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.
Chemists love to make their references as short as possible! They also love abbreviations. This can make things a little tricky when you are creating your reference section, or trying to interpret someone else's. Here are some tools you can use to figure out those abbreviations.
CAplus Core Titles List
This isn't really searchable, but that's why we have CTRL+F. This is a list of the most important chemical journals and their abbreviations.
CAS Source Index (CASSI)
This is a searchable index of all of the journals that have appeared in Chemical Abstracts since 1907. The results lists can be a bit confusing but if you're having trouble finding your journal in the CAplus Core Titles List, give it a try!
NLM Journals Search
This allows you to search, but still not as easy as it should be. Put your journal title or abbreviation in quotes so the system doesn't get confused!
SciFinder Search Tips & Support
SciFinder Training Videos
Includes videos on how to conduct exact structure, substructure, and similarity structure searches. Many videos are available in Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.
How Scientific Information is Communicated
Scientists communicate their work in a variety of ways. Here is some additional information:
When scientists publish their research, it often goes through peer-review.
Scrutinizing science: Peer review
From Understanding Science, a free online resource developed by the University of California Paleontology Museum at Berkeley.
The Flow of Scientific Information
You start with an idea, where does it go next? This pdf from St. Lawrence University outlines the flow of scientific information from idea all the way through to tertiary literature.
How to Search for Chemicals
- You can use trade names, common names, or IUPAC names. Sometimes using a name can be good if you are using a database that uses chemical 'indexing' because you will find all of the information about a chemical using one name (like SciFinder) but it is more difficult with a database like Web of Science because you might miss articles if you only use one name.
- Molecular Formula
- Very rarely useful to search because there are so many chemicals with the same formula!
- Molecular Structure
- Sometimes useful because it can allow you to do similarity searching and substructure searching. Sometimes it's overkill when you have a name (quicker).
- CAS Registry Number
- If the tool you are using allows for CAS Registry Number searching this is the BEST. CAS Registry Numbers are like social security numbers for chemicals.
Links to Resources
These are some suggestions for tools you can use to do research on your drug.
DO THIS FIRST! Before you can use SciFinder, you need to register for an account using your @wellesley.edu email address. This must be done from on-campus.
This is THE database in chemistry. You can use this database to find information about chemical topics, compounds, and reactions. The extra chemical 'indexing' gives you better results.
Web of Science
Awesome database to do topic searching. Links together citing articles. Doesn't have extra chemical 'indexing'.
ACS Style Guide
How do I cite my sources? How do I label my figures? Find out in the ACS Style Guide.
Wellesley College Chemistry Research Guide
Look here for additional resources including finding background information, books, articles, and spectra, as well as information about citing sources and professional societies in chemistry.
Provides information on the biological activities of small molecules and contains over 7,180 million records, 63 million structures, and 1 million BioAssays.
Use this software to draw chemical structures. Draw professional looking structures for your lab reports, presentations, and Organic Chemistry II Paper!
Subjects:Astronomy & Astrophysics
, Biological Chemistry
, Biological Sciences
, Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences
, Computer Science
, Environmental Studies
, Physical Education & Athletics
Browse Top Ranked Journals: Organic Chemistry
These are some quick links to top-ranked journals, which are not meant to represent our entire collection. Check the catalog for more journals additional coverage.