electronic database



Collection of data or information organized for rapid search and retrieval, especially by a computer. Databases are structured to facilitate storage, retrieval, modification, and deletion of data in conjunction with various data-processing operations. A database consists of a file or set of files that can be broken down into records, each of which consists of one or more fields. Fields are the basic units of data storage. Users retrieve database information primarily through queries. Using keywords and sorting commands, users can rapidly search, rearrange, group, and select the field in many records to retrieve or create reports on particular aggregates of data according to the rules of the database management system being used.

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The Beilstein database is one of the largest databases in the field of organic chemistry, in which compounds are uniquely identified by their Beilstein Registry Number. The database covers the scientific literature from 1771 to the present and contains information on 9.8 million substances, 10.3 million chemical reactions and 2 million original scientific publications. The electronic database was created from Beilstein's Handbook of Organic Chemistry, founded by Friedrich Konrad Beilstein in 1881, and is maintained by the Frankfurt Office of Elsevier MDL.

The Beilstein database contains information on substances, including coverage of reactions, structures and properties. Up to 350 fields containing chemical and physical data (such as melting point, refractive index, and so on) are available for each substance. References to the literature in which substance data appears are also given.

The Beilstein data is made available in the CrossFire Beilstein database by Elsevier MDL, a subsidiary of Elsevier. CrossFire also offers access to Gmelin, a very large database of organometallic and inorganic chemical information, through CrossFire Gmelin, and the Organic Chemistry from Chemistry Patents through the MDL Patent Chemistry Database.

CrossFire Databases are available through MDL's native interface, CrossFire Commander in its latest Version 7.0 SP2, or through DiscoveryGate.

The Beilstein Database is also available at Dialog and STN International's interface.

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