaction database) and 320 million experimental data on chemical properties. It also contains over 900,000 original author abstracts from 1980-present, as well as pharmacological and ecotoxicological data describing the bioactivity of organic chemicals.

“This will open a new chapter for the Beilstein-Institut,” noted Dr. Martin G. Hicks, Director of the Beilstein-Institut, “We look forward to further developing diverse activities including innovative software and journals such as the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry.”

“Acquiring the Beilstein Database, with its great legacy and contribution to science, is a natural opportunity and fit for Elsevier,” said Herman van Campenhout, Chief Executive Officer, Science and Technology, Elsevier. “As one of the world’s most significant scientific resources, it is especially valuable for our pharmaceutical industry customers working in the area of drug discovery.”

Elsevier has already pioneered closer integration between chemical structure data and text information. For example via the Crossfire and DiscoveryGate interfaces, customers already enjoy seamless linking between Scopus, Elsevier’s highly acclaimed abstract & indexing database, and the chemical reactions and compounds in the Beilstein Database.

Michiel Kolman, Managing Director, Elsevier MDL in Frankfurt, where the Beilstein database is produced, stated, “We are very excited about the opportunities to bring even further efficiencies to the researcher’s workflow by applying innovative approaches to integration between different data resources.”


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