Research Tip Sheet - for systematically searching academic databases (+ video tutorial | 2:25 | transcript)

    Initial Reference Material

    Chemistry Databases

    • SciFindern - Carleton’s most comprehensive database for chemistry literature and patent searching. Also includes property data, experimental procedures, searching by chemical name, formula, structure, or identifier, and commercial supplier information.  A free account is required - create one using your Carleton email address
    • Analytical Abstracts - Designed specifically for analytical scientists, this database includes articles from all areas of analytical chemistry. Search generally, or for specific analytes, matrices or techniques
    • ChemRxiv - "A free submission, distribution and archive service for unpublished preprints in chemistry" giving researchers "the opportunity to share early results with colleagues and respond to comments and recommendations for improvement, ahead of formal peer review and publication."

    Interdisciplinary Databases

    • Annual Reviews - A collection of journals dedicated to review articles, including several focused on chemistry topics
    • EI Engineering Village - Includes Inspec and Compendex offering a broad range of related fields including physical chemistry
    • Google Scholar - A general search for academic information, including literature available through Carleton and on the free web
    • Knovel Library - although primarily an Engineering database, excellent coverage of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering literature as well as interactive equation worksheets - Video Tutorials
    • PubMed - Biomedical and life science literature, including chemistry literature
    • Scholars Portal Journals - Provides access to a large number of articles from major academic publishers covering all fields
    • Scopus - Includes chemistry literature. Useful for citation searching
    • Web of Science - Multidisciplinary database including chemistry literature. Allows structure searching. Useful for citation searching

    Journal Collections with basic search engines


    Also note that all of Carleton's ebooks can be found through the library's homepage, using the large search box.  Conduct a keyword search, then isolate to Available Online (under Availability) + Books (under Resource Type)

      • ACS (American Chemical Society) Reagent Chemicals
      • CAMEO Chemicals - Database of hazardous materials including fire and explosion hazards, health hazards, cleanup procedures, and reactivity when mixing chemicals
      • Chemical Safety Library (CSL) - Hazardous reaction information crowd sourced from academic, industry, and government institutions from around the world
      • ChemSpider - Free chemical structure database from the Royal Society of Chemistry to find properties, spectra, and literature references. Search by name or structure
      • ChemSynthesis - Database of chemicals with synthesis references and physical properties
      • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics - The authoritative reference handbook for chemical and physical property information
      • e-EROS - Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis: Online encyclopedia with detailed information on reagents and catalysts for organic synthesis. Browse reagent or catalyst names or search by structure or reaction
      • Knovel Critical Tables (2nd Edition) - Interactive tables of physical, solvent, and thermodynamic properties
      • [Beta] Knovel's Chemical Materials Search - click general search, Property Search, then Open Chemical Materials Search (on right) + standard material property search on left
      • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Workplace chemicals and their hazards
      • NIST Chemistry WebBook - Access to chemical and physical property data for chemical species
      • Organic Syntheses - Methods for the preparation of organic compounds
      • Protein Data Bank (PDB) - Information about the 3D shapes of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies
      • PubChem - Free set of databases with information on the biological activities of small molecules including safety and toxicity information. Search substances, compounds, and bioassays. Search by keyword, properties, or (draw) structure
      • SciFindern - Includes property data, experimental procedures, searching by chemical name, formula, structure, or identifier, and commercial supplier information.  A free account is required - create one using your Carleton email address
      • Wikipedia Structure Search - Search for Wikipedia pages by drawing chemical structures


      For more information:


      Guide for Conducting a Literature Review

      Guide for Systematic Reviews and other Knowledge Syntheses

      Useful Tools


      • ToxTutor - Self-paced tutorial on the key principles of toxicology from the U.S. National Library Of Medicine (NLM)
      • UCI OpenChem - Open versions of chemistry lecture courses from University of California, Irvine, including recorded lectures. No registration required


      • Films on Demand - Click the three bars at the top left to 'View All' Subjects, including Chemistry


      Associations and Organizations

      Content last reviewed: June 8, 2021