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Chemistry Databases and Major Reference Works

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  • In the chemical sciences, the primary journal and patent literature describes experiments that researchers have performed, and it is growing at an exponential rate.  Article, substance, and reaction databases serve as crucial entrées into this literature, helping researchers to derive the greatest possible benefit from Penn’s extensive journal collection in chemistry and the related sciences.  Major reference works give researchers necessary background information on unfamiliar topics and allow them to compare research methods, putting them in context without having to scour the literature for primary articles.  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 and major reference works lie in its size and diversity.

  • Chemistry-Specific Databases Available at Penn
    • 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
  • Major Reference Works
    • EMagRes: Covers topics related to NMR and MRI
    • Organic Reactions: Provides methods of performing various transformations
    • SpringerMaterials: Includes properties and behavior of a wide variety of materials
    • Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry: Contains profiles of industrial substances, processes, etc.

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