Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries LibGuides

CHEM 3000: Chem info sources: Theory

Class outline

Primary vs Secondary Literature

Finding Secondary Literature

Entry Points

Types of Chemical Info

Searching the literature -- Four ways

Four ways to find articles

Databases (Index-based) => SciFinder, PubMed/MEDLINE, Structure databases

People => Colleagues, advisors, Internet

Footnote chasing

Cited reference searching => SciFinder, Science Citation Index, Google Scholar

Types of Chemical Information

Types of Chemical Information

Facts => Properties, spectra, crystal structure, sequence, uses

Reactions => What kind of chemistry does it do? How has it been prepared?

Methods => How do I ... ?    prepare / detect / analyze / measure

Introduction => General and specialized reviews



Selected Chemistry Handbooks => Data

Selected Dictionaries (with Subject Encyclopedias) => Data

Analytical and Spectral Data => Data

Synthesis and Reaction Chemistry => Reactions

Chemistry Techniques and Methods => Methods

Subject Encyclopedias => Introduction

Primary literature

Primary Literature -- Where new results are published

Data (and Data Collections)

Crystal structures (e.g., Protein Databank; Cambridge Crystallographic Structural Database)

Sequence data (e.g., GenBank)

Journal articles (not review articles)


Full paper

Conference Proceedings (e.g., ACS Symposium)

Technical Reports

Theses and Dissertations


Secondary literature

Secondary literature => Publications that are based on the primary literature



Web of Science



Review articles


1st chapter of a thesis



CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics

NIST Chemistry Webbook

Merck Index

Entry points

Entry Points ... for Handbooks and other resources

Name / Synonym Index

Self-organization => Often aphabetical by name ... online often browse by name

CAS Registry Number

Molecular formula

Structure -- For most online resources

Property -- Depends on quality and availability of data

General Index => Usually by property ... occasionally by chemical name

Accession Number => More common than you might think

Other entry points  => It depends on the data and how it is organized