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Chemistry: Key resources

A guide to finding information in chemistry. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

Use the resources listed on this page to find relevant information on topics in chemistry. They will give you access to both primary and secondary sources of information.

  • Primary sources - these are first hand accounts of research that has been undertaken and written by the researchers themselves. Mostly these are journal articles. Patents are also a primary source.
  • Secondary sources - describe, summarize, or discuss information or details originally presented in another source. Books are usually secondary sources. As are review articles which summarise the current state of the knowledge on a topic (many databases allow you to restrict search results to this type of article). 

Key resources for chemists

Chemistry-specific resources

Use these to find literature and chemical information.

General resources for finding literature

These sources cover all subjects but are very useful for finding chemistry-related publications.

Key websites

Getting items not held at Reading

Map of the south of the UKOur Inter-Library Loans service can get articles, books and other publications not held at Reading from other libraries (usually from the British Library).

For more information see our webpages:

Accessing online Library resources

If you are on campus you will be able to access most e-journals and e-books, and some databases, without entering a username and password because your IP address identifies you as being at the University of Reading.

For any that require a login, see the Off-campus tab.

Terms of Use

When you use our e-resources you are agreeing to our Terms of Use. Please take a moment to look at these by following the link below:

When you are off-campus you will need to login to identify yourself as a member of the University of Reading to gain access to our protected databases, e-books and e-journals. 

Your login details

You login in the same way as for Blackboard - via Microsoft. Just enter your University username followed by @student.reading.ac.uk (e.g. ab123456@student.reading.ac.uk) and your password. If this is the first time you have logged in via this method when off-campus you will be asked to complete a Multi-Factor Authentication. For more information see:

Getting to the login page...

  • For most resources, if you follow a link from our website or catalogues your login will be picked up automatically or you will be prompted to login straightaway. 
  • If you access resources via another route you will need to look for a login option once you reach the resource you are trying to access. Look for an institutional or shibboleth login option and pick 'University of Reading' from a list of institutions. This will then pick up your login or prompt you to login. For more information about institutional login, please see the link below:
Logging in to Library resources

Watch this short video on how you login to use Library resources.

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Logging in to the Library video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Doing a literature search

This playlist of two videos shows you how to prepare for and perform a literature search. The first video introduces literature searches and their role. The second video covers using the search operators AND and OR to create a search statement, and explains the role of wildcards and truncation in constructing a comprehensive search. This information is also available in written guides - see the links below. 

If you are unable to view these videos on YouTube they are also available on YuJa or Stream (University username and password required):

Related guides

Guidance on using SciFinder-n

This is a recording of a webinar run for the Chemistry Department by Mariam Plana from CAS  on Wed 9 November 2023 (University username and password required to view):

For support and videos covering specific aspects of using SciFinder-n, see the following website:

Guides to using Reaxys

This is a recording of a webinar run for the Chemistry Department by Guilia Moncelsi from Elsevier on Wed 11 October 2023 (University username and password required to view):