CAS History

CAS is rooted in the publication Chemical AbstractsTM (CA), a journal of the American Chemical Society first published in 1907. The purpose of CA was to help scientists benefit from the published work of their colleagues around the world by monitoring, abstracting, and indexing the world's chemistry-related literature.

Over the years, CAS has evolved into the world's authority for chemical information, providing the global scientific community with access to the most current chemical and related scientific information available immediately through databases such as CAS REGISTRYSM and CAS References.

CAS Timeline


William A. Noyes became the first editor of Chemical Abstracts (CA), which debuted in January 1907. In its first year of publication, CA contained fewer than 12,000 abstracts. CA was first published at the U.S. Bureau of Standards. Later, the offices moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana.

08 Feb, 2022

CA’s editorial operation was moved to the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

05 Feb, 2022

CA became Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and an operating division of the American Chemical Society.

12 Jan, 2021

A new era in scientific research dawned with the introduction of the CAS Chemical Registry System. Using a unique CAS Registry Number® to identify each chemical substance without the ambiguity of chemical nomenclature, the system proved to be a boon to chemical research, health and safety information, and the communication of chemical information in many media.

02 Jan, 2021

CAS management and technical teams devised an automated processing system that not only produced printed CA issues and indexes more efficiently, but also fed a computer-readable database that could generate new kinds of services. CAS was an early adopter of the new photocomposition technology, and went on to produce services in print, microform and magnetic tape.

12 Jan, 2020

CAS ONLINE was launched, making it possible for users (primarily information specialists) to search the CAS REGISTRY database. Users with a specific model of an intelligent graphics terminal could select structure features from a menu and then assemble them on the terminal monitor using a graphics tablet and stylus. These terminals could display answers with well-drawn structure diagrams.

02 Jan, 2021

ACS and FIZ Karlsruhe cooperated in forming an international online network. STN®, the scientific and technical information network, was launched the next year. The network made databases accessible through distributed processing on a global scale. At first, only CAS databases and physics briefs were accessible. Over time, STN grew to include many databases from a range of information providers.

12 Jan, 2020

STN Express® software provided assisted searching at the desktop and soon became the preferred interface for STN users.

02 Jan, 2021

CAS introduced the SciFinder® research tool to give scientists direct access to CAS databases with no need to learn a command language. With its intuitive, graphical interface, SciFinder simplified the exploration of the world's scientific literature, patents and substance information, making this activity "part of the process" for scientific research.

12 Jan, 2020

CAS recognized the possibilities of the Internet to speed and simplify access to source documents. ChemPort® was introduced to CAS and STN electronic services in 1997 to provide links to full-text journal articles and patents identified via online searching.

02 Jan, 2021

CAS continued to develop electronic services to make scientific information more accessible and useful. STN® AnaVist™ was introduced by CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe to enable the analysis and visualization of search results from a variety of perspectives.

12 Jan, 2020

CAS celebrated its 100-year anniversary and was recognized by the American Chemical Society as an ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark.

02 Jan, 2021

The web version of SciFinder was released, providing users with enhanced search capabilities and instant access to CAS database content from anywhere in the world.

12 Jan, 2020

The CAS REGISTRY database registered its 50 millionth substance, marking a significant milestone not only for CAS but for the scientific community as a whole. The scientific knowledge amassed and chronicled in REGISTRY by CAS scientists enables continued discovery by chemists and researchers around the globe.

02 Jan, 2021

The United States Patent Office awards CAS a five-year sole source contract for STN, stating in its solicitation letter that "CAS' STN databases offer the largest collection and depth of chemical and related information compared to other commercial web based databases. In addition, CAS is the only company that has a unique, proprietary, chemical structure searching capability using its STN Express software. No other source can successfully meet the USPTO's requirements."

12 Jan, 2020

The 60 millionth substance was recorded in CAS REGISTRY for a patent application submitted to the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China. CAS observed in 2009 that China surpassed all other nations as the top producer of chemical patent applications. Coming less than two years after CAS REGISTRY crossed the 50 million mark, this major milestone shows the continued acceleration of chemical and scientific output across the globe.

02 Jan, 2021

CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe announced Version One of the new STN platform in beta for fixed fee customers. This was the first major milestone in a multi-year initiative to create the next generation of STN, the choice of patent experts™. CAS also registered the 70 millionth substance, a therapeutic patent from Korea. Patents continue to be an important source of chemical information.  

12 Jan, 2020

CAS registered the 75 millionth substance from a chemical catalog in the CAS REGISTRY. SciFinder content and functionality were enhanced with a streamlined design, a new non-Java CAS Structure Editor, API integration, and collaborations with Springer, Thieme Publishing Group and PerkinElmer, among others. The new STN platform had two version releases that included core STN content, global patent content and new functionality. The 2013 Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances in China was added to CHEMLIST®, the CAS database containing international regulatory information for chemical substances.

02 Jan, 2021

CAS and PerkinElmer released their shared research solution, pairing SciFinder with ChemDraw® software, the drawing tool of choice for chemists.  Global value pricing options were introduced for STN. CAS expanded coverage of reactions from dissertations in CASREACT®.

12 Jan, 2020

CAS registered the 100 millionth chemical substance in CAS REGISTRY, in its 50th anniversary year of the world’s largest database of unique chemical substances. CAS released three new solutions during the year: PatentPak®, a patent workflow solution that is available in SciFinder and classic STN; NCI™ Global a regulatory solution; and the CHEMCATS® Chemical Supplier Program. CAS continued its commitment to global research and business development, adding dedicated sales and support representatives around the world.  

02 Jan, 2021

CAS released three new solutions during the year: MethodsNow®, ChemZent™ and, CAS SciFindern. CAS offered a complimentary beta version to Chemistry Class Advantage™, a new learning solution for undergraduate organic chemistry students that is planned to launch in Fall 2017. Organized by topics taught in the classroom, Chemistry Class Advantage harnesses the power of SciFinder and research published in journal articles to help teach organic chemistry students to learn chemistry by critically evaluating the research literature.

12 Jan, 2020