ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication

How to Write Like a Chemist

Searching For a Compound

There are many ways you can describe a compound in order to search for it within a database.  Consider your options and what types of descriptions the particular database will accept.  If you get zero results, try another way before moving on to another resource.

Chemical name/synonyms
Common/trivial name
Molecular formula
Empirical formula
CAS Registry Number

For example, consider ethanol:

ethyl alcohol
ethyl hydroxide
CAS# 64-17-15

Key Article Databases

    Citing Your Sources

The style mainly used for Chemistry is:

  • ACS (American Chemical Society) Style

However, you should follow the instructions given by your professor, editor, or journal first. See the Citation Resources page for more detailed information on citation styles.

    How to Find Chemistry eBooks

Click on a subject to see ebooks:

Prefer the retro feel of a book in your hands? Browse the library shelves in the QD section. Need help with call numbers? Learn more >>

    Have more questions?

Marianne Stowell Bracke
115 Cowles Library