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Chemistry: Getting Started

Subject Encyclopedias


Subject encyclopedias are a good starting point for your research. They provide articles written by experts in their field and can provide a good overview of a topic. Articles in encyclopedias can also help to identify search terms for database searching and often include useful resources in the brief bibliography included at the end of article.



Access Science provides online access to over 8,500 online articles subjects including agriculture, anthropology, astronomy, biomedical science, chemistry, computing and information technology, earth science, engineering, food science, mathematics, military science, paleontology, physics, psychiatry, psychology, and veterinary science.

Best Bets - Chemistry Article Databases


These are the best discipline-specific article databases to use when doing chemistry literature searching.

 


SciFinder Scholar provides access to chemical and related scientific information. It includes journal literature, patent info, chemical reactions, regulated chemicals, substance information, chemical suppliers, and biomedical literature. SciFinder requires users to set up an account from on-campus using this registration page.

 

 

American Chemical Society (ASC) Publications is the leading publisher of peer-reviewed research journals in the chemical and related sciences, serving scientific communities worldwide through an unparalleled commitment to quality, reliability, and innovation. Our library's subscription provides full-text access to journals published by the ACS.

 

  

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Publications is the leading publisher of peer-reviewed research journals in the chemical and related sciences, serving scientific communities worldwide through an unparalleled commitment to quality, reliability, and innovation. Our library's subscription provides full-text access to journals published by the RSC.
 

  

Web of Science is the world's leading citation database. It contains records of articles from more than 12,000 of the highest impact journals including many in the field of chemistry and more than 160,000 conference proceedings.


Google Scholar (freely available on the web) searches for scholarly literature on the web. It's a good starting place, but not comprehensive enough to be the only place to do in-depth research. For more precise searching and more content, you should also use library-subscribed databases such as SciFinder Scholar and Web of Science.

CAS Registry Numbers


What is a CAS Registry Number?

CAS Registry Numbers are unique identifiers assigned to specific substances by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), department of the American Chemical Society. For example the CAS RN for acetone is  67-64-1.

CAS Numbers are useful for substance searching in chemistry databases. A single search by CAS RN retrieves results for chemical names, synonyms, trade names, systematic names of the same substance. 

How do I find the CAS Registry Number?

If you know the chemical name you can find its CAS Number by searching in the following databases


Finding MSDS / SDS


Where can you find Material Safety Data Sheets?

Material Safety Data Sheets are produced by companies that manufacture chemical substances. They provide procedures for handling a particular substance. The MSDS will provide data such as physical properties, toxicity, reactivity, etc.

You might also find references to SDS (Safety Data Sheets). These are essentially the same as MSDS. SDS are formatted to conform to the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) with 16 standardized sections arranged in a specific order.

While you can often find MSDS/SDS using Google, you can usually save a lot time by starting here!

Search the Library Catalog

Librarian Office Hours

Librarian Office Hours in Olin Rice Smail Gallery Tue/Thur 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Librarians are available to help with database searching, citation questions, research management software or any other library questions that you may have. Look for us in Olin/Rice Smail Gallery on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


    Ron Joslin (Thurs)
    Reference & Instruction Librarian
    joslin@macalester.edu
    x6522 / Lbrary 118


    Dave Collins (Tues)
    Reference & Instruction Librarian
    collins@macalester.edu
    x6347 / Library 122

Subject Librarian: Ron Joslin