Weaving the chemical web

A Google for chemistry has been sadly lacking from the roster of Favorites and Bookmarks on every laboratory computer. ChemSpider, launched at the recent ACS meeting, however, could remedy that situation. The site makes accessible and available a database of more than 10 million chemical structures and pertinent information, comprising academic, open access, and commercial databases, including PubChem and ChEBI. Search is possible using molecular structure, chemical synonym, Smiles strings and InChI. The system's designers claim that the site aggregates and indexes chemical structures and associated information into a single searchable repository for free. Chemspider thus overcomes one of the major problems facing chemists investigating the existence of particular structures, by providing access to even commercial databases that would otherwise fall below the structure search radar.