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Resources for Chemistry

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Chemistry is a field that examines the properties of substances, their composition and structure, and the transformation of substances into new substances. The traditional branches of chemistry, organic, inorganic, analytical and physical, have been joined by many new subfields such as biochemistry and polymer chemistry. This guide lists some important reference tools for the field. It is far from complete; please don't hesitate to ask a librarian for further assistance.

Table of Contents:

Indexes and Databases
For more information and additional suggestions, visit the Databases Guide for Chemistry.
  • SciFinder Scholar

    SciFinder Scholar retrieves information contained in databases produced by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS): CAplus (contains over 19.6 million documents from more than 8,000 journals), CAS REGISTRY (provides access to 32 million specific chemical substances), and CASREACT (provides access to reaction information for more than 5 million single- and multiple-step reactions). For many substances, one may also obtain chemical source and regulatory information from the CHEMCATS and CHEMLIST databases. In addition, SciFinder Scholar also includes the over 19.6 million citations from MEDLINE, produced by the National Library of Medicine.
  • General Science Collection

    A collection of over 200 journals covering such topics as particle physics, advanced mathematics, and nanotechnology. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).

    The National Library of Medicine's index to scholarly literature in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and the health care system, from 1994-present. MEDLINE links to the ProQuest interface; this database can also be searched through the NLM's free PubMed web interface.
  • Science Reference Center,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=sch

    This database contains full text for nearly 640 science encyclopedias, reference books, and journals. Topics covered include: biology, chemistry, earth & space science, environmental science, health & medicine, history of science, life science, physics, science & society, science as inquiry, scientists, technology and wildlife. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
  • Web of Science (Web of Knowledge) SSCI AHCI ISTP ISSHP

    The Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
Reference Works
  • Chemistry: Foundations and Applications
    Provides over 500 articles on basic information on elements, topics in biochemistry, applications of chemistry, biographies of important chemists, and chemistry-related topics in other areas such as medicine, environmental chemistry, and energy.
    • Location(s): Ref QD 4 .C48 2004
  • Concise Encyclopedia Chemistry
    Provides brief definitions and short background articles on topics in the field, including general, inorganic, organic, physical and technical chemistry. There is another concise encyclopedia covering biochemistry and molecular biology available at Ref QD415.A25 B713 1997.
    • Location(s): Ref QD 4 .A2313 1994
  • Dictionary of Chemistry

    Offers brief definitions of terms in the field, including physical chemistry, chemical engineering, environmental issues, and biochemistry.
  • Dictionary of Scientists

    Over 1,300 entries. Spanning over 2,500 years, covers various are as of science, from physics and astronomy to medicine and ecology, including key figures in the fields of mathematics and technology. Includes coverage of all Nobel Laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology, and medicine.
  • World of Chemistry
    A treasury of articles on theories, discoveries, concepts, and key scientists in the field.
    • Location(s): Ref QD33 .W873 2000
Browsing for Books
Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations in the field of chemistry.
  • QD Chemistry
    • 71-142 Analytical Chemistry
    • 146-197 Inorganic Chemistry
    • 241-441 Organic Chemistry
    • 450-731 Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • QH Biology
  • QP Physiology
    • 351-495 Neurophysiology
    • 501-801 Animal Biochemistry
  • R Medicine
  • RM Pharmacology
  • TP Chemical Technology

Annual Reviews
Annual series are secondary sources that recap research in key areas of the field. They are an excellent place to gain a sense of the various approaches to a given topic and the literature that supports them.

ANNUAL REVIEW OF BIOCHEMISTRY v. 37, 1968- (QP501.A7); current volumes online.
ANNUAL REVIEW OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY v 7,1956- (QD1 .A61); current volumes online.
ORGANIC REACTIONS, v 1, 1942 - (QD 251 .O7)
ORGANIC SYNTHESES, v. 20, 1940 - (QD 262 .O7); also available online.


Print journals are housed in the periodicals collection on the first floor of the library. Additional journals may be available in full text through various subscription databases.

Many scientific and medical publishers make their journals contents available online for free within six months to two years of publication. These can be accessed through these Web sites:

Free Medical Journals links to over 1,200 journals with free content
Highwire Press includes free access to back issues of many of its journals
PubMedCentral an archive of life science journals maintained by the National Library of Medicine

  • ACS Publications (Chemistry Journals)

    The library has access to the full text of journals published by the American Chemical Society from 1999 to present.
  • Angewandte Chemie

    One of the top-rated chemistry journals in the world, published weekly. It contains review articles, which summarize recent research and developments in chemistry; highlights, which evaluate current trends in chemical research; and communications, which report on the latest research results.
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry

    Journal published weekly by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  • ChemDex

    A chemistry directory maintained at the University of Sheffield.
  • ChemSpider

    ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database providing text and structure search access to over 26 million structures from hundreds of data sources. From the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • ChemWeb

    Includes access to a wide variety of information, including the Beilstein Abstracts and the Chemistry Preprint Server. Free registration is required.
  • Chemical Information

    From the National Library of Medicine, an interface for retrieving information in a wide variety of databases about specific chemicals; can also search by registry number.
  • Links for Chemists

    A directory from the World Wide Web Virtual Library.
  • Molecule of the Month

    A British site that presents information about a different molecule every month. Previous month's molecules are included back to 1996.
  • NIST Atomic Spectra Database

    Spectral lines and energy levels; from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Scirus

    A search engine for science web sites and journal articles (which may not be available for free).
  • WebElements

    A periodic table online.
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