Chemistry Guide

Overview / News


Welcome to UNB Libraries' (Saint John) guide to Chemistry. The purpose of this guide is to help you find resources related to this discipline and enhance your learning. If you are taking a chemistry course at UNB Saint John, you may find you also have a specific course guide available.

How you want to begin your research depends on your topic and your knowledge. If your topic is brand new to you, you might want to start with book based material. The data and information in books, at least, in non-fiction, academic books, generally differs from that found in articles. It is presented at length but tends to be presented in less depth and with less specificity. Book content may be less "cutting edge" and more likely to present standard, and accepted information. Journal articles often present more controversial content and preliminary research results which require more testing before they are accepted.

For students, books are a logical starting point for research because they often introduce several relevant topics around a broader subject while articles often deal with a single, very specific topic with an assumed context -- that is, articles may assume an audience with a high level of subject knowledge.

Once you have some background on your topic which may help you think critically about related information and data, you will be ready to plunge into journal articles, grey literature, and beyond. Enjoy the search!

In this guide, you will find links leading you to reference materials (dictionaries, specialized encyclopedias, handbooks ...), books (both online and in print), databases (containing full-text journals, full-text articles, and linked material), and more. That said, not everything you will need will be here. Remember, you can always visit a library and ask a librarian for more help.


News and Views

Chemistry, Science, AAAS

Chemistry & Physics, EurekaAlert, AAAS

News, American Chemical Society

Chemistry, Guardian, UK





More reference sources and resources can also be found by checking UNB WorldCat and the Reference Materials collection, or may be publicly accessible via the internet.


Calculators, Tables, Nomenclature ...

Martindale's Chemistry Calculators, public access

Periodical Table, RSC, public access

Periodic Table of Elements, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, public access

Color Books, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, public access

NIST Reference on Constants, Units and Uncertainty, public access


Encyclopedias, Yearbooks, Compendia ...

Merck Index, licensed resource

RxTx, includes electronic versions of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association’s annual Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties, licensed resource


Glossaries, Dictionaries...

Dictionary of Chemistry, licensed resource

Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry, UCLA, public access

Atmospheric Chemistry Glossary, Chemistry Department, Sam Houston State University, public access

IUPAC Glossary of Terms used in Toxicology, 2nd ed., published in Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 79, No. 7, pp. 1153-1344, 2007, public access


Handbooks, Manuals, Guides ...

Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook, USDA, public access


Maps, GIS ...

New Brunswick Groundwater Chemistry Atlas: 1994-2007, Department of Environment, New Brunswick

Groundwater Chemistry Map Series, DNR, Nova Scotia, public access

Nova Scotia Lake Survey Program, Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) and Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture

Ambient Groundwater Geochemistry, Northern Development and Mines, Ontario, public access

Southern Ontario Stream Sediment Geochemistry Survey, Northern Development and Mines, Ontario, public access

Surface Chemistry Maps, NASA, public access

Precipitation Chemistry, EPA, public access


Properties, Structures ...

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, licensed resource

Millipore Sigma Catalog [formerly: Sigma-Aldrich], public access

PubChem, National Library of Medicine, US, public access

NIST Data Gateway, public access

NIST Chemistry WebBook, public access

IUPAC-NIST Solubility Database, Version 1.1, NIST Standard Reference Database 106, public access

ThemoDex, University of Texas Libraries, public access

Material Safety Data Sheets, public access

Landolt-Börnstein Substance / Property Index, public access

Crystallography Open Database, public access

Common Chemistry Substance Search, CAS, public access

ChEMBLE, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, public access

ChemExper Chemical Directory, public access

ChemSyntheses, public access


Books / Book-Length Works


UNB WorldCat searches the WorldCat database and offers up-to-date availability information for material held by UNB Libraries. WorldCat contains more than 130,000,000 bibliographic records (including books, journals, videos, music ...) referring to the holdings of libraries world wide. WorldCat also includes selected journal articles and internet resources.

Mobile users should note that although UNB Libraries has moved to a responsive web design, mobile interfaces and apps may NOT yet provide all the functionality of other types of web-based access.

Search UNB WorldCat:     

Advanced Search | Locations Guide | Other Catalogues | Help/FAQ


Please note: While many of the following items allow unlimited simultaneous users, in some cases, the item may allow only a single user at any given time.

Members of the UNB/STU community of users may also use UNB WorldCat, to access individual electronic book / book-length titles such as:

How to solve organic reaction mechanisms: a stepwise approach, Mark G Moloney

Spin states in biochemistry and inorganic chemistry: influence on structure and reactivity, Marcel Swart and Miquel Costas Salgueiro

Biomass sugars for non-fuel applications, Dmitry Murzin and Olga A Simakova

Chemicals without harm: policies for a sustainable world, Ken Geiser


As well, the University community may access several collections of electronic books including:

CRCnetBASE, licensed resource


Some internet sites offer full-text, public access books and book-length works either as collections or as individual linked titles. Examples of such sites of interest include:

Chemistry, National Academies Press, public access

Chemistry, LibreTexts, public access

Publications Archive, NRC Canada, public access


Article / Research Databases


For those interested in chemistry, there are both licensed bibliographic databases, some of them listed in Key and Additional Resources below, as well as major public access databases such as PubMed, a US government database.

These databases will be especially useful when you are beginning a research project and looking for information on a topic.

For more licensed databases, please see the Article Databases page.

Key Resources

  • SciFinder Web (Chemical Abstracts, CAS React, CAS Registry)
    SciFinder provides access to Chemical Abstracts from 1907 to the present, the CAS Registry and the CAS React databases.
    Unlimited simultaneous users
  • Chemical Abstracts (SciFinder Web)
    Produced by the American Chemical Society, this is considered to be the most current and comprehensive information source for literature in chemistry and related sciences such as: proteomics, genomics, biochemistry, biochemical genetics, engineering and physics.
    Unlimited simultaneous users

Additional Resources

  • RTECS (Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances)
    RTECS® contains critical toxicological information with citations to over 150,000 chemical substances from more than 2,500 sources, including: international journals, textbooks,technical reports, scientific proceedings and compendia. CCOHS has also added options to search for 400,000+ chemical names and synonyms plus the 120,000+ unique CAS numbers found in RTECS®.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
    The MSDS database gives access to the most up-to-date (approximately 120,000) Material Safety Data Sheets from 600 North American manufacturers and suppliers. The MSDSs are contributed by North American sources, many from multi-national companies which market chemical products world-wide. MSDS records contain information such as: chemical and physical properties, health hazards, first aid recommendations, personal protection,fire and reactivity data, spill and disposal procedures, and storage and handling. The database can be searched for product names and other product identification, manufacturer or supplier names, date of MSDS, or any term used in the text of the MSDS itself. CHEMINFO provides summarized occupational health and safety information on chemicals. Produced by CCOHS occupational health and safety specialists, each chemical profile uses non-technical language to describe potential workplace hazards and control measures including: a detailed evaluation of health, fire and reactivity hazards, recommendations on topics such as handling and storage personal protective equipment, accidental release, first aid, and hazard classifications for WHMIS, OSHA and the European Union (EU).
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Provides access to a variety of scholarly journals in chemistry and chemistry-related fields.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
    The American Chemical Society promotes research and the advancement of knowledge in Chemistry and Chemistry-related fields. This resource provides us with access to approximately 46 journals.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Science Direct
    Science Direct offers comprehensive coverage of literature across all fields of science, medicine and technology. All previous ScienceDirect journal collections have been merged into this single collection.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Please note: CAS also provides SciFinder training materials


Public access databases and search engines covering chemistry and related fields include:

SciTech Connect, OSTI, US, public access

Explore Chemistry, OSTI, US, public access

Environmental Health, Toxicology and Chemical Database Descriptions, NLM, US, public access, US, public access

ChemSpider, public access

ToxNet, public access

NIST Repositories, Materials Digital Library, public access

PubMed, NLM, US, public access

PubChem Project, NLM, US, public access


There are also a number of individual periodical titles available (some licensed, some public access) including:

Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, public access

BMC Biochemistry, public access

Chemistry in Australia, public access

Canadian Journal of Chemistry, licensed resource

Chemistry of Materials, licensed resource

Chemistry of Natural Compounds, licensed resource

Food Chemistry, licensed resource

Inorganic Chemistry, licensed resource

Journal of Organic Chemistry, licensed resource


Internet / Multimedia


Collective Resources

Organic Chemistry Portal

Chemistry, NIST, US

Green Chemistry, EPA, US

Chemical Heritage Foundation

Oesper Collections in the History of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati

R&D Chemicals


Associations, Societies ...

American Chemical Society

Chemical Institute of Canada

European Chemical Sciences

International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Royal Australian Chemical Institute

Royal Society of Chemistry


Government Departments, Agencies ...

Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation

Chemistry Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

European Chemicals Agency



Scifinder training materials, CAS

Organic Chemistry Animations, University of Liverpool

Science Elements, podcasts, ACS

Reactions: Science Videos & Infographics, ACS

Open Chemistry Lecture Videos, University of California, Irvine

Chemistry, Science360 Video, National Science Foundation

Lab Techniques Videos, MIT


Citing / Writing


Citations are a natural by-product of a good literature or bibliographic search -- they come from the results your search produces. They may be found, collectively, in bibliographic databases and citation indexes. They may be derived from statistical databases and other data collections. They may make reference to individual books, periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers), working papers, and technical reports. They may be gathered from compilations such as bibliographies or appear in lists of works cited and references. Citations may also be produced in reference to material you read or heard, to images you discover, and to all kinds of electronic files which are displayed, read, played, or otherwise accessed.

To structure citations appropriately it helps to have a good guide. There are several standard guides from which you may choose. In university, choosing the "best" one will depend on the requirements of the assignment, the nature of the contents and the preferences of the individual professor. Some guides emphasize a particular discipline, some are cross-discipline and some may emphasize a particular form of material.


Style Guides

ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information

ACS citation style, Concordia University Libraries


Abbreviations and Acronymns

[CAS Core Journals Abbreviations], CAPlus

CAS Source Index (CASSI) Search Tool

Journal Title Abbreviations, Web of Science


Citation Management Software




Data Management / Curation

Framework for Creating a Data Management Plan, ICPSR, University of Michigan

Create and Manage Data, UK Data Archive

Data Management Plans, Digital Curation Centre, UK

Data Management Checklist, Digital Curation Centre, UK

Mendeley Datasets

Creative Commons