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Merck Index Online: for research and everyday

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Merck Index Online is an authoritative source of information on chemicals, drugs and biologicals. You an search or browse its more than 11,000 monographs (chemical compounds) that can be explored for research and everyday practical purposes. Ideal for quick searches to reveal the properties of compounds and biologicals, Merck Index Online provides identifiers such as CAS Registry Number and structure. It also gives the molecular formula, molecular weight and melting point as well as Trademark names.

Structure search is simplified by the ‘convert’ feature, which allows for inserting a compound name and then converting it to a structure to enable a substructure or exact structure search. It has more than 500 organic named reactions (ONR) which have been recognized and referred to by name within the chemistry community, for example, the Ehrlich-Sachs Reaction (1899). Attached to each ONR are relevant references including that of the original description. All references are from scholarly journals, encyclopedias and handbooks. Apart from properties, all records have appropriate sections that describe them, depending on the type of compound. One example is the “Therapeutic Category” under Classifications, which is useful for identifying uses of compounds and their derivatives in healing, re: Glybuzole – Trademark name – Gludiase as an antidiabetic. The database is further enhanced by its 28 reference tables.

Merck Index Online is valuable to researchers, faculty and students in basic science, chemistry, pharmacy, chemical and life science engineering, biomedical sciences, dentistry, allied health, and medicine. It is also useful for everyday practical purposes such as information on additives or components, nutrients, minerals, and proteins. For example, get all the information for the cooking spice, nutmeg, its uses in flavoring food and beverages, nutmeg oil as a fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, perfumes, and candles.

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By Ibironke Lawal, engineering and science collections librarian

Image: First issue, titled Merck’s Index

Collections of Distinction: Current focus areas

The “Collections of Distinction” initiative focuses on expanding and improving collections that provide crucial and unique materials for teaching, research, discovery and enjoyment.

Collections of Distinction exemplify VCU’s mission to inspire and foster creative ideas that celebrate diversity, inclusiveness and engagement on campus and beyond. Supporting established or emerging areas of research, Collections of Distinction receive funds to strengthen knowledge in the identified areas — with the goal of elevating them to national and international stature. At the fundamental level, however, they support and foster teaching, research and discovery by VCU’s faculty and students.

Current Collections of Distinction

  • Economic Botany/Medicinal Plants
  • Experimental Digital Animation
  • Forensic Science
  • Leadership Education
  • Poetry
  • Special Education and Disability Policy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Want to know more or discuss the Collections of Distinction program at VCU Libraries? Contact Karen Cary, head, Collection Analysis and Investment.

BCC Research: Global market intelligence

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Research global markets with current and in depth market intelligence. Reports include forecasts, statistical data, major players, market share and more. BCC Research covers 20 industries with a focus on science and technology:

  • Advanced Materials
  • Advanced Transportation Technologies
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemicals
  • Energy and Resources
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Food And Beverage
  • Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Instrumentation and Sensors
  • Manufacturing
  • Membrane and Separation Technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Photonics
  • Plastics
  • Safety and Security
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing

Under each broad category, individual reports explore specific areas. For example, Food and Beverage includes reports on intelligent packaging, high energy supplements, organic food and food safety. Healthcare includes cancer testing and treatment technology, self-monitoring, medical devices and information technology. These are just a few examples of the full text reports available through BCC Research. Subscribe to their blog for up to date news and more market insight.

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By Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach and business research librarian

Image: 1492, ptwo, flickr, Creative Commons

Manuscript Matcher suggests where to submit

articles in different journals

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When deciding where to submit their research for publication, most faculty use the topic, audience and reputation of the journal as their main criteria. Subjective judgment and advice on how to choose can be supplemented by computerized tools like Manuscript Matcher. Manuscript Matcher uses an abstract and, if provided, a reference list to generate a list of suggestions of journals where that article may be a good fit.

Some publishers, such as Elsevier and Springer, provide free tools to match your abstract to recommended journals, but their recommendations only include that publisher’s journals.  Manuscript Matcher suggests journals across many publishers. Journals in Web of Science’s Core Collection, Journal Citation Reports, or Arts and Humanities Citation Index could be a match. Although Manuscript Matcher is more comprehensive than publishers’ sites, it works best for subject areas that Web of Science covers well.

Along with the suggested journals, Manuscript Matcher displays the Journal Impact Factors. The display includes both the Journal Impact Factor number and a journal’s quartile relative to other journals in the same discipline.

To access Manuscript Matcher, go to Web of Science and click on the Endnote link near the top of the page. Login to EndNote account or create a free account if you don’t have one already. Within EndNote, click on “Match” to access the Manuscript Matcher. From there, you can enter a title and abstract into the Manuscript Matcher. To potentially improve the match, put your reference list in EndNote and link to the list in Manuscript Matcher.

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By Julie Arendt, science and engineering research librarian

Image: Modified from CiteRank Citation Network Diagram, Brookhaven National Laboratory

HeinOnline: Legal materials from the colonies forward

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VCU Libraries subscribes to HeinOnline, a searchable image-based database of legal research materials. What makes acquisition of this database exciting is its depth and its application to so many different disciplines and areas of study. While HeinOnline is an excellent resource for researchers looking for articles on legal issues of any kind, the collections have applicability to anyone studying history, political science, public policy and administration, homeland security, criminal justice, international relations, or any topic which involves those subjects.

At the heart of the database is the law journal collection which includes more than 2,000 publications, each provided from its first issue to the latest, subject to moving-wall restrictions. The historical collection of state statutes provides superseded statutes for all 50 states, some dating as far back as 1717.

The same “from inception” coverage, with various cut-off dates, applies to the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Reports, and many other collections. Having older versions of laws and regulations is of great benefit for those researching the evolution of statutory and regulatory coverage of certain topics.

A few examples will provide an indication of how deep the collections are. The U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library contains not only all U.S. treaties, but also books and other texts such as Great European Treaties of the Nineteenth Century (1918), History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada (1755), and treaty guides and indexes such as Hertslet’s Commercial Treaties: A Complete Collection (Vols. 1-31). Foreign Relations of the United States covers every administration from Lincoln through Carter and also includes historical texts such as Trescot’s Diplomatic History of the Administration of Washington and Adams (1857) among many others. The U.S. Congressional Documents collection includes the Congressional Record (and its predecessors) from the 1st Congress to current, as well as Congressional Budget Office documents from 1976 to present, and what appears to be all of the unclassified Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports. Finally,the Session Laws collection for Virginia covers 1661-2013, thus extending our access significantly backward from December, 1861, the date of the first print volume in our collection.

Each page of every document has a permanent link. Click on the link icon to display the permanent link that can then be placed anywhere.

Citations for journal articles only may be exported to RefWorks; instructions are linked from the RefWorks guide. The combination of WestlawNext and HeinOnline provides access to legal, regulatory, and Congressional information from colonial times to the present day.

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By Marilyn Scott, education research librarian

Image: Creative Commons