Finding Chemical Information
This list was created for the Chemical Literature course offered by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Chemistry Department and updated July 2014.
The Web, Chemical Information and Search Engines
The searching the via a search engine is web is a fast and easy way to get valuable information fast, but beware, because what is easy is not always correct.
Traditionally, when scientific information is published, it is reviewed by other scientists knowledgeable in that field. This process helps to insure the accuracy of the information. However, when one searches the internet, the material that is good science done correctly and accepted by the scientific community via the peer review process gets mixed up with poorly done academic science, high school projects in science, fourth grade science fair projects, and occasionally intentionally misleading information.
It is a mixed bag so you have to pay attention to your source. It is best only to use material that is referenced back to the traditional literature.
Note that the internet/web is a constantly changing medium and that what we do here may be gone in six months. Information may still be out there, just in a different location.
UTC Lupton Library
Libraries, Organizations, and Scientific Societies
- American Chemical Society
- British Library (BLL)
- Chemical Heritage Foundation: “A library, museum, and center for scholars with world-class collections, including instruments and apparatus, rare books, fine art, and the personal papers of prominent scientists.”
- Directory of Graduate Research: If interested in graduate school in chemistry, this site lists all chemistry graduate school departments and faculty in the United States.
- International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
- National Library of Medicine
- Royal Society of Chemistry
- Voyager Library Network Catalogue: “Multi-Library catalogue search, including CSIRO, CISTI, Oxford, Library of Congress and Australian libraries.”
Finding Chemical Information
- Depth First Article (2007), How to Find Chemical Information on the Internet: Why Open Source, Open Access, and Open Data Matter: This is a useful article on performing scientific research using the Web.
- South Carolina Guide: This tutorial is useful for learning to find information on the Web.
- Tutor Pro: This is an online tutorial for finding chemical information.
Articles from Chemical and Medical Journals
- American Chemical Society Journals: Computers in the chemistry department have access to journal articles online. This is a very powerful tool.
- Chemistry Research Database: See UTC Lupton Library above for more information.
- Google Scholar: Select Advanced Scholar Search and then you can select subject area, year range, keywords, and keyword location. This is a free and powerful tool that sometimes allows access to full article.
- Journal Abbreviations: University of California, Berkeley Library website listing abbreviations for chemical and biological journals.
- Medscape: This requires a registration, but all info is free. This site has reprints of high-quality articles from prestigious medical journals and is especially good for looking up background information on medical issues.
- SciFinder is the most complete method of searching the primary chemical literature. Register first at http://guides.lib.utc.edu/chemistry and see SciFinder “Register Here First” option. Then return to http://guides.lib.utc.edu/chemistry to use SciFinder Scholar after ID and password registration is complete.
- Biographical Memoirs - National Academy of Sciences: Published since 1877, updates are available via e-mail.
- Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society: Obituary Notices (1932-1954) & Biographical Memoirs 1955-present.
- Biographies of Famous Chemists: A collection of biographies for many chemists with multiple links.
- Nobelprize.org: A list of all Nobel Prize winners and information about them.
Databases of Chemical Compounds and Spectra
- Aldrich Catalog: This site provides chemical information for Sigma-Aldrich products.
- American Elements: This site contains a convenient Periodic Table with information on elements and other materials from the website of an Advanced Materials Company.
- BRENDA: The Comprehensive Enzyme Information System: BRENDA is a freely available collection of enzyme functional data.
- Chemistry Abstracts on the Web: STN Easy is an easy online version of the Chemistry Abstracts service that can access any abstract in the database. (This requires a password and our UTC Chemistry academic license is limited to use after 5 pm).
- ChemSpider: ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database providing text and structure search access to over 26 million structures from hundreds of data sources.
- Common Chemistry: Site gives free CAS information for over 7,900 compounds.
- DIPPR: This site contains physical information and experimental data on over 1800 pure chemicals; it requires registration, but not payment.
- E-Molecules: This site helps search for commercial sources of chemicals.
- Grateful Med/Medline: This is a free medical database from the National Library of Medicine. Don't overlook this site for chemical information such as safety and analysis
- IDES: The Plastics Web: The free basic package allows search of over 84,000 datasheets on plastics with literature links.
- Ingenta: Ingentaconnect is a free method of searching for journal articles. Not as complete as CAS and only contains last decade of articles, but useful none the less. Also contains an excellent compilation of chemistry links.
- Landolt-Börnstein Substance/Property Index: "160 000 organic and inorganic compounds are described by names, molecular structures, chemical abstract numbers and other identifiers."
- NIST-National Institute of Standards WebBook: This is a huge compilation of information on chemical compounds including thermochemical data, IR spectra, mass spectra, UV/VIS spectra, chemical constants, and ionization energies.
- Organic Chemistry Portal: This contains links to organic reactions, papers, books and resources.
- Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases: This lists plants and chemicals with given biological activities. Even if you're not interested in the pharmacology, a list of major constituents of foods and botanicals can be quite handy for analytical chemists.
- Protein Database (PDB): Site contains a database of the atomic coordinates of structurally characterized proteins.
- PubChem: This provides substance information, compound structures, and bioactivity data for small molecules in three primary databases, PC substance, PC compound, and PC bioassay.
- Reaxys: This Web-based compilation of 200 years of chemical information, journal articles and research is inspired by famous chemists Beilstein and Gmelin; it requires an annual paid license.
- SDBS-Spectral Database System (need updated link): IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, mass, and ESR spectra of organics are given and searchable by name, formula, Registry Number, NMR shifts, and IR and MS peaks.
- Spectral Data for Organic Compounds: This database contains NMR, IR, Mass, and UV/VIS spectra.
Databases of Physical Properties
- Cambridge Structural Database: This is a useful table of covalent and van der Waals radii.
- Vanderbilt Science and Engineering Library List of Physical Constant Links (need updated link):This quick listing of links to common physical constants and properties is provided by Vanderbilt University.
- Nano, Quantum & Statistical Mechanics & Thermodynamics Data & Property Calculation Websites: This provides a large listing of valuable sites for information, programs, and downloads.
- Knovel Critical Tables: This gives interactive tables of physical, solvent, and thermodynamic properties.
- MatWeb: Material Property Data: Properties and manufactures for over 88,000 compounds.
- Chemical & Physical Properties: Provides links to databases for specifically desired physical properties.
- PoLyInfo-Polymer Database: “Systematically provides various data required for polymeric material design.” This requires a free registration.
- ThermoDex: This University of Texas site provides “an index of selected thermodynamic and physical property resources.”
- WolframAlpha: This is a useful tool for mathematical computations including solutions chemistry.
Legal and Regulatory Information
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA): This site is searchable and updated daily. Guidance documents, warning letters, recall notices, drug information, and lots more that you might pay for elsewhere are available for free if you take time to look.
- National Institutes of Health: This site allows for the high quality search of the CRISP database of federally funded research.
- National Toxicology Program: Searchable database details results of chemical testing for carcinogenic and other toxic effects.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): There are numerous links here for operating safely in the workplace or lab.
- U.S. Federal Agency Directory: This extensive list provided by Louisiana State University has links to all Federal departments and agencies.
Safety and Hazardous Chemicals/Reactions
- SIRI MSDS Index: This site provides Material Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals.
- TOXNET: “Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases” are provided by this site including the Hazardous Substances Databank (HSDB) for peer-reviewed data.
Safety and MSDS information at http://www.ilpi.com/msds/index.html#Government
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office: Canadian patent database allows searches in French or English. (It's best to do both, since patents can be submitted in either language and are not cross indexed.)
- European Patent Office: This European Patent Office site has links to the patent offices of many countries, not just European ones. It also has links to other useful sites.
- Japan Patent Office: There is a Lot of information in English, and a good search engine. Japanese abstracts are more detailed than those of English-speaking countries and include structural images. One drawback: the database lags about three months behind and is not updated with any regularity.
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): Search not just by terms, but also inventor name, company assigned, product class, patent number, and more.