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Citations to chemical resources in scholarly articles: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics and The Merck Index

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The use of authoritative chemical resources by scientists is an important first step to finding reliable and credible information for supporting and validating research results. Given the vast number of commercially and freely available online resources used for searching chemical and physical information, the utility of the traditional ready-reference print resources such as the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (referred to as the “Rubber Bible”) and The Merck Index (referred to as the “Chemist’s Bible”) may no longer be regarded suitable or useful for looking-up information and hence no longer required for purchase by academic institutions. To investigate this hypothesis, a study was undertaken to examine the usage and impact of these resources through citation in scholarly articles. The ‘Cited Reference Search’ from the Web of Science database is used to search, collect, and analyze article citations from the Science Citation Index Expanded to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics and The Merck Index, between the years 2002 and 2015 inclusive. The distribution of article citations to these chemical resources was analyzed by document type, research field, country, affiliation, and journal. The article citation yearly counts to these chemical resources were further compared to Wikipedia.

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    Tomaszewski, R. Unpublished results.


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Tomaszewski, R. Citations to chemical resources in scholarly articles: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics and The Merck Index . Scientometrics 112, 1865–1879 (2017).

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