National Research Council of Canada. NRC Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information
data bases; technical information centers; physical properties; chemical properties; engineers; scientists; information retrieval, chemical information systems; Canada
Scientific numeric databases (SND) are powerful, relatively new research tools for the scientific and technical community. This paper illustrates their use by some practical examples, describes the attributes and capabilities of such databases and gives a survey of the activity in this field. SND permit the direct location, retrieval and the subsequent analysis/manipulation of evaluated numeric data. Advances in telecommunications and increases in the number and types of SND produced greatly enhance the likelihood of relevant data being readily available. Although only 5% of all databases accessible online in North America and Europe are SND, they are growing in importance and acceptance as more databases are developed and scientists and engineers become aware of their potential. The National Research Council of Canada is active not only in the production of SND, involving some international collaboration, but also in their dissemination by means of a nation-wide online packet-switched network.