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Chemistry: Subject Guide: General Resources

What kinds of resources do you need?

Information on a chemical substance

PubChem is a great place to start. It's kind of like a chemical wikipedia for substances, where you can easily see a summary of common names, molecular structure, physical information, drug actions, chemical safety data, and links to literature. PubChem is run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, which also runs PubMed.

You might also try SciFinder-n or Reaxys for chemical summaries and further literature searches.

An overview of a topic

Look for books or reference materials using our catalog.

  • Looking for a brief overview of a topic you don’t already know? Search our catalog for the word “encyclopedia” plus a broad topic (ex. encyclopedia chemistry). Or browse our reference collection in the library (look under Q for science, R for medicine, and T for technology).
  • Looking for in-depth explorations of a topic or field? Search our catalog for the topic. If you don’t find anything, search for a broader topic (e.g. chemotherapy instead of daunorubicin).
  • Looking for the most up-to-date overviews of recent research? Look for review articles in one of the chemistry databases.

Current research and experiments

Look for scholarly articles in one of our databases.

  • Looking for a topic in chemistry? Start with SciFinder or Web of Science.
  • Looking for research including a certain substance or reaction? Do a substance search in SciFinder or Reaxys.
  • Looking for a topic that includes other disciplines? Use Web of Science for chemistry and all other sciences, PubMed for medicine and biomedical research, and ERIC for chemistry education. 

Physical reference data

Use Reaxys substance search, the library’s reference books, or physical reference data websites.

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Laura Carscaddon
Library South 542 (Subject Librarian suite)