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These pages are no longer updated.
Please use our new Research Guides at

Be sure to update any links or bookmarks to point to the new guides.

For subject assistance contact: Nick Lonergan, 717-245-1838.


Research Help

The Library of Congress Classification System, which is the call number system utilized for locating and organizing library resources, breaks Biology down into primarily these areas:

  • Q is General Science
  • QD is Chemistry
  • QD1-65 is General Chemistry (including Alchemy)
  • QD71-142 is Analytical chemistry
  • QD146-197 is Inorganic chemistry
  • QD241-441 is Organic chemistry
  • QD415-436 is Biochemistry
  • QD450-801 is Physical and theoretical chemistry
  • QD625-655 is Radiation chemistry
  • QD701-731 is Photochemistry
  • QD901-999 is Crystallography

Look at the Library of Congress Classification System Outline for more information.

More Research Help

Reference Resources

The items listed on this page represent a selection of research materials for finding basic chemical information. To find more materials, consult the library catalog or contact a librarian.


  • Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery
    Detailed summaries on topics relating to medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Search or browse five upper level headings: Autocoids, Diagnostics, and Drugs from New Biology; Cardiovascular Agents and Endocrines; Chemotherapeutic Agents; Drug Discovery/Development; and Nervous System Agents.

Online Tools

Chemical information and structure searching

  • ChemIDplus
    From the National Library of Medicine. Databases and other resources designed to help you search for information by chemical name or structure.
  • Chem Spider
    A chemical structure database that can be searched by name or structure.
  • NIST Chemistry WebBook
    Provides access to chemical and physical property data for chemical species. The data provided in the site are from collections maintained by the NIST Standard Reference Data Program and outside contributors.
  • PubChem
    Provides information on the biological activities of small molecules.

NMR and other spectra

  • NRMShiftDB
    "nmrshiftdb2 is a NMR database (web database) for organic structures and their nuclear magnetic resonance (nmr) spectra. It allows for spectrum prediction (13C, 1H and other nuclei) as well as for searching spectra, structures and other properties."
  • Spectral Database for Organic Compounds (SDBS)
    "SDBS is an integrated spectral database system for organic compounds,which includes 6 different types of spectra under a directory of the compounds." Provided by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan.

Web indexes

  • NIST virtual library
    Provides links to a variety of online science resources, including chemistry topics.
  • Links for Chemists
    Chemistry section of the WWW Virtual Library, serving as an index of chemistry resources on the web.

Locating articles

Basic process for finding articles

If you find an article that looks interesting check to see if there is a link to the pdf or HTMl version of the article by the citation. If not, then click the "Get It!" button to see if we have access to it either electronically or in print.

If you cannot see either a direct link to the article or the "Get It!" button then search the Journal Locator for the title of the journal that it was published in. If you find the journal title here check to see if we have access to the year in which the journal article was published, and then follow the relevant link.

Requesting articles we do not own

If we have neither print nor electronic access to an article in our collection, then you can place an order for it through ILLIAD.

You will have to set up account the first time you order an article but once you have done this once you can use this same account each time you want an article.

Once you have an account set up then you can just click the "ILLIAD" link in the "Get it!" button and log into your account and the request form will be automatically populated with the citation information for your desired article so you only need to submit the request.

(If you do not have a journal citation, but instead have a topic, use one of our databases to locate citations).

Why use journals?

• Journals are often peer-reviewed/scholarly. This means the research in the articles have been double-checked for validity.

Primary research often appears in journal articles. Primary research is the first article or report on a topic whereas secondary research are the articles or reports that talk about that primary article. Always look back to the primary article when using secondary sources as support.

• Journals can contain the most recent information on a topic. In the sciences this can be very important.

Finding Journal Articles

If you are looking for a specific article and you know the journal that it was published in, you can determine whether Dickinson subscribes to this journal by checking the Journal Locator. If you are not looking for a specific article, you can search for articles in the databases that we subscribe to. Below, we have compiled a list of databases that are particularly relevant for Chemistry:

  • SciFinder Scholar (Limited to 2 users at once) First time user registration is required. Contact the Sciences Liaison Librarian for information on how to register. 
    The world's largest collection of organic and inorganic substance information with references from more than 10,000 currently published journals and patents from more than 61 patent authorities. Includes important scientific discoveries from the mid-1800s to the present. Allows searching on more than 56 million organic and inorganic substances by chemical structures, biological sequences, substructures or reactions.
  • Applied Science & Technology Full Text
    Provides information on trends in the scientific and technological fields. Topics include engineering, acoustics, chemistry, computers, metallurgy, physics, plastics, telecommunications, transportation, and waste management.
    Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.
  • Web of Science 
    Web of Science is a vast database of citations for science, and social science, resources.
  • Web of knowledge
    Simultaneously search web of Science (Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index), Biological Abstracts and MEDLINE.
  • Annual Reviews 
    Publishes 29 series covering three major fields: Biomedical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences as well as a number of special publications and Web based projects every year. These purpose of these publications are to record the major innovations and progress of research topics occurring in these disciplines.
  • General Science Full Text 
    A general science database that covers everything from supernovas to marine pollution. A good starting point for researchers seeking information on a variety of scientific topics.
  • ScienceDirect 
    A large electronic collection of science, technology and medicine information, including over 1,800 journals from Elsevier publishers.
  • Chemistry Central
    A service publishing peer-reviewed open access research in chemistry, from BioMed Central - the leading biomedical open access publisher.
  • Scientific Electronic Library Online (scielo)
    scielo provides cooperative electronic publishing of science, social sciences, and arts & humanities journals to meet the scholarly communication needs of developing countries, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean countries. It provides an efficient way to assure universal visibility and accessibility to their scholarly literature.

Societies and Publishers

This list contains scholarly societies and publishers that produce high quality materials related to chemistry. Their websites have valuable information for chemistry students interested in news, publishing, research, or careers in chemistry.



Biographical Information


Chemistry Department Website