Skip to Main Content

C&EN Special Issue – CAS Celebrates 100 Years

June 11, 2007
Volume 85, Number 24
Web Exclusive

Abstracting's Unique Payoff

Richard Hermens, Volunteer Abstractor

I don't remember how long I volunteered, but it must have been more than 10 years because I received a 10-year pen from CAS. When I started, I was in my late thirties and teaching at Eastern Oregon University.

This was before computers; I would type up all my abstracts using a typewriter. I had actually ordered the typewriter for my dissertation, and when I was abstracting, it came in very handy. On the keyboard, above the numbers were the numbers in subscript. So if I needed to type a formula, I could just use the shift key and I would get a subscript. I still have the typewriter, and I let the grandkids use it once in a while to see how a "computer" works without a computer.

In the later years, when computers came, I could type the abstracts on the computer, but we didn't have e-mail at that time. So I'd still type up the abstract, print it out, and mail it back to CAS.

I don't recall getting any payment for them, not even the postage to send them back. Still, I think it was worth my time to volunteer just to get the information from reading the articles. After I abstracted the articles, I could keep them.

I worked up until the time the process was more automated. They just had everyone quit. I would still be abstracting today if CAS needed it, because I enjoyed doing it.

When I taught a course in searching the chemical literature, I had first-hand knowledge of how that literature was abstracted. I would always have my students look up a certain abstract, and I made sure my name was on the bottom of it.

Hermens received a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho in 1963 and joined the faculty at Eastern Oregon University in 1966. He spent his career there and retired as Professor Emeritus of Chemistry in 2001.

View other profiles

BÉla S. Buslig,
Volunteer Abstractor

Translating Is Easier Said Than Done

Raymond A. D'Angelo,
Director, Online Services Development

Computers Made It Possible

Richard Hermens,
Volunteer Abstractor

Abstracting's Unique Payoff

Cathy Hanning,
Human Resources Manager

Meaningful, Long-Lasting Friendships

John Manley,
Senior Financial Adviser, Cost Accounting

At CAS, A Value-Added Career

W. Val Metanomski,
Senior Scientific Information Specialist, Database Operations Department

Happy Historian

Vicki Nichols,
Department Manager, Editorial Systems

Having Fun On The Job

Eli M. Pearce,
Volunteer Abstractor

Abstracting For Lunch Money

Chiori Shimizu,
Assistant Scientific Document Analyst, Editorial Operations

Loyal Employer, Loyal Employee

Divya J. Soares-Khilnani,
Scientific Information Analyst, Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics

Success Is In CAS's DNA

Kathy Springer,
Manager, General Accounting

A Career Built On Opportunity

E. Thomas Strom,
Volunteer Abstractor

Not As Easy As It Looks

Barbara Vieira,
Senior Product Development Manager, New Product Development

The Human Side Of Chemistry

Shan Wei,
International Customer Service Representative

Thinking Globally At CAS

David Weisgerber,
Retiree

People Who Come To CAS Rarely Leave

Pat Wilson,
Retiree

Challenges And Opportunities, Always

Kris Woods,
Manager, Data Center Operations

The Only Constant Is Change

Christian Zeidner,
Projects Manager, Online Services Development

Technological Legacy Of Success