I was re-sorting books the other day, and thought about how many years it has been since I bought my Merck Index. I'm sure there are new entries in the more recent additions, but I do not have such a need to stay that up-to-date.

At first thought, it seemed to me that a book of this nature only adds entries, and does not remove any entries. But is this the case? Are compounds de-listed because they are bad science? Other reasons?

Iit would be great to know other details about the editorial process, as well, if relevant.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question, but I have no idea. You might want to ask the guys at the RSC. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ Btw, did they ever have an entry on polywater? ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ Well, at least you've done half of your research $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ What do do you mean? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


Without several print editions side-by-side, I restrain my answer to the electronic version. This public link or here regarding the online version based on the 14th edition may be read like it may be the case. To quote:

"The 14th Edition also contains "retired" records from earlier editions of The Merck Index which still contain valuable information but are no longer being updated with new information."

Of course, beside RSC you may contact them (Merck in Rahway, NJ), too.


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