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1. Chemistry Sources

Chemistry Sources

Chemical Information Sources

Welcome to the Research Guide for Chemistry

This guide will assist you in conducting library research and in using the Princeton University Library resources and services. Use the tabs to start exploring the variety of tools and resources to assist you with your research. If you have any questions about doing basic or in-depth library research relating to chemistry, please contact me. 

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Best databases and other places to look for chemical information

SciFinder-n – Chemical Abstracts – What is it? Subscription database with comprehensive coverage of chemical structures, reactions, and references, includes Chemical Abstracts, MEDLINE, CAplus, CHEMZENT

For self-registration for SciFinder Web, go to the Princeton SCIFINDER Web registration portal and use you email address:

Once you have created a login ID and password for SciFinder Web, you need to enter them each time you log on. Please keep a record of them. After you have created your account, you can log in directly on the SciFinder platform using this proxied access link:

  • Text or structure searching. Access to citations as well as compound information. Sometimes links to the full text. 1907 to the present, Updated constantly, New users – must create a user account and sign up using a Princeton University email address 
  • SciFinder excels with its wider coverage of literature and patents from ca. 1965 forward, its comprehensive registration of all types of chemical compounds, polymers, and mixtures, and its more thorough coverage of organic reactions after 1985. CAS also scans more source publications, indexes new material more rapidly, and is updated daily.
  • MethodsNow - What is it? A subset database within SciFinder available as a standalone database, including analytical methods, laboratory methods, sample collection methods, and others; the direct link is  or access it through the upper left side of the SciFinder web page.

REAXYS – Beilstein/Gmelin – What is it? Electronic access to the Beilstein and Gmelin databases. Excellent to use to find chemical and physical property. 

  • Text or structure searching. Access to data and citations on organic and inorganic/organometallic compounds. Sometimes link to the full text (use the online catalog to find the journal titles.) 1779-the present, updated 2-4 times a year, unlimited users
  • Reaxys is valuable for obtaining preparation/reaction methods and physico-chemical data for pure compounds, and especially for its thorough coverage of pre-1960 organic literature. Since its modern journal coverage is much more selective than SciFinder's, search results are usually more manageable.

PubChem – What is it? PubChem is the world's largest collection of freely accessible chemical information. Search chemicals by name, molecular formula, structure, and other identifiers. Find chemical and physical properties, biological activities, safety and toxicity information, patents, literature citations and more. 

Medline – What is it? A bibliographic database of life sciences and biomedical information.

  • Medline (PubMed) database access Service of the National Library of Medicine, includes citations for biomedical articles. Coverage is from 1879 to present
  • Medline (EBSCOhost) database access National Library of Medicine's database of biomedical journal literature. Coverage is worldwide with an emphasis on English-language peer reviewed journals. Coverage is from 1928 to present
  • Medline (ISI) database access A National Library of Medicine database, covers more than 4,000 journal titles and is international in scope. Coverage is from 1950 to present

Scopus – What is it? Citation database with abstracts and linked references.

  • International coverage of journal articles, selected web sites, and patents in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities; provides citation tracking for 1996+ (select coverage for earlier periods) and cited reference searches back to 1970.

Web of Science – What is it? Citation database with abstracts and linked references.

  • Multidisciplinary index to journal literature in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Offers the option to find cited references, which are the authors lists of articles used in their research. Journal coverage in the social sciences, arts, and humanities is not comprehensive. Includes conference proceedings in the sciences and social sciences.

Patents – What are they? 60% of chemistry research is published in Patents.
How to get them? Patents worldwide are free full text online, from Google (easiest) and World patents are free and mostly full text online, from espacenet

Minerals – Composition, location, atomic weights of elements, and more

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Minerals Program:

USGS Mineral Publications:

USGS Mineral Laboratories:

USGS Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data: 

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Atomic Weights: 

USGS Atomic Weights Research: 


ACS Author Lab Modules in Canvas


ACS Style Guide for Scholarly Communication


Library Catalog (the Books+ tab on the library website, – What is it? Index of all the books and journals owned or subscribed to by Princeton University Library. Tip - to find journals do a “Journal Title” search in the catalog.

Chemistry, Geosciences and Environmental Studies Librarian

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Emily Wild
212 Lewis Science Library