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Title: The evolution of an on-line chemical search system for an industrial research unit
Author: Eakin, Diane Rosemary
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1977
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The objectives of this study were to design an information system, using modern computer technology, to meet a research chemist's need for chemical structural information, to quantify the effects of increasing degrees of computer technology on the use made of the facilities, and to relate the use of the service back to the individual chemist, his performance and background. A computer system was developed based on Wiswesser Line Notation and molecular formula as the chemical structure descriptors. Systems design and analysis were performed so that access to the information could be obtained directly for individual compounds and more generally for classes of compounds. As the system was being developed, its use by information staff was monitored by constant interaction with the people concerned. Where appropriate, the system was modifiea to meet information staff's requirements, but a number of precautions had to be introduced to prevent mis-use. The research chemists' use of the information services was studied retrospectively over a two-year period. In addition to the use made, several other factors were observed for each chemist. These included performance measures and background information on the chemists' research role. The data showed a steady increase in the demand for the services by the research chemist as the degree of computerisation increased. The use made of the services related closely to the number of compounds prepared by each chemist, but there was no significant correlation between a chemist's success in preparing biologically active compounds and his information use. The very individual way in which chemists conduct their research was highlighted by the wide range of use of the information facilities and the low correlation with background factors. This makes the design of on-line systems for use by chemists themselves complex and justifies the existence of the information scientist as an interface.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available