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Information on the Chemical Literature

Chemistry Databases


SciFinder provides access to CAplus, a database of chemical literature and U.S. and foreign chemical-related patents dating 1907-present, CASREACT (reaction database), and the Registry database from Chemical Abstracts Service. It includes journal articles, book chapters, patents, conference proceedings, technical reports, substance database and dissertations covered in Chemical Abstracts as well as articles currently being indexed, book reviews and biographical information.

SciFinder covers all areas of chemistry and the life sciences including biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, medicine, and related disciplines. SciFinder includes the MEDLINE database, structure searching capabilities, chemical reactions, substance information, regulated chemical information, chemical catalogs, cited references and citing references.

The database includes references from over 9,500 currently published journals, patent information from more than 50 active patent issuing authorities, more than 34 million records, more than 50.5 million reactions, over 282,900 inventoried or regulated chemicals, and more than 53 million commercially available products from 1,260 chemical catalogs.

SciFinder is funded by University of Cincinnati Libraries.  You must register and create a personal login to use SciFinder.  You must use your email address when registering

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Reaxys is a database for chemical compounds, reactions, and literature references. Reaxys contains experimentally validated reaction and substance data.  Reaxys covers 400 journals and provides information on the commercial availability of compounds.

Reaxys combines three major information sources: The Beilstein Database, The Gmelin Database, and The Patent Chemistry Database.

Beilstein's Handbuch der organischen Chemie is the definitive source of information on the structures, reactions, and properties of organic carbon compounds, drawn from the journal literature back 1771.  Handbuch der organischen Chemie is a compilation of checked information. Reaxys critically evaluates the validity of each structure and fact entered into the database on carbon compounds. The database contains 8 million compounds, 5 million chemical reactions and 35 million chemical property and bioactivity records and has over 750,000 abstracts from organic literature.  Beilstein coveres only organc carbon compounds with the elements H, O, N, S, Br, I, Cl, and F (with a few narrowly defined exceptions).

Gmelin Handbook of Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry is the definitive source of information on structures and properties of inorganic and metal-organic compounds, drawn from the journal and patent literature back to the early 19th century.  All information in the Handbook was derived from the primary journal and patent literature of chemistry, physics, and metallurgy, and then critically appraised and organized by chemical element and species. 60 journals are now monitored for content. Gmelin is typically used to locate factual information on specific compounds. This information includes any or all of the following for a chemical compound: History and occurence; formation and preparation; physical properties;  chemical properties and reactions; and uses and toxicology.

Beilstein covers only organic carbon compounds with the elements H, O, N, S, Br, I, Cl, and F (with a few narrowly-defined exceptions). Gmelin covers most everything else: pure elements, ionic inorganics, salts, coordination compounds, organometallic complexes, and alloys. Metal-containing natural products, biological substances, and macromolecules are excluded.

The Patent Chemistry Database is a file of organic chemistry information drawn from selected English-language chemical patents (US, WO, EP, 1976- ). Additional historical (1869-1980) patent coverage comes from the Beilstein and Gmelin files. English-language patents from these IPC classes are excerpted from the PCT (WIPO), European (EPO) and USPTO Patent Offices. 

Visit Reaxys Guide for more information and tutorials

Other Science Databases

Other science and engineering databases for a broader search of published literature relating to chemistry.

Academic Search Complete

A general, multi-disciplinary database indexing both popular and scholarly publications, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed publications. Search for information in nearly every area: social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and more. Coverage: 1965 - present.


Scopus is an indexing and citation database for science and social science scholarly literature. Scopus also includes quality web sources. Scopus indexes over 12,850 academic journals including coverage of 535 open access journals. Scopus includes conference proceedings, trade publications, and references added to all abstracts; results from 250 million scientific web pages, and patent records from 4 patent offices.  H-index values for authors are also available.  Coverage: Abstracts, 1966 - present; References, 1996 - present.

‚ÄčWeb of Knowledge (ISI Science Citation Index)

The Web of Knowledge is a science database of bibliographic information indexed so that you can search for specific articles by subject, author, journal, and/or author address.  Because the information stored about each article includes the article's cited references (bibliography), you can also search the databases for articles that cite a known author or work.  It indexes more than 5,700 major journals across 164 scientific disciplines, with all cited references captured. Cited reference searching lets you use a given work as if it were a subject term to identify more recent articles on the same topic.  For example, you can find other articles that reference (cite) a particular article of interest. This type of searching often locates relevant articles that cannot be retrieved through traditional subject-author searching.  Multidisciplinary content covers over 10,000 of the highest impact journals worldwide, including Open Access journals and over 110,000 conference proceedings.  You'll find current and retrospective coverage in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.  Coverage: 1950 - present.

Compendex and Inspec

Compendex is a comprehensive database covering all areas of engineering research.  Inspec is more focused on physics, electrical engineering, computer science, and related areas of research.  Depending on your area of interest, you may want to check off both databases to search simultaneously with the Engineering Village platform.

Google Scholar

General database of scholarly content, searching both published peer-reviewed scholarly materials and content posted to academic and public sector websites.

NCBI & other Bioinformatics Databases

Listing of databases containins biomedical and genomic information and data.


PubMed is a free database, provided by the National Library of Medicine, for accessing the MEDLINE database of biomedical research articles. The core subject is medicine, and PubMed covers fields related to medicine, such as nursing and other allied health disciplines.  It also provides excellent coverage of the related biomedical sciences, including biochemistry and cell biology.  PubMed links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.  For help, look at the PubMed Tutorial.  Note: SciFinder searches both Chemical Abstracts and the MEDLINE database. Coverage: 1950 - present.

BIOSIS Previews

BIOSIS Previews, a leading source of life sciences information, collects abstracts and bibliographic references to worldwide biological and medical literature.  BIOSIS Previews contains references to journal items focusing on vital biological and medical research findings, pharmacological studies, and discoveries of new organisms.  Approximately 5,500 life science journals, 1,500 international meetings, as well as review articles, books, and monographs are monitored for inclusion, representing virtually every life science discipline.  Over 96% of the records include informative abstracts. The University of Cincinnati's access to BIOSIS Previews includes both Biological Abstracts and Biological Abstracts/RRM (Reports, Reviews, and Meetings). Some records link to the full text of the article.  Coverage: 1969 - present.

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