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Brooks Library Research Guides: Chemistry
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Brooks Library Research Guides: Chemistry

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Biographical Information Interview & Essays Some full text available (part of Thomson Reuters "Scientific", of which Web of Science belongs)  tracks recent research in the sciences, which includes interviews of some of the top scientists in emerging fields of study.  You can also get to ScienceWatch and other online research tools for the sciences from the ISI Web of Knowledge (Web of Science) database from the CWU Library Databases page.

Her Lab in Your Life: Women in Chemistry

Biographies of women chemists and their contributions within various professions.

Dictionary of Scientists Restricted Resource Some full text available

 An online biographical dictionary from the online subscription database "Oxford Reference Online".   This database has scientists alive from present day to over 2,500 years ago. For other science encyclopedias, look for the entire database available from our homepage, under "Research" and then "Databases by Title". Some full text available

Search for nobel prize winners by year or by discipline--physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics--as well as Nobel Peace Prize winners.  Info from 1901-current previous year is available.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

New Dictionary of Scientific Biography
Print Location: Ref Q141 N45 2008
Highly recommended by Choice reviews, this set offers "more than 500 new articles on scientists who have died since 1980, 75 articles on scientists missed in the previous 18 volumes, and 250 upgrading commentaries on ... previously recognized scientists" all "accompanied by photographs and bibliographies." Those bibliographies give you a solid set of resources for further research, while the articles, being signed work of scholars in the field under editorial control, may be acceptable for citation. Check with your instructor! The emphasis is on natural and formal sciences, but information relating to psychology, for example, can be found using the index, volume 8.
Oxford Reference Online Restricted Resource Some full text available
With over two million entries, Oxford Reference Online is a superb cross-searchable resource to use when you are at the "looking for a clue" or "needing verification" stages of your research. Oxford Reference provides quality, up-to-date information from a series of well-respected books--and unlike Wikipedia you can cite Oxford Reference in a paper!

Use Quick Reference materials to discover a variety of Subjects, Timelines, Quotations, English Dictionaries, and Bilingual Dictionaries.

Oxford's Reference Library is divided into Subject Categories, drawn from the 308 volumes of the Oxford Reference Library. Those categories are:
ArchaeologyMedia studies
Art & ArchitectureMedicine and health
Bilingual dictionariesMusic
Classical studiesNames studies
EncyclopediasPerforming arts
English Dictionaries and ThesauriPhilosophy
Language referenceReligion
LawScience and technology
LinguisticsSocial Sciences
LiteratureSociety and culture

Assistance and advice with using the Quick Reference and the Reference Library are available at this link, and by contacting your friendly neighborhood Brooks Library Librarians.

Oxford Reference Online: Science & Technology Restricted Resource Some full text available

The science and technology section consists of online dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks that make up the Oxford Reference Online database.  The Oxford Reference Online database is available from the CWU library's home page, under Databases by Title. 

Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Print Location: Ref Q175.35 .E53 2005 4 vols.

Encyclopedia covering wide-reaching ethical topics in the areas of science and technology. Signed authors from the fields of science, philosophy and political science write entries from a practical perspective, placing each topic in its historical context in order to show how ethics play out in real-life scenarios. Types of articles include biographies, topical overviews, specialized case studies, and key concepts or issues-based articles. Each entry includes a bibliography.

Dictionary of Substances and Their Effects
Print Location: Ref RA1193 D53 1992

Seven volumes also known as The Royal Society of Chemistry's Dictionary of Substances and their Effects [DOSE]. Contains information on how chemicals interact with humans and other mammals. Chemicals chosen were those which most humans and mammals. Provides the CAS Chemical Registry Number, physical properties, type of risk involved, and occupational exposure, among other fields of information.

Oxford Reference Online: Physical Sciences & Mathematics Restricted Resource Some full text available

Oxford Reference Online is a suite of databases available electronically to CWU affiliated users.  The entire suite of encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and companion works can be accessed and searched from the "Databases by Title" link found on the library's homepage.  The set of references covering the physical sciences and mathematics deal with statistics, weights, measurements, space exploration, scientists, chemistry, astronomy, cosmology, mathematics, and physics.

Gale Virtual Reference Library Restricted Resource Some full text available
This is a collections of ebooks, available through the library's databases page under "Gale Virtual Reference Library." You can also search for the individual ebooks by title in Cattrax, our online catalog. The G.V.R. Library includes, among many others, the Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology (2 vols., 2008) and the Encyclopedia of Social Psychology (2 vols., 2007). (Search results in the Gale Virtual Reference Library will include all encyclopedias unless you click on a specific title and use the Quick Search box within the specific title page.)

Finding Books

Brooks Library Online Catalog - CATTRAX
Cattrax is the online catalog that describes nearly all the materials held by the Brooks Library: books, government documents, maps, microforms, journals, and other items. Using Cattrax to find an item in the Brooks Library: 1. Enter a search term – a word, a phrase, whatever – in the search box. 2. Use the drop-down menu to select whether you wish to do a keyword/word search, a title search, a subject search, an author search, or one of the other options. Click 'Search'. 3. Results that are 'relevant' to the search term that you used will be retrieved. Examine the results. Repeat steps 1 through 3 as needed. *** Note: Information is often described in several different ways; you may need to try a variety of terms before you find ones that provide you with the information you are looking for. And spelling counts.*** More Information about Cattrax: You can sort the results by 'relevance', date or by title, by clicking on those words below the Search Box. Click on a title to see a detailed bibliographic record about that title. The ‘bib record’ will contain a variety of additional information about the book: the author, location, call number, often a summary, status, subject terms, etc. Any and all of that information can be important clues. The ‘bib record’ will also have a link to a location map, two ways to send the information to your mobile phone, a citation tool, and will often have book cover images. (Note: the books are in Call Number order on the shelves and clicking on the "Call #" will display a list of books in something like 'shelf order', which can help you find some good ideas for searching Cattrax. It is also a good idea to look on the shelves, discovery happens in many ways.) When you finish your session with Cattrax remember to email, save, or print the ‘Save to Bag’ list of items that you found.
Summit Online Catalog
Summit is the unified library catalog of 37 universities, colleges, and community colleges in the Pacific Northwest. Through Summit you have access to over 9.2 million distinct books, CDs, DVDs, and more (that the Summit unified collection comprises over 28.7 million items virtually assures you of access to a copy of what you want or need). The unified catalog enables you to find and request items owned by any of Summit's member libraries. In general, requested items will arrive after three to five days, so it is important to plan ahead when utilizing Summit.

The Summit Catalog allows you to find not only books, CDs, and DVDs but also journal articles. In order to find an article through Summit, type a keyword, a subject, or an article title in the search box near the top of the Summit page (Advanced Search is also available). Select the "Full text articles" box (next to the Search Box or on the left side of the page). The results will be automatically sorted by "Library & Relevance," but you can also sort by author, title, or date.  Click the title link of the article or the “View Now” or “View Full Text” link to see more of the article and then download a pdf of it. (You can also click “Find It @ Your Library,” select Central Washington University, and find out what access we have to that article here.)

If the article, book, DVD, CD, etc. that you wish or need to acquire appears to be unavailable through Summit please consult one of our talented Help Desk Librarians. It is quite possible that we have access to the article through one of our other databases, or that the book, article, etc., can be gotten through Interlibrary Loan.

WorldCat Restricted Resource
WorldCat is an essential service run by the imaginatively named Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).  OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing information costs.

WorldCat aspires to be a library catalog for the entire world; it contains all the records cataloged by the more than 72,000 OCLC member libraries around the world.  WorldCat offers millions of bibliographic records and includes records in 400 languages.

The more than 179 million records cataloged by OCLC member libraries include books, manuscripts, websites and internet resources, maps, computer programs, musical scores, films, slides, videotapes, DVDs, newspapers, journals and magazines, sound recordings, articles, chapters, and papers.  The dates covered in WorldCat range from before 1000 BCE to literally earlier today.

The Basic Search is useful when you know precisely what you are looking for.  The Advanced Search is the default search and works well for most everyone.  There is also an Expert Search available in which you can write your own Boolean Search Expressions.

Assistance is available from WorldCat at this link, and from Brooks Librarians at this link.

Finding News Articles

WorldNews Network
The World News (WN) Network was founded with the goal of being the most comprehensive, one-stop news resource on the Internet.  Currently World News has over 130 million pages indexed covering news about, among many other topics, Film, Sport, Entertainment, Science, Business, Health and every Region on Earth.

World News Network presents news from more than 1000 reputable sources including mainstream providers (BBC, CNN, Reuters, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, etcetera) and more regional and local sources (The Independent, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Times of India, etcetera). This aggregation from other sites provides a wide variety of perspectives and different interpretations of breaking news events.

Information is available in two ways through the WN site.  News links that open in a new tab go directly to the headlined article on its original site.  Links that open in the same tab provide you with a link to the article on its original site, there are also links to the left and elsewhere on the page to information that helps you put the news article in context, as well as links to other version of the story or to related stories.

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

ACS Publications Restricted Resource Some full text available

Full text of journal articles from over 30 American Chemical Society publications, some of which go back over 100 years.

SciFinder is a research discovery tool that allows you to explore the Chemical Abstract Service databases containing journal and patent literature from many scientific disciplines, including biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, materials science, and agricultural science. Not only does it have CAplus (online version of Chemical Abstracts) it also includes CAS Registry, used for research chemical substance information.   Complete list of databases within SciFinder and the content available

First time users must register before using the database.

Use the above URL to find the link for registration.

Web of Science Restricted Resource

Index, abstracts, bibliographies, and cited references to articles from over 6,400 of the world's leading scholarly science and technical journals covering more than 150 disciplines.

Scitation & SPIN Web Restricted Resource

The SPIN database (Searchable Physics Information Notices) provides the most current indexing and abstracting of major American and Russian physics and astronomy journals. SPIN contains the abstracts of over 80 scientific journals published by the American Institute of Physics and its Member Societies since 1975, as well as selected articles from other scientific journals, totaling close to 1 million articles. Scitation covers science and technology (particularly engineering) journals online portal sites, magazines, and conference proceedings. Select the "Scitation & SPIN" radio button prior to entering your search terms. 

This is a citation / abstract database only.  To search for the full text, you will need to type in the journal or book title into the Summit Catalog (see library homepage) to see if the item is at Central or to request the item Interlibrary Loan.

Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Resource contains images Some full text available

A scholarly, multi-disciplinary database containing more than 5,300 full-text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed, scholarly journals, and with indexing and abstracting for more than 9,300 journals.  Academic Search Complete is an EBSCO database, and like most EBSCO databases it includes a "Choose Databases" link near the top of the page that enables you to search multiple EBSCO databases at the same time (an EBSCO multi-disciplinary database that is good to search at the same time as ASC is "MasterFILE Premier").

If the article whose title and abstract you found is not available in the Academic Search Complete database try clicking on "Search for Full Text".  If that option does not provide you with the full-text of the article please consult a librarian or submit an Interlibrary Loan Request.  Many articles are readily available in another database or through Interlibrary Loan and we are here to help you get the information you need!

Wiley Online Library Restricted Resource Some full text available

Full text of journal articles (most full text is back to 1997 to 2009) in over 250 journals in business, science, technology, and law, education, psychology and medicine.

Government Information

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science

The Office of Science manages fundamental research programs in basic energy sciences, biological and environmental sciences, and computational science. In addition, the Office of Science is the Federal Government's largest single funder of materials and chemical sciences, and it supports unique and vital parts of U.S. research in climate change, geophysics, genomics, life sciences, and science education.

Your portal to U.S. Government scientific and technical information and data "searches over 55 databases and over 2100 selected websites from 13 federal agencies." Browse topics for links to a wide range of online information sources in areas such as Earth and Ocean Sciences, Mapping and Cartography, Computers, Communications, and Mathematics, Natural Resources and Conservation, and many more. Now also available as Mobile!

Handbooks & Guides

Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education Resource contains images Some full text available
  Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education.  Mostly to help faculty in instruction practices.

Abbreviations of Chemical Compounds

To use, type in an abbreviation of the name of a chemical compound.

Analytical Periodic Table

Clicking on a specific element will give you it's location, atomic weight, coordination number, chemical form in solution, storage and handling recommendations, chemical compatibility, stability, and atomic spectroscopic info, unless so designated as not commercially available for analytical work.

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics(85th Edition)
Print Location: Ref QD 65 H3 Some full text available

Wide in scope, the handbook contains basic information for chemists and students alike. There are a number of conversion tables, information on the physical constants of organic and inorganic compounds, as well as other tables and diagrams on various states of matter.  This 85th edition also includes a reprint of the 1st edition.

Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (14th Edition)
Print Location: Ref QD65 .L36 2005

Provides basic Reference information for chemists and students of chemistry; it's suggested by the editors that Lange's is the first place to go to look something up. It contains tables of information and illustrations on organic compounds and another on inorganic chemistry; mathematical conversion and statistical tables; illustrated explanations as to the properties of atoms, radicals and bonds; the physical and thermodynamic properties of liquids, gases and solids; and the processes of different types of analytical chemistry.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) Web Links

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. MSDS's include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. These are of particular use if a spill or other accident occurs.

ToxFAQs: Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets

Information for this series is excerpted from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements. Each fact sheet serves as a quick and easy to understand guide.

Toxnet [United States National Library of Medicine]

Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.

Organizations & Directories

Association for Women in Science and Engineering

Aim is to advance the participation of girls and women in the sciences, from biomedicine to mathematics and the social sciences, in engineering, and in the technologies, in all areas and at all levels.

Green Chemistry Organizations
The links on this page are mostly links to environmental chemistry organizations.
Nature Network

Nature Network is the online meeting place for you and fellow scientists to gather, talk and find out about the latest scientific news and events. Science is an international endeavor and deserves a global stage for discussion. Scientists can also benefit from interactions at the local level. That's why you'll see an increasing number of local city hubs on Nature Network, starting with Boston and London.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory [PNNL]

The PNNL is run by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy specializing in nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoengineering. PNNL also does research in organic chemistry and atmospheric chemistry, among other areas of research.'s List of Chemistry Societies and Organizations
Groups to join if you are either a student or professional mainly in the disciplines of chemistry or chemical engineering. Includes the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, among many more.


Dictionary of Scientific Quotations

Extensive list of quotations, from Isaac Asimov to Einstein to Stephen Hawking to Mark Twain. Useful and amusing.  Available online. 


Book Index with Reviews Restricted Resource Some full text available

Book Index with Reviews™ (BIR) is a comprehensive database that provides information on over 5 million book titles.  BIR also contains almost 800,000 full-text searchable book reviews from some of the most trusted reviewers: Library Journal, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and the New York Times Book Review.

Fiction and non-fiction book titles are included in the database, in all genres, to help you find books to read for fun, for information, or for research.  BIR’s subject headings/genres and flexible search engine can help you find out about popular titles that are currently available, along with those that will soon be published or released.

Chemical Abstracts
Print Location: Ref QD1 A51
Chemical Abstracts indexes the literature written worldwide within the discipline of chemistry, including some patents. The University of California Santa Barbara has an excellent webpage that explains what Chemical Abstracts are and how to search both the print and electronic database versions. Please see:

Statistics & Measurements

Metric Conversion Factors

Extensive list of conversion factors from the Washington Department of Transportation.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Not just the guardians of Daylight Savings Time, the NIST is also has a laboratory website on Chemical Science and Technology [CSTL]. The following information is quoted from the CSTL website: "CSTL is the primary Reference laboratory for chemical measurements, entrusted with developing, maintaining, advancing, and enabling the chemical measurement system for the United States of America, thereby enhancing industry's productivity and competitiveness, establishing comparability of measurements to facilitate equity of global trade, and improving public health, safety, and environmental quality."

Statistics for Analytical Chemistry
"This page is an introduction to statistical tools used for analytical chemistry. It was developed to help students apply statistical tests and tools to data sets typically encountered in analytical chemistry."
Online Calculators & Conversion Tables provides useful information on systems of measurement (such as the SI unit of measurement), calculators for unit conversions and useful calculators for pH, temperature, molecular weight and much more.

Statistical Reports of U.S. Science and Engineering

A wealth of surveys, reports, and statistics on the sciences. Surveys describe the workforce and current educational trends in science.

Web Sites

Indiana Cheminformatics Education Portal
The Indiana Cheminformatics Education Portal (ICEP) is a repository of freely accessible cheminformatics educational materials maintained by David Wild, director of the Indiana University Cheminformatics Program. The purpose of this repository is to broaden education in cheminformatics, an effort that includes several other initiatives including an innovative cheminformatics distance education program, a Graduate Certificate in Chemical Informatics from Indiana University, a low cost cheminformatics self-study guide, and a collaboration with Open Source Drug Discovery for sharing of cheminformatics educational materials. ICEP includes free introductory learning materials, videos, and news, social media, and latest journal articles relating to cheminformatics.

Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education Resource contains images Some full text available
  Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education.  Mostly to help faculty in instruction practices.

Consider this your study buddy. Searchable database of information on the basics of chemistry, including examples and illustrations.
American Elements - Periodical Table of Elements
American Elements is the world leader in materials science know-how. The American Elements website has been a source for academic investigation and research for over a decade.
BUBL Link Catalogue of Internet Resources - Chemistry Links
Excellent portal to chemistry related websites.
Physical Sciences, Engineering,Computing and Math from INFOMINE
Most major disciplines in these areas are well covered. Basic science resources are emphasized though there is much of an applied nature as well. Climatology (incl. climate change information), paleontology and environmental science information with a physical science leaning are included.
General Chemistry Online!

Quiz yourself or check your knowledge with tutorials, trivia quizzes and exam guides on general chemistry. There is also a common compound library, articles, and a glossary.

National Science Digital Library

From the website: "NSDL was established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2000 as an online library which directs users to exemplary resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research. Access to most of the resources discovered through NSDL is free; however, some content providers may require a login, or a nominal fee or subscription to retrieve their specific resources."  You can search for audio, video, interactive resources, data and full text articles.

Nature is a weekly journal of contains subject areas on physics, along with sections on chemistry, life sciences, medicine, earth sciences and the environment.  The website also includes podcasts of the Nature show and videos.  Some of the information contained in here (journal articles, etc.) may have a full text option but are available only to subscribers of  To access an article, try searching the CWU Library catalog and "Electronic Journals" webpage for journal titles to which CWU Library owns a subscription.

OAIster Catalog of Digital Resources
OAIster is a catalog more than 25 million records of open access digital resource.  The Catalog was built by harvesting information from open access collections around the world  The digital resources in OAIster include items such as digitized books and articles, born-digital texts, audio files, images, and movies.

The OAIster Catalog is searchable by title, author/creator, subject, language, keyword and several other forms of metadata.  Searching in the OAIster Catalog is by Boolean Search (And, Or, Not).  Like playing chess the best way to become good at boolean searching is to do a lot of boolean searching.  Here are the 'basic moves' for searching the OAIster Catalog:

Combining the search terms 'Cat' and 'Dog' (Boolean)
    Cat and Dog
    Cat or Dog
    Cat not Dog
Note: 'and', 'or', & 'not' are in drop-down boxes to the left of the search boxes.

Plurals, truncation, and wildcards
    Use + for plurals (s and es)
    Use * for truncation
    Use # for a wildcard character
    Use ?N for up to N characters

Adjacent terms (proximity)
    Cat w Dog    (Cat is followed by Dog)
    Cat wN Dog  (Cat is followed by Dog with at most N terms between)
    Cat n Dog     (Cat is next to Dog, either order)
    Cat nN Dog   (Cat is within N terms of Dog, either order)

The available Limiters are Year, Document Type, and Language.  A Basic Search and an Expert Search interface is also available.  You can also create an account that will enable you to save searches.

NOTE:  Sometimes OAIster may direct you to items that are access restricted.  The Librarians in the ARC or at any of the service desks can help you with accessing information that is ‘access restricted’ and with any questions that you might have. is a nonprofit organization that provides interactive learning tools for computational math and science, such as their "Interactivate" pages for 3rd -12th grade students.  Shodor's Computation Science Reference Desk [CSERD] is a searchable portal to topical websites; see also the "Resources" tab to search through a number of tutorials on topics in computational science.

Strategian: The Strategic Guide to Quality Information in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, and Psychology

Searchable database with lots of links, including a database that provides citations to important articles, books, documents published before 1969.

Virtual Library of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Provides links to other websites on biochemistry and cell biology.

Items Of Interest

Exploratorium Learning Studio Resource contains audio Some full text available

The Exploratorium, a science museum founded in 1969 by physicist Frank Oppenheimer, contains a number of science / art / human perception exhibits within the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts.  The Exploratorium's website acts as both an exhibit space for sound and video webpages, and as an indexed megasite of award-winning web pages covering all areas of science.

PIVOT (Formerly COS Funding Opportunities) Restricted Resource
COS Funding Opportunities has been replaced by COS PIVOT.
This database provides access to funding opportunities as well as scholar profiles, with the ability to add your own scholar profile and to view the profiles of various research organizations.  PIVOT allows you to also prioritize and save your searches to receive weekly alerts.

You must register your own account and log in thereafter in order to use PIVOT. 
Registration and log in is in the upper righthand corner of screen.  Previous CWU users of COS Funding Opportunities may log in with their existing username and password, as the accounts have been transferred over into PIVOT. For more information, please see: Pivot Video Tutorials.

Note: For some opportunities, sponsors accept only a limited number of proposals or applications from an institution, or require an institution to rank or prioritize applications before submission.
If an opportunity is marked "Internal Coordination Required," please contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research before applying.
Key to Icons

Restricted Resource = Restricted resource
Some full text available = Some full text
openURL = OpenURL enabled

Resource contains images = Images
Resource contains video = Video files
Resource contains audio = Audio files

Academic Search Complete
Research databases
Call Numbers/Subjects
Subject Specialist
Picture: Patricia Cutright

Patricia Cutright
Library Dean
Tel: (509) 963-1973