Make your own free website on
Information on your chosen link Welcome to Bunsen Learner from The Department of Chemistry at The University of Edinburgh Link to the University of Edinburgh website
blue bar

Link to the Resources page


This page is designed to provide sources, both on and off the internet, of information to help you with your undergraduate course. These links should help you no matter which year you are in, from a simple book search in your first year to a comprehensive journal search for your final research project.

Click on the relevant link below to be taken to the desired part of this page.

Books  Web Search Engines  Databases  Journals


If you can't find what you are looking for in your lecture notes the next place to look is books. There are some online lectures but there is a shortage of good ones and finding one that is relevant to what you are looking for is difficult. Use the following links to locate that all important book.

Search the university's libraries for the recommended texts.
James Thin
If you find a really good book see if its available at James Thin. They have a list of books recommended by the departments which is really handy as it saves you having to search for them. Unfortunately this only includes first and second years. They also have a delivery service so you don't have to leave the flat or just pop along to the universities shop at Kings Buildings.
If Thins don't have what you are looking for then Amazon will either have it or order it for you and deliver to your door.

Web Search Engines

Search engines can be used to locate web pages related to a particular topic. The only trouble is there tends to be a large volume of information to sieve through and not all of it is necessarily correct as anyone can publish what ever they like. It can however be useful for finding links to more genuine sites like other universities or large companies.

A really good general search engine for the internet.
Takes you straight to a directory of sites about chemistry provided by yahoo.
A really good search engine for locating information about any chemical on the web. All you need is either its name, CAS number, or formula. Provides really useful information like density, melting point, boiling point etc. Really handy for labs and saves hours searching through books.
SciSeek is a guide to the Internet in the fields of science and nature. There is even a chemistry section with a wide variety of folders on different topics within chemistry.


Athens provides access to a large variety of on-line resources in the form of databases. The system allows each individual user to set up a personal account, which then enables access to resources from any computer with Internet access. All members of Edinburgh University have access to this facility. For details and information on signing up check out the universities library service.

Web of Science
A really good easy to use database allowing you to search a wide range of journals. You will need to log in using your Athens username and password. For more information on how to get the best out of this database visit the ISI Web of Science help table.
Mimas crossfire services
Mimas crossfire provides you with access to the Beilstein Database (organic) and the Gmelin Database (inorganic). The Beilstein and Gmelin databases are searched using the Beilstein Commander. It allows searching by chemical structure as well as by the more usual text fields. Results are displayed in diagrams and text formats, with hyperlinks between substances, reactions and citations. Edinburgh University has a copy of crossfire, which is accessed via the library services in the start up menu. Once you are in click on the and log in using your Athens username and password.

For more information on getting into crossfire and finding your way around see the following sites

  • This is a step by step guide on using crossfire. Just click on the title of this page for general information on the service.
  • There is a quick reference guide for hints on getting the information you require.
  • This web site from the University of Wisconsin provides a more comprehensive guide
This contains a good search database for journals. Log in using your Athens id and password. Once you are in click on ingenta and search for the topic you require.
Scifinder Scholar
Scifinder Scholar is the software used to search Chemical Abstracts. The software is very expensive, but Edinburgh University has a copy in the Chemistry Library. This is another really good database to look up your research topic. Check out the CAS learning centre to find out more about it and in particularly how to use it. Scifinder 2000 solutions is a well-designed web site helping you to get the most out of this database.
Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC)
A computerised database containing comprehensive data for organic and metal-organic molecules studied by diffraction.
Chemical Database Service
CDS provides on-line access to a variety of quality databases in the field of Chemistry, plus support, training and advice. You need to register for this database but it is very straightforward and completely free.


EU library
You can search the chemistry section of the university's library centre for the journals you require.
Chemistry department at the University of Cambridge
This site contains a comprehensive list of journals. This is really handy as it takes you to the publishers web page where you can then search for your article. Not all articles are actually on line (see below) but most have an abstract. You can then use the library to find out if the uni has the copy you want.
State University of New York
This site contains a list of e-journals, that's journals which are actually available to you to print or save in full. This is really handy as it saves searching through the library for journals which might not be there. They also have hyper links to some of the references, which saves even more time. It is also possible to save them to disk, which saves on printing costs and allows you too read them whenever you like. Some of the files require acrobat reader to view them. This is completely free to down load from this site. Every type of journal is available from this site so hopefully you won't need to visit George Square for that all-important medical journal. The only down side is that they only go back as far as about 1996. There is also a general list of e-journals available at the university's library centre.
|   Resources   |   Lab Info   |   Analysis   |   Presentation   |   Revision   |   General   |