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Platinum Metals Rev., 2002, 46, (2), 65

Catalysts & Catalysed Reactions

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge,Number 1, January 2002, Items 1-233, ISSN (printed version) 1474-9173, (online version) 1474-91 81, Subscription for 2002 (12 issues):f 395, U.S.£596

  • Andrew P. E. York
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Initially I was skeptical when I heard of the publication of another new catalysis journal into this already saturated field. But when I found out it was to be an abstracts journal I was optimistic. There is now a wide range of sources containing literature of interest to the catalysis community, and often important catalysis-related research appears in obscure or non-specialised journals, outside the scope of usual searches, so any help in bringing these sources to light is greatly appreciated.

The stated aim of the new journal, Catalysts & Catalysed Reactions, is to alert catalysis researchers to new and interesting developments in the field. This is done using graphical synopses of papers published in a wide range of relevant journals over the past 2 to 3 months.

The editors and Publishers of the new journal have been partially successful in their aim. The journal is well kid out, with section headings allowing simple searches for areas of interest, and covers a wide range of subjects: it does not appear to have a bias towards one area. Most of the abstracts are very informative. In particular, those concerning organic transformations are well displayed with plenty of useful and relevant information (such as solvent, yield) to supplement the title. In these types of reactions the use of a pictorial representation greatly aids in understanding the subject matter of the paper. Nevertheless, a few of the abstracts are nothing more than a direct pictorial interpretation of the title, and give no additional information on the content: perhaps a pictorial abstract is not always required, and more would be gained by the inclusion of a couple of lines of relevant text.

The inclusion of a Chemical Abstracts-style index is a good feature, allowing quick and easy scanning for subjects of interest. In particular, breaking the index into separate sections for author, catalyst, reactant, product and journal is useful. However this also reveals the major favouritism of the journal to two or three sources, all of which are major titles. Indeed, over one third of the abstracts in this edition are drawn from 3 journals (Chemical Communications, Journal of Catalysis and journal of Molecular Catalysis) including all 25 from one issue of Journal of Catalysis. All of these journals would rank highly in any list of important journals for catalysis research, and therefore it is more than likely that most researchers would already be aware of important papers in these journals long before the three months it takes for the editors to include and publish them in Catalysts & Catalysed Reactions.

Also, although the source list is certainly extensive, it was easy to think of a number of journals that are not included. For example, Journal of Solid State Chemistry, Chemistry of Materials and Carbon, to name but three, all of which frequently contain papers of relevance to catalysis. Perhaps it is intended to expand the source list in the future?

Of far more interest would be coverage of the less well known journals, including more foreign journals sometimes containing published work in English (for example Shokubai (Japan)), and obscure sources, such as Solid state chemistry titles. Abstracts from these could be included and, I would argue, should take precedence.

Certainly this journal does not replace the need for regular perusal of the literature and literature searches, but it may, with the inclusion of more obscure journals, become a useful additional tool for keeping aware of current developments in catalysis research, alongside Chem Web's forum on catalysis (http://catalysis.chemweb.com).

Professor Eric Derouane, the Editor in Chief, states in his first editorial that comments are welcome. I hope that comments are forthcoming from the catalysis community, so that in the future this journal becomes a good source of information for its readers, (http://www.rsc.org/catalysts)

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The Author

Andy York is a Research Scientist at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre. His interests are in the development of computer models for diesel aftertreatment systems.

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