The aim of this research guide is to help you find information about a molecule. As you may already know, there are infinite types of molecules and depending on the particular characteristics of the one you are researching, you may use only some of the resources below.


Finding Information in Books

Although it is definitely worth a try, do not be discouraged if you do a keyword search with your molecule’s name in Grace Library’s Online Catalog and do not receive any results. There is a wealth of molecular information at Grace Library in the Reference Collection. If you’re looking for chemical interactions, molecular functions and structure as well as applications, particularly in healthcare treatment, the reference books listed below may help you with your research. (All books are located in the Reference Collection and will have the abbreviation “Ref. “ printed on the spine of the book above the call number.)

Oxford dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology. 2nd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
CALL NUMBER QP512 .O94 2006
This dictionary offers chemical structures and amino-acid sequences with its concise definitions. It is a good place to start your research.

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Cleveland, OH: CRC Press.
Considered an essential text for physicists, this volume has molecular diagrams, conversion factors, boiling and melting points, densities, refractive indexes, constants of organic compounds, properties of the elements and inorganic compounds, and much, much more. You can find it on reserve behind the circulation desk rather than in the Reference Collection.

Physician’s Desk Reference. Oradell, NJ: Medical Economics Co.
The Physician’s Desk Reference (often called the PDR) , is the place to go when you are interested in prescription or over-the-counter drugs. You will need to have a specific drug’s name, however, so if you’re looking for acetaminophen you will find information under the headings for Tylenol by looking through the “Brand and Genetic Name Index” at the front of the book. You can find it on reserve behind the circulation desk rather than in the Reference Collection.

Physicians' desk reference for nonprescription drugs and dietary supplements. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Co.
Start at the Product Name Index to find your page number. Expect to find similar information that you would see on the bottle of the product. You can find it on reserve behind the circulation desk rather than in the Reference Collection.

Lexi-Comp, Inc. Drug Information Handbook for Nursing. Hudson, OH: Lexi-Comp.
CALL NUMBER RM301 .12 .D7837B
Unlike the PDR, which also has drug information, brand and generic names are not used in this book so it is likely that you can flip straight to an entry such as “acetaminophen.”

Fauci, Anthony S., et al., eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical, 2008.
CALL NUMBER RC46 .H333 2008
This highly technical book would best be approached through the index to find your molecule information. It is intended for medical professionals. Do not overlook the illustrations and graphs that accompany the text.

Budavari, Susan. Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals. Whitehouse Station: NJ, 1996.
This dense encyclopedia describes chemicals and drugs in a pharmaceutical context. You will find chemical formulas, molecular weights, structural formulas, percent composition, other names for your molecule, solubility, and references to other literature regarding chemical synthesis.

Pizzorno, Joseph E. J. & Murray, Michael T. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 2 vols. 3rd ed. St. Louis: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2006.
CALL NUMBER RZ440 .T49 2006
Start at either the part of the Table of Contents called “Pharmacology of Natural Medicines” or in the index to find your molecule. You may find information covering how drugs work and clinical indications for prescribed botanical medicines or special nutrients.

Galanter, Marc & Kleber, Herbert, eds. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2004.
CALL NUMBER RC 564 .A525 2004
For molecules related to pain treatment or the problem of addiction, this comprehensive book is helpful describing how psychiatrists provide treatment. Expect pharmacological and psychological discussions.

Lounge, Jacqueline L., ed. Gale Encyclopedia of Diets: A Guide to Health and Nutrition. 2 vols. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2008.
CALL NUMBER RA784 .G345 2008
Specializing in nutrition, this set of books discusses what is popular in healthy eating today and also focused eating plans. Start by looking for your molecule in the index.

Higdon, Jane. An Evidence-Based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals: Health Implications and Intake Recommendations. New York: Thieme, 2003.
CALL NUMBER QP771 .H54 2003
This book also discusses nutrition. If your molecule has anything to do with disease treatment and prevention or nutrient sources and safety, this is a good book to consult.

Tyler, David F. The Nutrition and Health Encyclopedia. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981.
This book offers concise definitions in alphabetical entries along with formulas and technical information.



Finding Journal and Magazine Articles

You may also find general information about how your molecule is being used today in science and general interest articles indexed in our online databases. When you are on campus, start at the Grace Library home page, click on Find Articles to see a list of our databases. When you are not on campus, also start at the Grace Library home page but instead click on the link called Off Campus Access to Library Services and log in using your Carlow Active Directory user name and password. Try searching OmniFile Full Text Select - H.W. Wilson and Academic Search Premier to see what is being written about your molecule today. Also try National Newspapers to see if the biggest newspapers in the United States have printed any articles about your molecule.

Two reference databases that you want to search are the Britannica Online, a general encyclopedia that will surely give a few basic facts about the molecule, and also World News Digest, which may offer some historical and news information.

Finding Information Online

A good place to begin looking for molecule information on the web is at the Grace Library home page and then by clicking on our link Helpful Web Sites. On the Helpful Web Resources page click on Sciences to find links to some accuracy-approved sites to explore. Try the following:

The Chem Collective: Online Resources for Teaching and Learning Chemistry,
You will find useful tools such as a Spectroscopic Simulator and a Statistical Mechanics Simulator.

ChemSpider: Database of Chemical Structures and Property Predictions,
This site offers both 2D and 3D images of the molecule as well as a dozen drop boxes beneath that offer additional information.

The Medical Biochemistry Page,
Expect your search to return articles that are encyclopedic in nature and are accompanied by clear diagrams. Most articles relate to the human body.

Molecules of the Month,
You can find interactive 3D models of molecules on this site. To find the one that you are interested in, click the link at the top called “A to Z Index of Structures.”