The Fall Parade of Portals

Oct. 15, 2002

Many of the well-known chemical industry portals have appeared in earlier columns. Some of those portals and additional resources with time-saving links are presented here.

The Chemical Informatics site ( is a summary of lectures conducted at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine's Department of Chemistry in London. The lectures offer ways to prioritize, organize and transform "data" into "information," with the eventual objective of acquiring "knowledge." The "Chemical Informatics Letters" site (, edited by Dr. Jonathan Goodman of the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University (, contains the latest news in chemical informatics and links to relevant Web sites. The letters are available online and can be received by e-mail.

The site for the International Chemical Information Conference (ICIC) 2002 in Nmes, France, ( features a program that sheds some light on the direction chemical information technology is going. The conference also covers some of the practical and the economic realities of electronic information dissemination and retrieval.

Last year's ICIC conference included a presentation ," "An Analysis of Information Portals for the Chemical Community" ( ," that compares six portals and details one,, ChemWeb includes a wide range of chemical research and chemical industry information. Free registration is offered and includes access to many of the available resources.

The five other portals mentioned are theScientificWorld (, Ingenta (, (, (, and (

Some of the portals discussed in the ICIC presentation do not fall into the "formal" portal definition. Some of these portals include subject-specific directories and subdirectories. For example, Dr. Steven Murov's "Chemistry Webercises Directory" ( includes links to a number of educational chemistry resources on the Internet. Subjects, basic information and topics of research in introductory, general and organic chemistry highlight the contents of the directory. Other important chemistry and useful Web sites, directories and indexes are linked from Dr. Murov's Web site at

The "Virtual' Chemistry Center" (, part of "Martindale's Reference Desk" (, is another directory that includes subject-based tables of contents that lead to many chemistry topic guides and database links. The site is not "all inclusive," but nearly all facets of chemistry are covered ," from the basics to the most advanced. Many items are conveniently referenced in multiple languages, and a language translation section is linked. Topics include a broad-based chemistry overview covering what is new in chemistry, measurement and fundamental particles.

Another good chemical database is the "NIST Chemistry Webbook" ( from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The "Calculators On-line Center ," Chemistry" page at is full of interesting applets and simulations, making it a must-see section.

The "Organic Chemistry Resources Worldwide" Web site ( is designed for the specific needs of synthetic organic chemists. It includes literature and laboratory references, as well as structural analysis information and assistance for handling record-keeping and communications. The site is designed to be an intuitive environment for accessing the useful resources in these activities.

PolyurethaneWeb,, is a vertical Internet portal that provides a directory, marketing information and technical support. The site is available in six languages and contains more than 4,000 listed companies and 6,000 links. Detailed information is available about foams, coatings, adhesives/sealants, elastomers, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polyurethane.

For a different kind of portal, try MyPrime Time at This site is described as a "Baby Boomers" Web portal that offers tips on family, money, work, health and play. It claims to be "the home for a community of adults seeking the best way to navigate life's major events." Main divisions include home, family, money, health, work, play and expert advice. Although it is not a chemical portal, the portal does reflect the modern media focus based on the empowerment of people.

Hodel is

Chemical Processing's Internet columnist. Contact him at [email protected].


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