Synthesis Data at UCR Science Library

This information is primarily for students in Chemistry 160 and other classes in which you are requested to find an article that gives a method for synthesis.

Note that the MELVYL System or Scotty (the UCR Library Catalog) is not the best place to start your search. Chemical handbooks and dictionaries are a better first stop.

  1. Follow up references to the literature given in your lab manual, if there are any. Use the MELVYL System or Scotty to determine whether or not the library owns a particular book or journal. If you don't know how to use the online catalogs, please ask at the reference desk or consult the various handouts available.
  1. Look in the Merck Index (Ready Ref RS356). Check under the name of your compound. Use the index to determine if there is an alternate name for the compound. Often the short entry will give some literature references. Not all compounds are listed in Merck. If you don't find yours, go on to the next step.
  2. Try the Aldrich Catalog Handbook of Fine Chemicals (Ready Ref TP202 A54). Even if you don't find a helpful citation to the literature, you will find the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS number). This unique number, for example [98-58-2], will help you to properly identify the compound as you look in other reference books. Look under the name of your compound or a reagent you could use for synthesis.
  3. Use the Dictionary of Organic Compounds (Ref QD246 D5 1996). Use the formula index, the chemical name index, or the CAS registry number index to identify the correct entry for the compound. Then use the entry number given to refer to the appropriate volume in the main series or supplements. Each compound or series of compounds has references listed at the end. Look for the abbreviation "synth" to find articles that refer to synthesis. To find out whether or not the Library has them, you will need to look them up in Scotty or the MELVYL Catalog. Here are a few common sources and call numbers:

J.A.C.S. = The Journal of the American Chemical Society (Q1 A5)

These two multi-volume sets are shelved in the Physical Sciences Library Reference Collection:

A) Organic Syntheses (Ref QD262 O72). This is often abbreviated as Org. Synth.

B) Reagents for Organic Synthesis, (Ref QD262 F5) often referred to as Feiser & Feiser (the editors).

If you haven't found a reference to your compound already, then you need to use the indexes in one of these two reference sets.

A) Organic Syntheses:

B) Reagents for Organic Synthesis:


Last modified: 11/21/2003 11:53 AM by by M. Potter