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Chemistry: Getting started

Departmental links

3 Tiers of Chemical Information

Original literature:

  • Journal articles (including preprints)
  • Patents
  • Conference proceedings
  • Dissertations & theses
  • Technical reports

Repackaged/organized information:

  • Bibliographies
  • Citation indices with abstracts
  • Catalogs

Guides to primary & secondary literature:

  • Fact books (handbooks)
  • Citation-only indices
  • Almanacs
  • Reference books


Welcome to the Chemistry and Biochemistry research guide
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Chemical Information Sources

Chemical Information Sources

An open-Web guide to finding professional data in chemistry-related fields. An excellent one-stop starting point

Information literacy in chemistry

Identifying a chemical

If you are going to find information on a chemical, you have to know what to call it.  Depending on where you look, you can look by--

name, but there may be multiple names for a chemical.

formula, but there may be one formula for several chemicals.

structure, but sometimes search tools will not allow you to specify stereochemistry.

mass, but more than one chemical can have the same mass.

physical properties, but there are similar physical properties for multiple chemicals.

spectra, but like a photo ID, it is difficult to search a picture.

unique identifier (i.e., the equivalent of a Social Security Number for a chemical), but you'll have to look up:

[1] IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) Identifier; or

[2] CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) Registry Number