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The large number and big variety of online databases in the field of environmental sciences and chemistry underlines the need for a comparative evaluation approach. In…
The large number and big variety of online databases in the field of environmental sciences and chemistry underlines the need for a comparative evaluation approach. In this paper 12 evaluation criteria are presented. The criteria are divided into: • general criteria: SI (size of the data‐source), CO (cost of one hour online searching), UP (update of online database), and AV (availability on other media) • chemical‐relevant criteria: NU (number of chemicals), ID (identification parameter for chemicals), CT (testset chemicals), CD (development of chemicals) • environmental‐relevant criteria: IP (information parameters for chemical substances), PD (parameter development) and • criteria describing environmental chemicals: US (use of chemical substances), QU (quality of database). A six number scoring system is applied on these criteria. Furthermore a comparative evaluation approach, the so‐called Hasse‐diagram‐technique is presented for 19 bibliographic online databases using the criteria mentioned above. In this approach maximals (‘good’ databases) and minimals (‘bad’ databases) can be identified, for example. Using the Hasse‐diagram‐technique changes in the database content from 1995 to 1998 applied on the 19 databases can be visualised.
Taking into account the steady growth in terms of number of hosts and databases, size of databases and types of databases, the need to establish user aids increases. For a…
Taking into account the steady growth in terms of number of hosts and databases, size of databases and types of databases, the need to establish user aids increases. For a couple of years at the GSF Research Centre for Environment and Health we have been developing an information system for environmental chemicals. Within this research project the construction of automated searches is an important task. For the efficient set‐up of those automated searches the following items are essential: knowledge of chemistry or a related subject; knowledge about the content of databases; knowledge of the different retrieval languages. We have access to ten international hosts. For these hosts we elaborated automated searches using communications software written in‐house which includes a script language for preformulated searches. In our paper we give examples of automated searches by Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Number and the physical‐chemical parameter boiling point. Preformulated search scripts will be given for DIALOG databases. This approach is a time‐ and cost‐saving alternative to the classical search.
In response to the need for finding chemical information we have set up a system to identify and access appropriate data sources. As this system is built to assist…
In response to the need for finding chemical information we have set up a system to identify and access appropriate data sources. As this system is built to assist scientists in agencies, research institutes and other institutions in their daily work we developed three different training programmes: (1) a training course on retrieval of information on dangerous substances; (2) a seminar on German offline databases in the field of chemicals; and (3) a workshop entitled ‘Introduction to the Information System for Environmental Chemicals’. These courses are briefly described in this paper. In addition, we discuss both general and chemical substance‐related factors to be considered in developing strategies for information access.
Scientific information is more and more buried in the proliferation of commercial sites on the Internet. This means that valuable chemistry sites and chemical databases…
Scientific information is more and more buried in the proliferation of commercial sites on the Internet. This means that valuable chemistry sites and chemical databases are difficult to find. In this paper some databases selected by the authors are introduced. These sites can be divided into three groups: databases which used to be only available through commercial hosts; databases which are available commercially but parts of them on the free Internet; and databases of topical concern, e.g. chemical weapons. All the mentioned databases can be found in a structured format in the DAIN Metadatabase of Internet Resources for Environmental Chemicals, which is explained in this paper. An important further step to get out of the information labyrinth is the evaluation of the content of data‐sources for chemicals. Approaches have been made to analyze chemical databases applying discrete mathematical methods and multivariate statistics.
The topic of environmental protection has always been of great concern in Germany, the establishment of environmental data sources started in the 1970s. The development of…
The topic of environmental protection has always been of great concern in Germany, the establishment of environmental data sources started in the 1970s. The development of environmental information system technology in Germany is outlined and two examples are given: the Environmental Planning and Information System (UMPLIS) and the Integrated Public Environmental Information System (UIS) Baden‐Wuerttemberg. Relevant German environmental data sources are discussed, such as Environmental Literature Database (ULIDAT), Environmental Research Projects Database (UFORDAT), and Environmental Law Databases (URDB), as well as the chemical databases which comprise environmental information – the BEILSTEIN database and the Landolt‐Boernstein database. The Information System for Environmental Chemicals with its four metadatabases – Metadatabase of Literature on Environmental Chemicals (DALI), Metadatabase of Online Databases for Environmental Chemicals (DADB), Metadatabase of CD‐ROMs for Environmental Chemicals (DACD), and the Metadatabase of Internet Resources (DAIN).
To aid data retrieval when searching chemical databanks and databases, a strategy lor pre‐defined searches and optimal search paths has been developed, using graph theory…
To aid data retrieval when searching chemical databanks and databases, a strategy lor pre‐defined searches and optimal search paths has been developed, using graph theory. The area of research chosen is daphnia toxicity, with searches carried out in seven databases.
This paper reflects the ideas on the subject of the Internet presented by four German experts at the German Language Session which took place during the 19th International…
This paper reflects the ideas on the subject of the Internet presented by four German experts at the German Language Session which took place during the 19th International Information Online Meeting in London, 5‐7 December 1995. The German Language Session was chaired again by Kristina Voigt of the GSF‐Research Centre for Environment and Health in Neuherberg, near Munich, Germany. As both the panel members and the Chairperson felt that the ideas given in their short presentations should be made available to a wider audience, they all agreed to give extended abstracts of their contributions for publication in this international journal. This procedure should give not only the German‐speaking community, but also other international interested parties the oppor‐tunity to be informed on the topics discussed.
The purpose of this research is to establish that data on chemicals detected in the environment are urgently needed to comply with the future environment and chemicals…
The purpose of this research is to establish that data on chemicals detected in the environment are urgently needed to comply with the future environment and chemicals policy in the European Union. The availability of data on chemicals can be evaluated by environmetrical and chemometrical methods.
The Hasse Diagram Technique (HDT) which originated in discrete mathematics is applied in this paper. It is a multi‐criteria evaluation method which can be used to measure information quality and is therefore also applicable for decision making. The study evaluated 15 environmental and chemical free internet databases with respect to the existence of data on chemicals in these resources. Two test‐sets were used first, 12 high production volume chemicals and, second 12 pharmaceuticals which are proven to enter the environment in considerable concentrations.
The evaluation indicates a rather disturbing situation in the data availability on existing chemicals, an especially bad result concerning the data availability on pharmaceuticals and hence an alarming signal concerning the chemicals policy of the EEC.
The information gap, especially for pharmaceuticals entering the environment, is demonstrated with a mathematically recognised method. The Hasse Diagram Technique can be applied to different questions in science when several objects are to be ranked by several criteria at the same time. Concerning the topic of the data availability on chemicals, the gaps are identified and should inspire future research to generate new and valuable data.
1. Introduction to the German Language Session. The German session (rather, the German language session) at the 18th International Online Conference in London, 6–8…
1. Introduction to the German Language Session. The German session (rather, the German language session) at the 18th International Online Conference in London, 6–8 December 1994, was on the subject of German or German language databases for national and international users. This subject is best shown using environmental sciences as an example.
Constantly expanding chemical and environmental information sources increase the need for descriptive statistical analysis. This paper gives a comparative evaluation of…
Constantly expanding chemical and environmental information sources increase the need for descriptive statistical analysis. This paper gives a comparative evaluation of data sources, i.e. online databases, databases on CD‐ROM and Internet resources in the field of environmental chemicals. The evaluation is based on information in three metadatabases for environmental chemicals: DADB‐Metadatabase of Online Databases, DACD‐Metadatabase of CD‐ROMs, DAIN‐Metadatabase of Internet Resources. A data matrix of 50 environmental and chemical descriptors found in DADB, DACD and DAIN is analysed and a technique is applied to transform the data set into a data matrix of a more homogeneous structure. This method is based on algorithms for solving the so‐called travelling salesman problem. Two different ways of analysing the data set are applied and the results are compared. Also, media combination patterns are identified and discussed. For most descriptors the information depth is higher in commercial online databases and databases on CD‐ROM than in free Internet resources. Exceptions, e.g. some health‐related parameters which have a higher percentage in Internet resources, are identified and explained.