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Chemistry & Biochemistry: Organic Chemistry

Subject guide for chemistry and biochemistry

Locating Books

To locate books on your topic, use the UC Library Search. As a starting point, use a keyword search on the likely terms. You are unlikely to find references to a single compound, but may be able to find useful books on classes of compounds, such as esters, carboxylic acids, or polymers. For the most general case, use organic compounds. For synthesis information, combine the compound class term with synthesis. For properties, use the specific property name (e.g. solubility, spectra, toxicology.) For collections of data, use handbooks or tables. Examples: amines synthesis, organophosphorus toxicology, organic compounds handbooks

If nothing comes up, try a broader class term, or try your class term without a qualifier. When you find a relevant record, check its subject headings to see if there is alternative terminology you should try. Similarly, use keyword searches to find books on particular methods or reactions (e.g., addition reactions, ring formation). You may also want to browse in the book stacks.

  • Organic analysis: QD 271-272
  • Organic synthetic methods: QD 262 and QD 281.
  • Specific classes of compounds:QD 300-406
  • Organometallics: QD 410-412
  • Physical organic chemistry: QD 476

General Reference Works


"Comprehensive Chemistry" series
These sets from Pergamon Press contain excellent review articles on various aspects of their respective subjects, and make good starting points for new research. The oldest of these, Comprehensive Organic Chemistry, is becoming somewhat dated, but is still useful. Each set is organized into volumes on broad subject areas; it's best to consult the subject indexes to locate your topic. Most of the sets also have an excellent molecular formula index.

Synthetic Methods

Physical Properties and Characterization

Spectra: For Spectra sources, see the appropriate section of the General Chemistry guide.

For sample problems in organic compound characterization, try these site:

Organic Structure Elucidation (
This site from Notre Dame has 64 problems of varying levels of difficulty

Locating Articles

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