Chemistry Subject Guide - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

e-chemistry Journals

Web Resources


Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help

Chemistry Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Examples of Subject searches include: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, valence, chemical bonds, chemical structure, quantum theory, and chemical equilibrium

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.

An example of a reserve book for Chemistry 208B (Fall 2004) at the Rosenberg Library is:
Organic Chemistry Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003.

Available in the Reserve Book Room, 4th Floor, Rosenberg Library: Fill out green reserve card indicating course and number, and title. Loan periods are limited for reserve materials.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on chemistry include:

Biochemistry QD 415-436
Chemistry QD 1-999
Inorganic chemistry QD 146-197
Organic chemistry QD 241-441
Physical and theoretical chemistry QD 450-801


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in chemistry include:

Dunne, L.J. (2002). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Cleveland: Chemical Rubber Publishing Co.
QD65 .H3 Rosenberg Reference

It's a "ready-reference book of chemical and physical data." Find basic constants, conversion factors, symbols, physical constants, properties of elements, polymer properties, geophysics, practical laboratory data and much more.

Kroschwitz, Jacqueline I. (Ed.). (1991). Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology (4th ed.). New York: Wiley.
TP9. E685 1991 Rosenberg Reference

This multi-volume set provides information on chemical technology: chemical substances, compounds, industrial processes, uses of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and chemical engineering. .

Parker, Sybil P. (1997). McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology(8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Q121 .M3 1997 Rosenberg Reference

This encyclopedia covers scientific and technical topics. Provides background information on a variety of topics.

Lide, David R. and G.W.A. Milne (1995) Handbook of Data on Common Organic Compounds. Ann Arbor, MI.: CRC Press.
QD257.7 H35 1995 Rosenberg Reference.

Provides basic information on chemical compounds: molecular formula, molecular weight, melting point, density, and more.


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF student ID card with a bar code to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You should receive an ID in the mail that has a bar code printed on it. This provides you immediate access to these databases. You do not have to register at a library. If you have not received a student ID, you may obtain one at Registration, Smith Hall, Room 118, Ocean Campus. More information about obtaining a library bar code.

Infotrac Web
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Some of the databases that might be useful for chemistry topics are the Expanded Academic ASAP, Health Reference Center, Health and Wellness Resource Center, and OneFile. These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Refereed titles."

CQ Researcher
CQ provides lengthy research reports written by the editorial staff of the Congressional Quarterly Co. Many reports related to chemistry are offered, such as pesticides, chemical and biological weapons, ozone depletion, food irradiation, and nanotechnology. These provide background information and are often good starting points for your research on controversial topics.

SFPL - Electronic Resources, Magazines, and Newspapers
San Francisco Public Library subscribes to many periodical and reference databases. You must have a San Francisco Public Library card number to access them.


e-chemistry Journals

Magazines and newsletters offer current news and developments in the chemistry field and are published more frequently than books. Feel free to explore the following titles for up-to-date information on a variety of chemistry and health issues and topics.

Note: The online versions of these magazines and newsletters may require subscriptions and provide selected feature articles so it is best to check the copies in the library for complete issues.

Electronic Journals Library: Chemistry and Pharmacology¬ation=V
The Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek EZB (Electronic Journals Library) offers an effective use of both scientific and academic journals publishing full text articles in the internet.

Free Full Text Journals in Chemistry


Finding Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites for chemistry. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

General Chemistry Online
This web site by a Professor at Frostburg State University includes a searchable database of common compounds, notes and guides for first semester general chemistry, tutorials, and a chemistry exam survival guide.

Library of Chemistry Information
Chemistry information from the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

WWW Chemistry Resources
Part of the WWW Virtual Library, this web site provides a listing of various chemistry resources on the web. Compiled by the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.



American Institute of Chemical Engineers
"The American Institute of Chemical Engineers, AIChE, was founded in 1908. AIChE is a professional association of more than 50,000 members that provides leadership in advancing the chemical engineering profession."

American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society "provides a broad range of opportunities for peer interaction and career development, regardless of professional or scientific interests." Includes an "Educators & Students" section that includes articles, educational resources, and selected websites.

Canadian Society for Chemistry
"The Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) is the national technical association representing the field of chemistry and the interests of chemists in industry, academia and government."

Chemical Heritage Foundation
"The Chemical Heritage Foundation serves the community of the chemical and molecular sciences, and the wider public, by treasuring the past, educating the present, and inspiring the future." "...this site offers many tools for the researcher, the student, and those who want to explore and discover how the chemical and molecular sciences have changed the world in which we live."

Royal Society of Chemistry
"The RSC is the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. Supported by a network of 45,000 members worldwide and an internationally acclaimed publishing business, our activities span education and training, conferences and science policy, and the promotion of the chemical sciences to the public."


Evaluating Sources

When researching for information-especially Web resources-always follow these guidelines to help you find reliable and trustworthy information.


Evaluating Webpages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask
A UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

Critically Analyzing Information Sources
Developed by Olin-Kroch-Uris Libraries at Cornell University.

Evaluating and Citing Sources
A quick and easy check list to use when determining the quality of web documents. Prepared by Librarians at CCSF.


Need More Assistance?

For additional help you may contact the Reference Desk by phone at (415) 452-5543 or stop by the East and West reference desks at the Rosenberg Library.

Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs avaialble!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

James Lim
Chemistry Subject Selector
(415) 561-1946

CCSF Home | Library Home | Subject Guides

Copyright Library & Learning Resource Center, City College of San Francisco
Last updated February , 2005