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Alison Ashmore

Photo of  Alison Ashmore

Academic Librarian

Please contact me if you need help finding information for your studies or have any referencing queries.

Why do I need this guide?

The aim of this guide is to help you easily identify the key chemical resources that the library provide to support your studies and to provide guidance on referencing.

Chemists need to work with quality and validated materials. The library provide access to niche chemistry search tools that can be searched using keywords and structures (see the Chemistry resources tab above).

Before you start remember to download the VPN from IT Services to gain seamless off-campus access to ebooks, e-journals, databases, e-mail and print credits etc.

If this guide does not provide you with the information that you need please contact your Alison Ashmore, your Academic Librarian.  

Other related guides you might find useful

Patents and Standards 


Library Catalogue Plus - a good place to start.

Key chemistry resources

American Chemical Society Journals                           Access the full-text of the ACS journals covering chemical and related science.
Chemspider A free chemical structure database which can be searched using text or chemical structures.
Organic Chemistry Portal A useful resource listing interesting chemical reactions for common synthetic problems.
Reaxys Covers an extensive collection of organic, organo-metallic, and inorganic chemistry data. Reaxys enables you to search by structure, substructure, reaction, text, and property data. Reaxys is valuable for obtaining preparation/reaction methods and physico-chemical data for pure compounds. Follow this link to the Reaxys Quick Start Guide.
Royal Society of Chemistry Journals Access to over 40 full-text RSC journals.
SciFinder Covers organic and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, applied and physical chemistry, biology, medicine and much more. Includes articles, conference proceedings and patents. You can search via substance, reaction, molecular formula, as well as topic and author. To use SciFinder you will need to complete an online registration process outlined in the SciFinder Quick Start Guide‌ . 
Springer Chemistry resources Access to the Springer e-journal and e-book collection.

Specialised multidisciplinary resources

Full-text patents database. Patents cover the technical details of an invention together with any associated legal information.
Excellent resource for biomedical information including drug analysis, formulations and therapy.
Science Direct
Access to the full-text journals produced by Elsevier.
Multidisciplinary database covering chemistry, biomedical and health sciences. Content includes scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.
Web of Science
Covers a variety of disciplines including chemistry, natural sciences, biomedical and health sciences.
Wiley Online Library
Access the online collection of chemistry e-journals and e-books.

Reference resources

Kay and Laby Online
Reference work covering fundamental constants to fibre optics, superconductivity through to Raman spectroscopy and many others.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology
Presents a wide scope of articles on chemical substances, including their properties, manufacturing, and uses.
Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry
Reference book in chemistry and chemical and life science engineering, covering inorganic and organic chemicals, advanced materials, pharmaceuticals and more.




Referencing & Citation

When you refer to another person’s work in your own essay, report or presentation etc. you will need to reference that work to avoid plagiarising it.  This allows the person reading your work to differentiate between your ideas and those of another person.  You will need to reference the work in two ways:

  • Citation, also called an in-text citation.  This accompanies the quote, extract, paraphrasing or illustration that you have used and provides the name of the author/creator, date and page numbers if relevant. For example:

‘Recent research (Smith, 2015, pp. 201-203) challenges previous theories…..’

  •  Bibliography, provides the details of all the sources which you have consulted during your research.  If you are referencing a printed book you will need to include the following details: author/editor; publication year; title; edition if not the first; place of publication; series and volume number where relevant. For example:

Smith, S. (2015). Analytical chemistry. 3rd ed. London: Oxford University Press.

The Chemistry department do not have a preferred referencing style, so always check with your supervisor what referencing style is required for your coursework/ dissertation.

See the RSC website for information on the RSC referencing style.

An excellent guide to referencing which mainly includes Harvard and other styles is called ‘Cite them Right: the essential referencing guide’ by R. Pears and G.J. Shields.  

Reference management software

Reference management software can help you to keep track of all the references you have used in your reports, essays or final project. The library provides guidance on Mendeley software (free).

There are quick start-up guides on Learn