Josh Wilson, the Reference Librarian at the Physical and Mathematical Sciences North Carolina State University Libraries posted a comment on CHMINF this week. He commented:

“Recently I conducted an orientation session for new graduate students in chemistry, and I gave them a survey to determine their familiarity with some common databases and research tasks.  I thought you might be interested in seeing the results.  (I do not present them as scientific, it was a small sample and I didn’t have time to painstakingly construct the questions.)  To spare you a page-long e-mail, check the results and some observations here:”

The document gives the following information:

Question 1 was “Are you familiar with the following databases for finding chemistry information?”. Students answered on a scale from 1-4 (from not familiar to very familiar, so the closer the average to 4, the more it was universally known, the closer to 1, the least known).  Average scores for 25 respondents:

Wikipedia – 3.24
SciFinder Scholar – 2.76
ChemFinder – 2.44
Google Scholar – 2.36
Sigma-Aldrich – 2.36
Chemical Abstracts (printed) – 2.20
Web of Science – 1.84
PubChem – 1.52
Beilstein/Gmelin – 1.28
ChemSpider – 1.08
CrossFire Commander – 1.04

Clearly we have work to do to improve awareness of ChemSpider for students (and I have already sent a note to Josh to see if I can provide an overview to students at NCSU some time in the future) but what is clear is how important Wikipedia is to students. This makes the curation work on Wikipedia all the more important!

Stumble it!

One Response to “ChemSpider’s Reputation Among Students and the Growing Importance of Wikipedia”

  1. Rich Apodaca says:

    Strange that “subscribing to an RSS feed” (1.42 – only 2/25 used them regularly) was only slightly better known than ChemSpider and about as well-known as PubChem.

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