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This is the history of ZINC we think we can remember.

About versions and Citing

The database itself - i.e. the collection of molecules - is continuously updated.
For citation, we recommend giving the name of the subset, the date it was generated, and the date it was downloaded.

For instance: ZINC lead-like subset containing 3.74M molecules, dated Dec 1, 2011 and downloaded on Dec 15, 2011. IF you downloaded an ad hoc subset, we recommend you cite the search criteria, the date, and the number of molecules. Please cite our paper: Irwin, Sterling, Mysinger, Bolstad and Coleman, J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2012, accepted for publication DOI: 10.1021/ci3001277. You might also want to cite the original ZINC paper, Irwin and Shoichet, J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2005;45(1):177-82.


  • ZINC 15. Oct 1, 2015. More major update, new interface and many new features.


  • ZINC 12. Jan 1, 2012. Major update and many new features.
  • ZINC 11. April 2010. New Search interface with ChemAxon JChemBase/MySQL as the search engine.
  • ZINC 10. Feb. 2010. Internal release. Moved to SVN. Minor restructuring.
  • ZINC 9. Internal use only. Not publicly released.
  • ZINC 8. June 18th, 2008. Last major release before we started using ChemAxon as the backend.
  • ZINC 7. Jan 1, 2007. Incremental release, and looks much like ZINC 6.
  • ZINC 6. Jan 1, 2006. Major release. All molecular geometries were re-created from scratch.
  • ZINC 5. March 1, 2005. Maintenance release. SMILES, subsets. Now 3.3 M
  • ZINC 4. January 1, 2005. 2.7M compounds. Coincided with the publication of the ZINC paper.
  • ZINC 3. August 8, 2004. 1.2M compounds
  • ZINC 2. January 1, 2004. Second prototype: 727,842 compounds
  • ZINC 1. November 1, 2003. First prototype


  • ZINC 21. We have many new and good things in the works which we are hopeful to release in 2021. Stay tuned.


ZINC content is updated daily, and each subset we create has a date it was finished. The software is undergoing massive change, and it taking longer than we had hoped to get to ZINC 21 ready.