TechValidate Research on Elsevier Reaxys

Case Study: Brown University


This case study of Brown University is based on a June 2015 survey of Elsevier Reaxys customers by TechValidate, a 3rd-party research service.

“Reaxys is a starting point for when I’m trying to figure out what an unfamiliar reagent does, or am planning a synthesis. I also use it to look up relevant physical properties of compounds prior to starting lab.”


  • Faces the following chemistry information challenges:
    • Dealing with an ever-inceasing amount of chemistry information
    • Not having the time to read everything
    • Feeling that it is difficult to find relevant (and trustworthy) information
    • Dealing with too many sources of information

Use Case

  • Uses information solutions to search for the following:
    • Primary literature
    • Experimental information
    • Physiochemical properties
    • Substances or structures
    • Chemical reactions
  • Agrees the most important responsibilities of educators or students are:
    • Understanding the information competencies for chemistry undergraduates, and ensuring that the library provides the required resources
    • Ensuring that courses include training in information retrieval to meet professional standards or mandates
    • Teaching courses or classes dedicated to developing information searching skills and information tool literacy
    • Providing students with the level of information literacy and information tool literacy that they will need in their professional careers as researchers
    • Teaching skills that relate to the retrieval of literature, relevant substance, reaction, and property data


  • Agrees that finding the right chemistry information is an essential part of being a good chemist.
  • Agrees that when teaching students of a particular discipline (or learning), it is best to use an information solution that is dedicated to that discipline (e.g., a chemistry database or chemistry information solution) and not a general science or information tool (e.g., Google, Google Scholar, or Wikipedia).
  • Agrees it is more important to teach (or learn) how to find the right piece of information (e.g. finding property, substance, reaction, protocol, synthesis route, SAR table) rather than teaching (or learning) how to find a publication.
  • Agrees Reaxys is the easiest way for students to reach the right answers and navigate the world of chemistry information. It is vastly superior to Google or Wikipedia because it is a dedicated chemistry solution, and it is easier to use and provides more relevant answers than SciFinder.
  • Agrees with following statements about Reaxys:
    • Reaxys enables them to teach (or learn) chemistry in a more effective way
    • Reaxys makes it easier for them to prepare (receptively “learn”) their classes
    • Reaxys is the best solution for direct access to relevant facts. Other solutions only provide access to references that they have to download and read to find the relevant facts
    • It is essential that chemistry students have access to modern chemistry information retrieval tools, such as Reaxys, so that they are prepared for their future professional life

About This Data

This data was sourced directly from verified users of Elsevier Reaxys by TechValidate.

TechValidate verifies the identity and organizational affiliation of all participants that contribute to published research data. When research participants so desire, we also guarantee their anonymity so that they may share information honestly and freely.

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