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Licensed Resource Transition: Merck Index Online

By Teri Vogel (UCSD), Merck Index Researouce Liaison

Merck Index Online (Tier 1; on the RSC Platform)

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) recently acquired the rights to The Merck Index, one of the standard reference books for information on important chemicals, drugs, and biologicals. They published the 15th edition earlier this year, which CDL has recently licensed. Our current access to the 14th edition, from PerkinElmer (formerly CambridgeSoft), will cease in February 2014. CDL has redirected the PID  ( to an interim screen, where we will link to both editions (15th via RSC, 14th via PerkinElmer) until the end of the year.

The 15th edition of Merck contains more than 11,500 monographs for key chemicals, drugs and biologicals. Each monograph provides names and synonyms, chemical structures, physical properties, applications and usage, bioactivity data, and key literature references. From the monograph, you can also link out to the corresponding record in ChemSpider (, RSC’s free database to more than 29 million structures and properties. So you can start with the caffeine monograph in Merck, then go to ChemSpider and for more information: data, spectra, vendors, articles, and more.

This new edition also has the same search options as its predecessor. You can search by name, CAS Registry number, human therapeutic use, properties, and structure or substructure (now with the built-in JSDraw or JChemPaint editors). Also included is the Organic Named Reactions database, where you can browse or search more than 500 organic reactions. Each reaction includes a description of the transformation, a reaction scheme, and key references to the literature, including the original article(s) to described the reaction.

If you have questions about using Merck, or recommendations you would like to see passed along to RSC, please contact Teri Vogel (