December 1, 2011

Out With The Old...

As of December 1, 2011, the Chemistry division has a new website! The new site (and blog) will now be available from Please update your bookmarks and RSS readers accordingly. The old site and blog will no longer be accessible after Dec 31, 2011.

June 9, 2011

2011 Nominating Committee Report

The DCHE 2011 Nominating Committee (Teri Vogel, Bob Buchanan, Val Tucci) has identified these candidates for the open positions in the SLA Chemistry Division:

For Chair-Elect in 2012 (a three-year term, including Chair in 2013 and Past Chair in 2014)

  • Susan Makar from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD USA
For Secretary, 2012-2013 (a two-year term):
  • Lee Pedersen from Brown University, Providence, RI USA

Susan Makar is a librarian and chemical information specialist in the Information Services Office (ISO) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Previously, she worked as the science reference librarian at Georgetown University where she gained extensive experience assisting chemistry department faculty and graduate students. Susan received her MLS from the University of Iowa and a B.A. from Luther College.

In her current position at NIST, Susan is ISO’s web manager and a member of the lab liaison team. Her professional interests and expertise include citation and impact analysis, sci-tech publishing, web content management, chemical information resources, and digital repositories.

Susan’s professional memberships include DCHE, DST, DBIO, and the DC and MD Chapters within SLA. She is also a member of the ACS Division of Chemical Information and the Society for Scholarly Publishing. As an SLA Chemistry Division member, she was a co-program planner on the 2009 conference planning committee. Susan has presented at SLA and ACS national meetings. She was an invited speaker at the SLA MD Chapter’s Xtreme Reference conference in October 2010.

Lee A. Pedersen is currently serving as the Secretary for DCHE. Her term of office ends in 2011. She became a librarian in 2003 with an MLIS from Dominican University. Before then, she was a seasoned professional chemist with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and years of experience doing research in industry and later serving in chemistry faculty positions. Her first job as an academic librarian has been at Brown University. She started at the end of 2004. She is currently the subject librarian for the physical sciences, developing the collections, doing reference research, conducting instruction, and creating outreach opportunities. As a research chemist, she published in journals, presented at national and international meetings, and been granted two patents and a WO international patent application. She also was elected as the secretary and later the alternate councilor for the Pittsburgh section of the American Chemical Society. As a librarian, her research is currently in instruction and outreach. She has presented at SLA and ASEE national meetings. Her other professional memberships in SLA are PAM, DST, and the RI Chapter. She is also a member of the Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

A notice was sent to the Chemistry Division discussion list on May 27 to solicit other potential nominees for these positions.

Respectfully submitted,
Teri M. Vogel
2011 Nominating Chair and Past-Chair - SLA Chemistry Division

April 5, 2011

Call for volunteers

Dear SLA Chemistry Division Members:

We have a wonderful opportunity for two lucky volunteers to help with the final planning of the DCHE Academic Roundtable & Breakfast session. This is a rather laid back affair which offers wonderful opportunities for discussing topics of interest to the academic community of chemical information professionals. It’s a great way to get involved in Chemistry Division activities and get to know people. And there are lots of wonderful people in the Chemistry Division to get to know!

If, perchance, we happen to have more volunteers than needed for this particular program, not to worry, I feel sure we can find other opportunities to help; not only with Annual, but with other Division activities.

Please let me know as soon as possible, if you would like to volunteer to help with the Chemistry Academic Roundtable (or any other opportunity we may have available).

Thanks in advance!

Chair, SLA Chemistry Division

William W. Armstrong
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 USA
Ph. (225) 578-2738

Early Bird Registration for Annual ends Friday, April 8 - don't delay!

Dear Chemistry Division Members:

Please don’t miss the opportunity to save money by registering for the SLA Annual in Philadelphia by Friday! We have an exciting set of programs lined up and hope that you will be able to find multiple events of interest to you, in addition to the networking opportunities that abound.

A complete calendar of DCHE led and co-sponsored events can be found at For a complete description of any given program, simply click on the event.

If you are interested in the Academic Roundtable & Breakfast, the Business Meeting & Breakfast, and/or the Corporate Roundtable & Breakfast, be sure to indicate when you register, as these are ticketed events. Even though a full breakfast menu is included, we keep the ticket prices down to $15, so it’s a real bargain and a stimulating way to begin any one of these mornings.

If you have any questions regarding Annual, don’t hesitate to email or call, and I’ll be happy to answer whatever I can.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Chair, SLA Chemistry Division, 2011

William W. Armstrong
Collection Development Coordinator, LSU Libraries
Chemistry Librarian
Liaison to Physics & Astronomy
Middleton Library
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 USA
Ph. (225) 578-2738

February 28, 2011

DCHE CE Courses at the 2011 Conference

The Chemistry Division will host three continuing education (CE) courses on June 11 & 12, during the SLA 2011 conference in Philadelphia, PA. These hands-on courses will give you skills to enhance your understanding of chemistry fundamentals, chemical information, and specialized structure searching.

To purchase tickets online, go to NOTE: You are not required to register for the full conference in order to attend a CE course.

Please spread the word to your colleagues (SLA members or not) who may benefit from the courses. If someone only wishes to attend CE courses, the downloadable registration form (PDF) may be an easier route: Simply choose the “Ticket Only for CE Courses” registration and enter in the course title & details in section 4.

Contact Ted Baldwin (or 513-556-4211) with any questions regarding these courses.

Title: Chemistry for the Non-Chemist Librarian
Date: Saturday, 11 June 2011
Time: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Instructors: Susan Cardinal (U. Rochester), Judith Currano (U. Pennsylvania)

Summary: Any information scientist with responsibilities for providing chemistry reference services should understand the structure and language of chemistry. This course takes a hands-on approach to introduce learners to the basic principles of the five major divisions of chemistry, chemical terminology and drawing, and other intellectual tools that chemists need to do their work. This course contains four sections: an introduction to chemistry as a science, strategies for effective communication with chemists, basic chemical concepts and research questions, and the ways in which chemists' research needs dictate their information needs.
Ticket prices: Student Member $199 , SLA Member $299 , Non-Member $399

Title: Chemical Information Sources, Requests, and Reference
Date: Sunday, 12 June 2011
Time: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Instructors: Judith Currano (U. Pennsylvania), Dawn French (Millennium Inorganic Chemicals)

Summary: This hands-on course introduces learners to the types of questions that chemical researchers ask and reference sources that can be used to answer them. It will provide an overview of the structure of the chemical literature, types of reference sources in the chemical sciences, unique access points for chemical information, and strategies for an effective search. Informal lectures, interspersed with real-world reference questions, will compare and describe the major chemical information resources.
Ticket prices: Student Member $99 , SLA Member $199 , Non-Member $299

Title: Extreme Structure Searching: Organics, Organometallics, Polymers, and Markush
Date: Sunday, 12 June 2011
Time: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Instructors: Denise Callihan (PPG Industries), Judith Currano (U. Pennsylvania)

Summary: This course will introduce participants to specialized search techniques for small molecules in the chemical literature: profiling organic, organometallic and catalytic substances by substructure, applying structure and substructure search techniques to polymer searching, and using basic substructure and Markush search strategies for patent information retrieval. Participants will learn the basics of creating a substructure, progressing to more advanced techniques and recommendations of where, when, and how to use them. This will be followed by techniques of locating organometallics and polymers using the substructure techniques to patent searching, including learning the basics of Markush searching.
Ticket prices: Student Member $99 , SLA Member $199 , Non-Member $299

November 30, 2010

Poster Call - 2011 Conference

All Sciences Poster Session – June 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

SLA Biomedical & Life Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Food Agriculture and Nutrition, Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics, and Science-Technology Divisions

Conference theme this year is “FUTURE READY”

Your poster presentation could help your colleagues immeasurably as we all seek to cultivate or enhance scientists' knowledge management skills and to demonstrate the value of our services to our parent organizations or potential clients. The poster session provides an informal and lively venue for sharing your innovative ideas on an important topic.
Any SLA member is welcome to submit an abstract. In the event that a greater number of submissions are received than can be accommodated, members of the sponsoring science divisions will be given first preference.

Guidelines for materials and layout of poster presentations are available on the SLA Chemistry Division website at

  • DEADLINE is February 1, 2011
  • Please submit your name, institution, email address, poster title, and description (250 words or less) by email to
All applicants will be notified re: poster proposal acceptance on or before March 1, 2011.

Rebecca A. Godwin
Library / Resources Management
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
2510 Sam Noble Parkway
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401

November 5, 2010

Webcast Recording & Slides - Chem Info for the Non-Practitioner

The recording of the October 19 webcast "Chemical Information for the Non-Practitioner" is now available for viewing. Some slides were difficult to read on the recording, so this file has been available separately (PDF format).

Webcast Recording:

Many thanks to Judith Currano for an excellent presentation!

Please contact Ted Baldwin (Professional Development Chair, SLA Chemistry Division) with any questions: I welcome your ideas on future professional development offerings.


October 25, 2010

Call for Wiggins-Roth Award

2011 Wiggins-Roth Award for Outstanding Service
The Chemistry Division of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) is sponsoring an award for members that have made outstanding contributions to the field of chemical information. The Awards Committee expects this award will be given out every few years depending on nominations received.

$1,000 honorarium. The winner will also receive a certificate of achievement and will be introduced at the Chemistry Division Business Meeting & Breakfast. There is no requirement that this award be given out every year.

All members of the Chemistry Division who have been a member since January 2006 are eligible excluding members of the elected Executive Board and the current Awards Committee.

Please submit the following:
* Name of nominee. Self nominations are not accepted.
* A biographical sketch.
* A brief description (1-2 pages) of the nominee’s contribution to the field of chemical information
* Two or three letters of recommendation
* Other documentation in support of the nominee.

All applications must be received by December 3, 2010. The winner will be notified by March 1, 2011. Applications will be evaluated by the SLA Chemistry Division Awards Committee.

This award is named in honor of Gary Wiggins and Dana Roth, SLA Hall of Famers. These two individuals are well-known and highly-regarded for both their tremendous contributions to the field of chemical information, and their enthusiasm for sharing their expertise with others in the profession.

Gary Wiggins was the director of the chemical informatics program, and an adjunct professor of informatics at Indiana University. Previously, he was the head of the Indiana University chemistry library for 27 years. Gary was the list owner of CHMINF-L (the Chemical Information Sources Discussion List), one of the longest running listservs in the world. He also maintained the Joint SLA/American Chemical Society Clearinghouse for Chemical Information Instructional Materials and a Web guide to Internet and other chemistry resources, CHEMINFO, Chemical Information Sources from Indiana University. He is the author of the book Chemical Information Sources and its online successor "Chemical Information Sources Wiki" and numerous articles on science librarianship and information handling, He holds a B. A. in chemistry and Russian, a M. A. in Slavic languages and literature, an M.L.S., and a Ph.D. in library and information science.

Dana Roth is the Chemistry Librarian at the California Institute of Technology, where he celebrated his 40th year of service in 2007. He spent two years early in his career as a library advisor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. Dana has produced and shared insightful studies of journal pricing data, and has served on publishers' journal advisory boards, including the Royal Society of Chemistry and Springer. He has authored numerous journal articles. His remarkable and vast knowledge and insights are frequently shared with a global community of chemical information professionals via the CHMINF-L (Chemical Information Sources) email discussion list. Dana holds a B.S. and an M.S. in chemistry, and an M.L.S.


Luray M. Minkiewicz
Past Chair, SLA Chemistry Division
Supervisor, External Content Management
DuPont Co.
CR&D/Information & Computing Technologies
Experimental Station, E301
P. O. Box 80301
Wilmington, DE 19880-0301 USA
302-695-1257 (voice)
302-695-1350 (fax)

October 14, 2010

Web Conference Opens Today!

Don't forget, the web portion of our wonderful All-Sciences Poster Session begins today:

What: Posters and presenters from the SLA All Sciences Poster Session event in New Orleans

Three Themes:
I. New Strategic Alignments
II. Survival and Success Beyond an Economic Recession
III. Information Literacy, User Instruction and E-Learning: New Methods, New Participants, New Tools

SLA Division Sponsors: Biomedical & Life Sciences; Chemistry; Engineering; Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition; Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics; and Science-Technology

Dates: October 14 - November 1, 2010
Registration: free
Format: asynchronous discussion, open 24 hours a day

October 8, 2010

Chemical Info for the Non-Practitioner (10/19 Webcast)

The SLA Chemistry Division is pleased to co-sponsor an upcoming webcast, featuring the Division’s very own Judith Currano. This educational webcast will teach you the basics of locating chemical information.

“Chemical Information for the Non-Practitioner” begins at 6:00pm EST on Tuesday, October 19. This webcast is free, although advanced registration is required (by Monday, October 18 at noon EST). Note: the onsite program is held in Philadelphia, and includes a tour of the Chemical Heritage Foundation prior to the webcast. More details follow.

This session will provide sources and insight into the process of locating chemical information for those without a science background. Even if you’re a seasoned professional, this session will demonstrate some new approaches to age-old questions in the chemical field.
By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand the organization of the chemical literature and the unique access points that it offers
  • Identify key sources or types of source for various types of chemical reference questions,
  • Be aware of the specialized search techniques that exist to answer particular types of question.
Sponsored by the SLA Philadelphia Chapter and SLA Chemistry Division. The webcast will also be recorded and archived.