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The Beilstein database is the largest database 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 experimentally validated information on millions of chemical reactions and substances from original scientific publications. The electronic database was created from Beilstein's Handbook of Organic Chemistry, founded by Friedrich Konrad Beilstein in 1881, but has appeared online under a number of different names, including Crossfire Beilstein. Since 2009, the content has been maintained and distributed by Elsevier Information Systems in Frankfurt under the product name "Reaxys".
The database contains information on reactions, substances, structures and properties. Up to 350 fields containing chemical and physical data (such as melting point, refractive index etc.) are available for each substance. References to the literature in which the reaction or substance data appear are also given.
The Beilstein content made available through Reaxys is complemented by information drawn from Gmelin (which gives access to the Gmelin Database), a very large repository of organometallic and inorganic information, as well as by information drawn from the Patent Chemistry Database. The Reaxys registered trademark and the database itself are owned and protected by Elsevier Properties SA and used under license.
In popular culture
- Isaac Asimov's short story "What's in a Name?" (1956) introduced the Beilstein Handbook of Organic Chemistry as an important plot element.
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