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These databases are of particular interest for chemists. See also this Chemical Data guide.

The University subscribes to many other databases in other disciplines that may be of interest to you, see the A-Z Databases website.

List of useful chemistry related databases
Database What is it good for? Access Notes
arXiv Highly-automated electronic archive and distribution server for research articles. Open access to 1,094,715 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics. Public  

ASTM Compass (on-campus access)

ASTM Compass (off-campus access)

Access to +12,500 global ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials) standards. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
bioRxiv Preprint server for biology (life sciences generally) but some fields may overlap with chemistry, e.g. biochemistry, genomics, cell biology. Public  
A comprehensive library of over 90,000 internationally recognised standards. It’s available 24/7 and revised every single day. You can also access ASTM, ISO, CEN, CENELEC and IEC on BSOL. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)

BSOL will be introducing a new security feature to their documents.

This means BSOL documents can only be opened with a plug-in installed on a user's device. The plug-in is called File Open. 

The plug-in must be installed by 1st September 2021.

BSI has created guidance on how to install the plug-in, to ensure that users are able to access and use the documents as quickly and efficiently as before:

Please contact if you have any concerns.

Cambridge Structural Database (CSD)  World’s repository for small-molecule organic and metal-organic crystal structures.  Public, via WebCSD The standalone CSD application can easily be added to managed Windows computers within the Department of Chemistry via WPKG, and can also be accessed on the Managed Cluster Service computers throughout the University & in Colleges. Follow the link on the left for more information. See also their Training and Educational Resources website for guidance on how to use CSD.
CAS Common Chemistry Open community resource for accessing chemical information. Nearly 500,000 chemical substances from CAS REGISTRY® cover areas of community interest. The collection represents substances commonly found in consumer products, on regulatory lists and as part of introductory chemistry curricula. Public  
ChEBI (Chemical Entities of Biological Interest)   Freely available dictionary of molecular entities focused on ‘small’ chemical entities. Public  
ChEMBL ChEMBL is a manually curated database of bioactive molecules with drug-like properties. It brings together chemical, bioactivity and genomic data to aid the translation of genomic information into effective new drugs. Public  
ChemRxiv Pre-print server for a broad range of chemistry fields. Public Preprints come from the author's original files, and are not prepared for publication.
ChemSpider  Free chemical structure database providing fast text and structure search access to over 35 million structures from hundreds of data sources.  

Link from ChemSpider to the Crystallography Open Database 

See also the ChemSpider Synthetic Pages 

Cite them right The essential referencing source. This site will help you to reference just about any source, and understand how to avoid plagiarism. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics Tables of data and current international recommendations on nomenclature, symbols, and units. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
Current Protocols Over 24,000 step-by-step techniques, procedures, and practical overviews in: Bioinformatics; Chemical Biology; Cell Biology; Cytometry; Current Protocols: Essential Laboratory Techniques; Food Analytical Chemistry; Human Genetics; Immunology; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Molecular Biology; Microbiology; Mouse Biology; Neuroscience; Pharmacology; Protein Science; Toxicology; Stem Cell Biology. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login) Individual protocol titles and articles are available on iDiscover.
Crystallography Open Database, COD

Open-access collection of crystal structures of organic, inorganic, metal-organics compounds and minerals, excludingbiopolymers.

e-EROS (Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis)  Reference work for reagents and catalysts for the study or organic synthesis. Detailed information on more than 4,500 reagents and catalysts, and every year more than 200 new or updated articles are added. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
Google Dataset search Dataset Search enables users to find datasets stored across the Web through a simple keyword search. The tool surfaces information about datasets hosted in thousands of repositories across the Web. Public  
Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology Articles on chemical substances, including their properties, manufacturing, and uses. Focuses on industrial processes and unit operations in chemical engineering. Covers fundamentals and scientific subjects related to the fields of environmental and health issues concerning chemical technology. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
The Lens A trans-disciplinary, trans-domain platform aggregating metadata on scholarly works and patents for discovery and analysis using management tools and APIs. Public, no account required, but APIs are available to University users via a subscription to The Lens Institutional Toolkit from 2022 Visit the ejournals@cambridge blog post on The Lens subscription for further information.
nmrshiftdb2 nmrshiftdb2 is a NMR database (web database) for organic structures and their nuclear magnetic resonance (nmr) spectra. It allows for spectrum prediction (13C, 1H and other nuclei) as well as for searching spectra, structures and other properties. The nmrshiftdb2 software is open source, the data is published under an open content license. The core of nmrshitdb2 are fully assigned spectra with raw data and peak lists. Public  
Organic Chemistry Portal

Offers an overview of recent topics, interesting reactions, and information on important chemicals for organic chemists. Find the most important name reactions in organic chemistry, stability data for the most frequently used protective groups, protection and deprotection methods; browse synthetic transformations.



OSCAR: An extensive repository of chemically and functionally diverse organocatalysts A repository of thousands of experimentally derived (OSCAR seed and CSD-extracted) and combinatorially enriched organocatalysts (OSCAR!(NHC) and OSCAR!(DHBD) for N-heterocyclic carbenes and hydrogen bond donors, respectively). The structures and corresponding stereoelectronic properties are publicly available and constitute the starting point to build generative and predictive models for organocatalyst performance. Public  
Pharmaceutical Substances Information relating to the industrial synthesis and commercial applications of every licensed drug of significance. Provides access to syntheses, patents, and applications for over 2,600 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
Physical Sciences Data-Science Service (PSDS)

The PSDS provides a common access point to data resources within the Physical Sciences to all staff, students and other members of UK academic institutions. 

Resources currently provided are: CSD (Cambridge Structural Database), CrystalWorks (crystallographic structural data), ICSD (Inorganic Crystal Structure Database), ACD/I-Lab (properties data), DETHERM (thermophysical data), ChemSpider (chemical structures), SpresiWeb (structure and reaction data).

On campus: apart from the CSD (Cambridge Structural Database, please see above), all services are accessed via web interfaces, for free.

Off-campus: apart from the CSD (please see above), you will need to visit the PSDS registration page to request a PSDS username and password. Access is free. See their website for more information.

Pistoia Alliance Chemical Safety Library

Open-access platform that streamlines access to hazardous reaction information crowd-sourced from academic, industry and government institutions around the world. Developed and hosted by CAS (Chemical Abstracts Society).


PQDT (ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Abstracting & Indexing Service)

A comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, dating from 1743 to the present. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login) Access for members of the University of Cambridge is to the abstracts only. Full text can either be purchased online via ProQuest or through our Document Supply service.
PQDT Open (ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Open) Open Access theses published under ProQuest's Open Access Publishing Public  
PubChem PubChem is the world's largest collection of freely accessible chemical information. Search chemicals by name, molecular formula, structure, and other identifiers. Find chemical and physical properties, biological activities, safety and toxicity information, patents, literature citations and more. You can browse data and draw structures to search. Public  
PubMed 25m+ citations for biomedical literature indexed by MEDLINE (U.S. National Library Medicine citation database), life science journals, and online books. Includes links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites (where subscribed). Public

CamPubMed: Cambridge interface that displays '@cam find full-text' links.

Mobile version and apps available (via your app store). Re3data is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It includes repositories that enable permanent storage of and access to data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers, and scholarly institutions. promotes a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data.  Public  
Reaxys, incorporating Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry and Reaxys Predictive Retrosynthesis 

Reaxys offers synthesis planning and includes experimental structure, reaction and property data from essential journals, patents, conference proceedings and textbook chapters. Links to the full text (where subscribed).

Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry content includes: structure–activity relationship (SAR) profiles; data from in vivo animal studies; in vitro efficacy, pharmacokinetic, toxicity and safety data; in vitro metabolic profiles, for drug discovery and development.

Reaxys Predictive Retrosynthesis is a tool for medicinal and synthetic chemistry that allows you to carry out synthesis route design and prediction by applying AI to the Reaxys database of chemical reactions.

University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login) 

See the Reaxys Support Center for information on Reaxys content and guidance on its use. There's a Reaxys resources and support website which provides links to Reaxys factsheets, and upcoming and recorded webinars. There's also a YouTube channel of videos available. Reaxys Academy provides educational material to support learning chemistry concepts and digital chemistry literacy with Reaxys.

Free ReactionFlash app available giving access to 950+ Named Reactions, their mechanisms and examples in peer-reviewed literature.


The University's subscription to SciFinder-n was cancelled in August 2020. We are trying to reinstate it but do not know if/when this would be possible. 

Any comments on this should be sent to

Please try using Reaxys in the meantime.

Scopus  21,000+ journal titles (30% physical sciences), 120,00 books, 6.8m conference papers
27m patents. Of 54m records, 33m date from 1996 and 21m pre-1996 records go back to 1823. Links to the full text (where subscribed). Links to metrics data for citations. 
University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
Spectral Database for Organic Compounds, SDBS SDBS is an integrated spectral database system for organic compounds,which includes 6 different types of spectra under a directory of the compounds: an electron impact Mass spectrum (EI-MS), a Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FT-IR), a 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrum, a 13C NMR spectrum, a laser Raman spectrum, and an electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrum. Public  
Springer Materials (including Landolt-Börnstein) 

SpringerMaterials provides curated data and advanced functionalities to support research in materials science, physics, chemistry, engineering, and other related fields.
A comprehensive database covering multiple material classes, property types, and applications.

Enhanced data visualization features display interactive crystal structures, data tables, and phase diagrams with export options for further analysis.

Search functions optimized for materials science like elemental composition or chemical structure searching to quickly find material property data.

University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login)  
SureChEMBL Provides free access to chemical data extracted from the patent literature. Public  
Toxline Bibliographic citations and abstracts from the core journal literature in all areas of toxicology, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pesticides, environmental pollutants and mutagens and teratogens. University-subscribed (off-campus access via Raven login) See also Toxnet Toxicology Data network for databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases.
UniChem Efficiently produces cross-references between chemical structure identifiers from different databases. Public  
Web of Science 8,500+ science journal titles, 60,000+ scholarly books, 160,000+ conference proceedings (1990-), 51.8m+ patents, 55m records dating from 1900. Cited reference and chemical structure searches. Links to metrics data for citations. Links to the full text (where subscribed). University-subscribed (requires Raven login on- and off-campus). Mobile version available.
Wikidata Wikidata is a free, collaborative, multilingual, secondary database, collecting structured data to provide support for Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, the other wikis of the Wikimedia movement, and to anyone in the world. Wikidata is a central storage repository that can be accessed by others, such as the wikis maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation. Content loaded dynamically from Wikidata does not need to be maintained in each individual wiki project. For example, statistics, dates, locations and other common data can be centralized in Wikidata. You can use the Wikidata SPARQL query service to extract data. Public