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Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Resources: Property Information

Tips for Property Searching

  1. Search under all synonyms for the property. Example: dissociation constant or pKa or ionisation constant or ionization constant
  2. Determine property symbol and/or unit.
  3. Try searching for a substance by CAS registry number, chemical name, molecular formula, and/or structure.
  4. If searching by chemical name, use various names: Chemical Abstracts (direct or inverted), IUPAC (direct or inverted), common, trade.
  5. If searching by molecular formula, know how molecular formulas are alphabetized in your source.
    Organic compounds: Carbon, Hydrogen, others in alphabetical order
    Inorganic compounds: May not be indexed as written
    Polymers: Try monomer
    Example: CHNO or HOCN
    Example: KBr or BrK
    Example: SO2Cl or Cl2OS
  6. Search under the subject area as well as the property name. Example: If looking for extinction coefficient, also try UV
  7. In print sources, search by using one or more of the indexes. Example: Dictionary of Inorganic Substances has four indexes: Structural Type, Name, CAS Registry Number, and Element
  8. Use the correct truncation symbol when searching online databases.
  9. If you can't find your property data using these resources, try a RESEARCH TOPIC search in SciFinder Web. SciFinder Web's natural language searching is useful for retrieving obscure terminology.

From Tips For Locating Property Data, University of Wisconsin - Madison Chemistry Library, http://researchguides.library.wisc.edu/propertiesguide.

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Emily Hart