Use this guide to quickly find reputable sources and save time on your research! Contact your subject librarian or the reference librarians if you need more help. For an overview of how to research efficiently, see Steps of the Research Process.

New in This Guide

Paste delicious feed code here

Finding Materials in the Library

Search CityCat to find books, e-books, disks and more. There are many ways to search, such as Title, Author and Keyword.

Books in the library are organized by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system which groups items by subject, so you can often simply browse the shelves. Examples of Subject searches include: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, valence, chemical bonds, chemical structure, quantum theory, and chemical equilibrium Here are some relevant subjects and their call numbers:



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

Reference Sources

Reference books are great for short overviews and background information. There are also reference resources in our database section. 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.

Paste delicious feed code here


Use databases for specialized and the most up-to-date information, especially academic (scholarly) sources that are not available for free on the Web. See the Articles & Databases page for a full list of databases available.

EBSCOhost  is an online reference system consisting of 25 databases which offer a variety of proprietary full-text periodical articles from leading publishers and information providers. A listing of the databases may be accessed by selecting "Choose databases" near the top of the screen.

Gale Powersearch is a brand name for 25 multidisplinaryl databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Peer Reviewed publications."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.

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.

Chemistry e-Journals

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〈=en&notation=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


Use websites for government information, statistics and current events. It's very important to carefully evaluate websites for accuracy, currency, bias and credibility.

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.