By P99am, Wikimedia Commons

Guide to Finding
the Best Resources

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective information research in chemistry.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

Personal Librarian:
Lois Coleman
104 LeFrak Center

Reference Sources

  • Catalysts & Catalysed Reactions
    A Royal Society of Chemistry database that provides images and abstracts from key chemical journals, in all areas of catalysis research, including homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalysis with emphasis on current growth areas.  To find reactions, click on "Search the Database" on the left. 
  • ChemDraw/ChemBioDraw
    A chemical and biological drawing suite containing advanced prediction tools and full Web integration.
    A collection of reference works in chemistry.
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics online
    A popular ready reference source for chemical and physical data.
  • The Dictionary of Commonly Cited Compounds
    Contains data on 25,000 compounds most commonly used by chemists, including organic compounds, inorganic compounds, drugs, natural products, materials, alloys, and the elements and their isotopes.
  • Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry
    Covers all fields of chemical research - analytical, organic, physical, polymer, inorganic biomedical, environmental, pharmaceutical, industrial, petroleum, forensics, and food science.
  • Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry
    Reviews the latest thinking and developments in inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry and provides in-depth coverage of core concepts in the field.
  • Organic Reactions
    Information about the most important and useful synthetic reactions, organized primarily by reaction type. Each major component contains a critical discussion of the featured type of reaction as well as a step-by-step guide to performing it.
  • Reaxys
    Find substances, reactions, citations, patents, and more from the Beilstein Database, the Gmelin Database, and the Patent Chemistry Database.
  • Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials
    The primary source for those who need to evaluate the hazardous potential of substances used in commerce. To find substances, click on "Search in this Book" on the right.
  • TOXNET: Toxicology Data Network
    The National Library of Medicine portal to databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.
  • WebCSD
    The online portal to the Cambridge Structural Database, the world's repository for small-molecule organic and metal-organic crystal structures.

Finding Scientific Literature, including Articles, Conference Papers, and Preprints

  • Google Scholar
    Only finds scholarly materials - articles, books and citations - but searches full text, and will often find too many irrelevant articles.  Go to Settings and enable "Library Links" for Columbia University - this will make the Columbia e-Link show up in the results list so that you can easily go to the full text.
  • JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments
    The world's first peer reviewed scientific video journal.
  • PubMed
    Provides access to over 16 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s.
  • SciFinder (to register, use this link:
    Provides access to the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) databases of chemical literature and U.S. and foreign chemical-related patents, to CASREACT, to the Registry database from CAS, and to Medline.
  • Scopus
    Excellent source for citation searching or finding original articles in chemistry.
  • Web of Science
    Scholarly articles in all disciplines, including chemistry. This database can also be used to identify articles that cite an author or article that you specify, and for various kinds of citation analysis.

Finding Books

Citing Your Sources