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Collection Overview

Because different sources index the literature in different ways, performing complementary searches using multiple tools will provide a more comprehensive view of a particular area of science; as a result, the main strengths of Penn's collection of chemistry databases lies in its size and diversity.  Like most other researchers, chemists can search the literature using keywords and phrases, but the chemistry databases also allow them to enter the primary journal literature through a search for specific chemicals, general substructures, and even partial or complete reactions.  In addition to article indices, the chemistry database collection includes databases of chemicals and their properties, structural chemistry and crystallography databases, and databases of reactions, and many of the largest tools in the collection perform all of these functions and more.  In recent years, Penn's reaction databases have expanded to include tools that help chemists determine the best pathways to make molecules; called "retrosynthesis tools," these databases employ artificial intelligence and machine learning strategies to propose effective synthesis routes based on the chemist's input parameters.

Accordion List

  • SciFinder indexes primary and review literature in all areas of chemistry, SciFinder allows researchers to search for documents, substances, or reactions and seamlessly link to the other contexts
  • Reaxys’s strength lies in its collection of organic, organometallic, and inorganic substances, their extensive physical properties, and their reactions.
  • Cambridge Structural Database contains over 1M crystal structures of organic and organometallic substances
  • Inorganic Crystal Structure Database contains crystal structures of inorganic substances
  • Protein Data Bank (free) is the world’s largest database of protein crystal structures
  • Combined Chemical Dictionary includes properties of over 500K substances
  • EROS (Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis) provides profiles of popular reagents for organic synthesis, including their functions, availability, and properties
  • Science of Synthesis lets researchers compare methods of making classes of substance


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