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This guide highlights key information and resources for chemistry research.

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Jenna Strawbridge
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Key chemical property databases

Other chemical property sources


Online Resources

Spectral information

Also see the Getting Started section of this guide.


Online Resources

Bioactivity data


Online Resources

Tips: Finding property data

  1. Check the index of a reference book to find out how the information is organized.  You may be interested in finding the Heat of Formation for Ethylenediamine.  In some cases, Ethylenediamine may not be listed in the index, but the property, the Heat of Formation, is listed.
  2. Chemicals are identified in multiple ways.  Ethylenediamine could also be listed as:

1,2-Ethanediamine   OR   107-15-3   OR   C2H8N2

  1. Chemistry related reference materials include dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and methods.  To learn more about a topic in broad details, you would start with an encyclopedia but to find a specific data point, you would start with handbook.  
  2. Have an isomer?  Each could have their own CAS registry number. 

Example:  The amino acid ALANINE has two registry numbers:  302-72-7 and 56-41-7


  1.  Don't forget that you can use the LOCATE BY SUBSTANCE IDENTIFIER in SciFinder to find a compound's registry number and alternative names.  

CAS Registry Number (CAS RN)

CAS REGISTRY® is an authoritative collection of chemical substance information, covering substances identified from the scientific literature from 1957–present, with additional substances going back to the early 1900s. CAS REGISTRY is updated daily with thousands of new substances.

A CAS Registry Number® (CAS RN®) is a unique numeric identifier that designates one particular chemical substance. Since chemical compounds can be described in many different ways (such as molecular formulas, structure diagrams, systematic names, proprietary or trade names, etc.), a CAS Registry Number allows for quick and reliable validation, is internationally recognized, and most importantly, is unique to each chemical substance.

 Searching for literature by the CAS RN is a great way to avoid issues related to vast chemical synonyms and chemical name syntax issues when searching in databases.

Examples of searching by CAS RN in databases:

Screenshot of formaldehyde record in SciFinder

Screenshot of formaldehyde record in PubChem

Screenshot of formaldehyde record in Reaxys

Need help finding a journal?