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Key databases for Chemistry

If you need to find journal articles about a subject that you are researching or studying, it is important to search journal databases. Type your topic into the search screen of the database to obtain a list of relevant journal articles, and remember to look at help screens or Library guides to make the most of what is on offer.

Below is a list of journal databases which are most often used in Chemistry. You can also see a complete list of databases for Chemistry available from the Library.


The online version of Chemical Abstracts. It is widely considered to be the best database for any chemical research and also includes the major medical database Medline. It includes journal references, patent information and chemical substance and reaction data. The full CAS Registry file, containing the chemical structures and dictionary information for the 24 million substances identified by the CAS Registry System, is also included. You must register for access. Updated daily.

Guide to using SciFinder


Provides access to the Crossfire collection of databases. This collection allows you to search for comprehensive information on millions of chemical reactions, substances, structures and properties. Includes Beilstein (organic chemistry), Gmelin (inorganic and organometallic chemistry) and EcoPharm (pharmacology). Coverage is from 1771 onwards, updated monthly. Chemistry patents are also included in Reaxys. Chemical and physical data is available for each substance - eg melting point, refractive index, etc. Reaxys is available online to unlimited simultaneous users.

Guide to using Reaxys

Web of Science

Search for journal articles using three databases; Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index and Arts and Humanities Citation Index. A current awareness service provides citation alerts for newly added journal articles. Each database is updated weekly.

Guide to using Web of Science


Scopus is a large abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature from more than 18,500 journals and quality web sources, with smart tools to track, analyze and visualize research.

Guide to using Scopus

Analytical Abstracts

A current awareness and information retrieval service for analytical scientists. Use it to search worldwide analytical literature conveniently and rapidly, covering the period from?1980 to the latest update.

Guide to using Analytical Abstracts

Catalysts and Catalysed Reactions

A monthly printed bulletin containing around 200 graphical abstracts each month, indexed by reaction under study and by catalytic method. The online version contains all items published in the print version since January 2002. Provides: a major current awareness service; graphical abstracts of new developments in catalysis, selected from dozens of key primary journals; coverage of all areas of catalysis research, including homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalysis, with emphasis on current growth areas such as chiral catalysts, polymerisation catalysts, enzymatic catalysts and clean catalytic methods. Each item is indexed by authors, products, reactants and catalysts, catalyst type and reaction type.

Guide to using Catalysts and Catalysed Reactions

Chemical Database Service

Provides access to a variety of databases in the field of chemistry, including: Crystallography (for organic, inorganic and organo-metallic crystal structure data), Spectroscopy (for spectrum prediction and searching), Synthetic organic chemistry (for established and current awareness in synthetic organic chemistry) and Physical chemistry (for thermodynamic and transport property data).

Chemical Hazards in Industry

Information taken from scientific and trade literature on safety and health hazards surrounding chemicals encountered in the chemical and related industries. Coverage includes: health and safety, chemical and biological hazards, disposal, storage and transportation, industrial hazards, waste management, plant safety and best practice, legislation, emergency planning, and protective equipment. Each monthly issue contains over 250 items selected from worldwide primary literature. Each issue also contains a combined subject and chemical index. The fully searchable online database contains information from 1981 to date.

Guide to using Chemical Hazards in Industry


A collection of full-text chemistry reference books from Chapman & Hall (CRC Press). Includes the Combined Chemical Dictionary and the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

Guide to using ChemNetBase


A free-to-access collection of compound data from across the web, provided for the benefit of the community by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). It aggregates chemical structures and their associated information into a single searchable repository and makes it available to everybody. ChemSpider builds on the collected sources by adding extra properties, related information and links back to original data sources. ChemSpider offers text and structure searching to find compounds of interest and provides unique services to improve this data by curation and annotation and to integrate it with users' applications.

Guide to using ChemSpider

Laboratory Hazards Bulletin

Information taken from scientific and trade literature on hazards encountered by laboratory workers in all fields, including R&D, analytical and hospital laboratories. Coverage includes: chemical and biological hazards, leaks, spills and unplanned releases, hazardous waste management, fires and explosions, safety legislation, precautions and safe practices, occupational health and hygiene monitoring, and protective equipment. Each monthly issue contains 50-60 items selected from the worldwide primary literature. Each issue also contains a combined subject and chemical index. The fully searchable LHB Online database contains data from 1981 to date.

Guide to using Laboratory Hazards Bulletin

Methods in Organic Synthesis

An alerting service covering the most important current developments in organic synthesis. The service covers such topics as: new reactions and reagents, functional group changes, the introduction of chiral centres, and enzyme and biological transformations. Items are selected for inclusion in MOS only where there is detail of novel or interesting features in organic synthetic methods, so there are no routine preparations to plough through. Each MOS item includes reaction schemes, title and bibliographic details, and the items are categorised by five indexes: author, product, reaction, reactant and reagent. The text-searchable database allows users to search across items published in MOS from January 2000 to date.

Guide to using Methods in Organic Synthesis

Natural Product Updates

Provides graphical abstracts of new developments in natural product chemistry, selected from dozens of key primary journals. Coverage includes: isolation studies, biosynthesis, new natural products, known compounds from new sources, structure determinations, new properties and biological activities. Around 200 graphical abstracts are contained in each monthly bulletin, including structure diagrams, trivial and taxonomic names, molecular formulae, and physical and biological properties. The database allows users to search across all items published in Natural Product Updates to date.

Guide to using Natural Product Updates