What is Chemistry?

  • Chemistry is the study of chemical compounds and how they react with one another.
  • It is vital for studying many sciences like forensics, pharmacology, geology, and engineering.
  • It is called the ‘Central Science’ because so many different sciences use it in their studies.

There are two ways to search for information on chemistry in the library: books and databases.

How do I find Chemistry Books?
Use the Library Catalog to find books in the library.

  • Perform an All Fields Search using words like “chemical reactions” or “forensic chemistry.” This will search for everything in the catalog.
  • Perform a Subject Search using words “organic chemistry” to search for items on a specific topic.
  • If you want to browse the shelves, you will find chemistry books in these call number ranges: 540-549

The Library also has a small collection of textbook resources. See our Reserves Collection for the latest editions.

How Do I Search the Databases?
The Library has several article databases. If you are away from campus, you must access these databases through Ocean Connect. If you are unsure how to do this, please follow these instructions, or ask the Library staff for assistance.

Here are a few suggested databases for chemistry:

  • Science Online – Definitions and background information in short, encyclopedic style articles.
  • ScienceDirect – A full text database providing coverage of journals and books from a wide variety of subject disciplines
  • Academic Search Premier – Provides full text access to a very broad range of topics: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.
  • GreenFile – Offers scholarly and general titles about human impacts on the environment. Topics include global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
Internet Resources for Chemistry
The table below is a list of free chemistry e-resources.

Most of these resources are open access. For more information on open access, view our open access subject guide.

ChemEd DL A collection of digital resources. Includes tutorials, reference articles, and interactive features.
Chemistry Now A series of videos on the chemistry of common items, maintained by the National Science Foundation.
Hunting the Elements A Nova resource that offers fun videos, quizzes, and an interactive periodic table
Quantum Casino Explores reactions and likely outcomes
Chemistry Guide A directory and search engine of chemistry related resources. Organized by topic.
SpectraSchool An RSC introduction to spectroscopy
Student Resources RSC tutorials and worksheets designed to help students go from high school to college
Psychological Tutorials and Demonstrations Links to online tutorials on a variety of subjects in psychology.
NIST Chemistry WebBook Chemical and physical property data for various chemical species. Issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
WebElements Periodic Table Interactive periodic table showing element structures and properties
ChemSpider A free chemical structure database. Provides fast text and structure search access to over 63 million structure from hundreds of data sources.
PubChem A database of chemical molecules and their activities against biological assays
Protein Data Bank Contains information about structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies
Handbook of Chemistry and Physics A reference resource for science research. It’s now in its 99th edition.
Chemical Entities of Biological Interest A dictionary of molecular entities focused on small chemical compounds
Science Daily A credible science news site founded in 1995. Articles include findings from the top universities and research organizations. Use this site for scientific current affairs.
ExPASy Provides access to scientific databases and software tools in life sciences like proteomics, genomics, phylogeny, systems biology, population genetics, transcriptomics etc
Research Tips
  • Always limit your searches to works published within the last 10 years or less. Science research is quickly outdated.
  • Check if the article is peer reviewed. For more information on peer review sources, look here.
  • How long was the study conducted? Who are the researchers who conducted the experiment? Who published the paper? How many subjects were used? You should always ask yourself these questions.
Close Menu