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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject




Subjects covered : The Department of Chemistry offers study leading to the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D degrees. The mission of the program is to train graduates in the skills required to be successful in industrial, academic and governmental careers. This includes not only academic skills in their immediate area, but also problem solving and organizational skills, as well as the ability to work both as members of an interdisciplinary team of scientists and to lead such a team. The Department carries out research in the general areas of analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic, physical, polymer and theoretical chemistry. There is particular emphasis on bioinorganic chemistry, laser photochemistry, catalysis, environmental chemistry, sensor development and remote monitoring. Many of these efforts are collaborative involving multiple faculty members and several departments and other universities.

The Chemistry Department consists of five divisions: Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. Growth of special research centers involving the Department of Chemistry has occurred in the past five years, as a natural extension of the need for multidisciplinary research in which chemistry plays a major role. These centers serve the important role of bringing together researchers from within and outside of the Department, who have common interests and a variety of strengths.

The Chemical Sensors Group consists of Chemistry Department faculty, postdoctorals and graduate students dedicated to research on and development of biosensors and chemical sensors.

The primary purpose of the interdisciplinary Polymer Research Center is to respond to the very broad-based need for an understanding of polymeric materials. The Center's faculty is drawn from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science.

The goal of the Hoke S. Greene Laboratory of Catalysis is to enhance the understanding of the fundamentals of catalytic phenomena, particularly in reactions involving catalysis by soluble transition metal carbonyls and their derivatives.

The role of the Biomedical Chemistry Research Center (BCRC) is the enhancement of interdisciplinary, collaborative research programs among faculty members from three different colleges at the University of Cincinnati (Arts and Sciences, Medicine, and Pharmacy), who share a common interest in biomedical chemistry.

Users:   The Department of Chemistry consists of 30 full-time faculty members engaged in scholarly and research activities. Approximately 140 full-time graduate students are working toward advanced degrees in chemistry. The Department of Chemistry graduate program consistently ranks in the top 20 among chemistry departments in the nation in total graduate degrees granted. The Chemistry Department also has over 150 chemistry undergraduate majors and over 100 other undergraduates who regularly take chemistry classes, primarily from the College of Engineering.

The Chemistry-Biology Library engages in vigorous interlibrary loan activity, and, in addition to its own departments, serves users from the College of Engineering, the Medical Center, the Departments of Physics and Geology, other academic institutions in and near the city, and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well those from for-profit organizations. The University of Cincinnati is part of a statewide initiative, OhioLINK, which provides access to the collections of 79 member institutions using a single interface central catalog that includes up-to-date status of availability.


Location of collection : The chemistry collections are integrated in the Chemistry-Biology Library, located at 503, Rieveschl Hall. Portions of the collection are also housed in the Southwest Regional Depository (SWORD).

Other collections supporting program :

Internal. Other UC collections are important for chemistry students and faculty. They are the Health Sciences Library, the Engineering Library and the Geology/Physics Library.

External. Chemistry patrons also use OhioLINK and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Collection size :  The Chemistry collection has, as of January 2000: 26,000 monograph volumes, including continuations, and 28,000 bound journal volumes. The Library subscribes to over 200 current serials and continuations in chemistry. A significant part of the collection, over 7,000 volumes (15%), primarily lesser used materials, has been moved to the Southwest Ohio Regional Depository (SWORD). The Library has a growing collection of materials in electronic format.


Call numbers :  The primary chemistry call numbers included in the Chemistry/Biology Library are:

Q  (Science) 3,979 volumes
QC (Physics) 3,153 volumes
QD (Chemistry) 34,658 volumes
QP (Biochemistry) 3,199 volumes
T  (Chemical Technology) 2,034 volumes

Time period collected :  Fifteenth century to date.

Level of material :  Materials on almost all aspects of chemistry are collected. This is a research collection, in support of an intensely research-oriented department. There is a minimum amount of undergraduate material. The collection has been assessed using the WLN Collection Assessment software at 3c, advanced study level. The strongest areas of the collection are in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and the history of chemistry.

The reference collection for chemistry is extensive, and includes many continuations.  The Chemistry-Biology Library holds the major indexes and abstracts for chemistry, including: Chemical Abstracts, and all the Collective Indexes; Beilstein: Organische Chemie; Gmelin: Handbuch der Anorganischen Chemie; and the Web of Science (Science Citation Index). In a comparison with the listings in the Chemistry section of Books for College Libraries, 3rd edition, 1988, the Library holds 202 of the 234 titles, or 86%. As is common with science libraries, the largest part of the materials expenditures goes to serials (approx. 90%). The University of Cincinnati holds 680 titles or 68% of the 1,000 Journals Most Frequently Cited in Chemical Abstracts (1999). According to the RLG Conspectus a research collection should contain between 60 and 70 percent of the titles described on this list.  The Library has an extensive collection of University of Cincinnati Chemistry Department theses and dissertations.

Languages :  Most of the books and journals are in English, but there is a small number in French and German.  Most of the purchases are from American or European publishers, with a lesser number from India, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Geographical areas :  N/A

Formats :  All formats are collected. The collection is primarily print based, consisting mostly of journal issues, bound journals, and monographs. Access to electronic information is increasing rapidly. The Library has access to over 400 chemistry journals in electronic format, including all the journals of the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Library has electronic access to Chemical Abstracts (SciFinder Scholar version), the Web of Science (Science Citation Index), and Beilstein CrossFire. There is a small collection of American Chemical Society publications on microfiche. The Journal of the American Chemical Society is held in microfilm cartridges from 1879-1988 as well as in print volumes.

Special aspects :  Oesper Collection of Rare Books and Portraits in the History of Chemistry. This collection, which consists of over 10,000 books and journals and nearly 2,000 prints and portraits, spanning the period from 1600-1959, has its origin in books and journals collected by Dr. Ralph Oesper, for whom the library is named. The collection is one of the largest in the Midwest. This is the only chemistry department in the United States to support a full-time faculty position in the history of chemistry. The Library receives special funding from the legacy of Dr. Ralph Oesper for the purchase of materials related to the history of chemistry.

The Oesper Collection also contains a collection of general chemistry textbooks and laboratory manuals arranged in chronological order.


Approval plans : Chemistry participates in a statewide approval plan with YBP. This plan supplies monographs from many of the major publishers in chemistry.

Firm orders : Many desired publications are announced by notification slips from approval vendors such as YBP and Blackwell and purchased from them. Other non-approval materials are direct-ordered by the Acquisitions Department. A large percentage of the firm orders are student and faculty requests. Others are ordered from publisher catalogs and reviews.

Standing orders : The library receives a number of publications on standing order. These include a number of important societal and museum publications.

Document suppliers : The Chemistry/Biology Library  uses a number of document suppliers to access books and journals not held in the collection. The library relies heavily on member libraries in the OhioLINK consortium. The OhioLINK delivery service provides delivery of materials in 3-5 working days. OCLC and UnCOVER are used when materials are not available through OhioLINK.

John Tebo

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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