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Real-Time Document Request™ (RDR™) Ranking Establishes New Method of Evaluating Scientific Journals

:: Press Release: CAS Science Spotlight Ratings Show Journals' Significance for Scientists

Philadelphia, August 23, 2004 - Recording how often a journal's contents are cited in scientific literature has long been the conventional way of measuring the importance of specific publications and even of the authors themselves. However, the widespread availability of electronic journals on the Web has enabled CAS to provide a new measurement - a tally of researchers' actual requests (Real-Time Document Requests) for full-text articles transmitted via CAS search services. The latest rankings are now available on the Web, free of charge, through CAS Science Spotlight and were announced at the American Chemical Society national meeting held this week in Philadelphia.

CAS Science Spotlight taps into the aggregated research activity of hundreds of thousands of the world's scientists who use CAS information products, then highlights the most requested articles in chemistry and related sciences. CAS is projecting 11 million RDRs in 2004. Visitors to the free Science Spotlight web site (http://www.cas.org/spotlight/index.html) can compare the "Most Cited" articles of 2003 versus the "Most Requested" articles of 2003. Typically, there is little if any correlation between the two lists - possibly indicating authors sometimes cite articles mainly because they have been cited by other researchers.

"The Spotlight rating of Most Requested shows the journal articles scientists are requesting daily in their scientific research," explains Eileen Shanbrom, Manager, CAS and Web Content. "A comparison of the 2003 Most Requested versus 2003 Most Cited lists shows no articles in common. We think the Spotlight rating provides intriguing possibilities for assessing the true significance of scientific articles. Perhaps citations and journal impact factors shouldn't be the only measures of a journal's value for scientists' research."

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, is an organization of scientists creating and delivering the most complete and effective digital information environment for scientific research and discovery. CAS provides pathways to published research in the world's journal and patent literature - virtually everything relevant to chemistry plus a wealth of information in the life sciences and a wide range of other scientific disciplines - back to the beginning of the twentieth century. In addition to o ffering STN in North America, CAS publishes the print version of Chemical Abstracts (CA), related publications and CD-ROM services; operates the CAS Chemical Registry; produces a family of online databases; and offers the SciFinder desktop research tool. The CAS Web site is at http://www.cas.org.


Eric Shively
Public Relations Group Leader
eshively AT cas DOT org

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