Developing literature search and management skills with research solutions

The value of Reaxys in synthetic chemistry education

Dr. Maikel Wijtmans specializes in synthetic medicinal chemistry at the VU University Amsterdam. He uses Reaxys in his courses because he wants students to appreciate the breadth of synthetic literature, understand the importance of good literature search and management, and develop skills with the research solutions they will need in their careers. He explains how he introduces Reaxys to students in this interview.

Interview with Dr. Maikel Wijtmans, VU University Amsterdam


Chemistry students need to understand the breadth of synthetic literature and the importance of good information management. If they get the skills to use research solutions like Reaxys early in their careers, it helps them be successful later on. Dr. Maikel Wijtmans, Assistant Professor at the AIMMS Institute of the VU University Amsterdam, joined Elsevier to talk about how he uses Reaxys in his courses to ensure that they are ready for their later careers.


Dr. Wijtmans uses a straightforward structure-based search exercise to show chemistry undergraduates how to find articles and get a sense of the history of chemistry research. With Master's degree students, he has a more complex approach as students learn to design a compound and propose a synthesis route for it. Reaxys has proved particularly useful: it is comprehensive but does not overwhelm the students with information. Relevant results are extracted and presented clearly.

Interview with Dr. Maikel Wijtmans - Reaxys

Reaxys is used at many research institutions and in industry as well. Students that will specialize in synthetic medicinal chemistry need to know Reaxys so that they can show their familiarity with it.

Dr. Maikel Wijtmans, Assistant Professor at the VU University Amsterdam


Reaxys gives Dr. Wijtmans' students the knowledge and skills they will need in their careers. He believes that all students who use Reaxys in his classes benefit. They get a feeling for the research that has been done, understand the complexity of synthesizing new molecules, and get used to working with state-of-the-art search software. He says his students are satisfied because Reaxys is so user friendly and accessible, and appreciates the online training videos that provide extra support.

Reaxys gives the option to get straight to the procedure of a patent, which is great for teaching purposes.

Dr. Maikel Wijtmans, Assistant Professor at the VU University Amsterdam

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