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Physical Sciences


"Chemistry: A basic science concerned with the composition, structure, and properties of matter; and the reactions that occur between substances and the associated energy exchange." -- Definition from the NCBI MeSH Database.


Occupational Outlook Handbook

Chemists and Materials Scientists

Chemistry, a physical science, explores and seeks to explain the science of matter; the study of the composition, forms, behavior, structure, and properties of matter and how it undergoes changes during chemical reactions. There are many sub-disciplines in chemistry, grouped by the type of matter being researched. Traditional sub-disciplines are:
Inorganic chemistry – study of mineral, not biological substances.
Organic chemistry – study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (synthesis and other reactions) of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and derivatives.
Biochemistry – study of substances and matter found in living (biological) organisms.
Physical chemistry – study of chemical systems by applying the principles and concepts of physics, such as quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, motion, energy, force, etc.
Analytical chemistry – study of material samples in order to understand chemical composition; separation, identification and quantification of chemical components are the underlying methods of discovery.
Materials chemistry – the preparation, characterization, and understanding of substances; this sub-discipline integrates all classical chemistry research elements.
Nuclear chemistry – study of how subatomic particles come together and make nuclei.

Chemistry Organizations

American Chemical Society
American Chemistry Council
American Crystallographic Association
International Union of Crystallography
Royal Society of Chemistry


University at Buffalo- Chemistry
University at Buffalo- Best Chemistry Internet Resources
University of Texas at Austin- Chemistry


The ChemCollective: Online Resources for Teaching and Learning Chemistry (link is external), National Science Digital Library, National Science Foundation – A project in the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) (link is external) and funded by the National Science Foundation, the ChemCollective provides a broad collection of online video and text tutorials.
Chemical Database Service-Free Online Resources by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Chemical Information Sources Wikibook created by Dr. Gary Wiggins   
ChemWiki: Analytical Chemistry (link is external) – The Analytical Chemistry pages within Chemwiki provide easy to understand overviews of key analytical chemistry terms, concepts and instrumentation
Sixty-Four Free Chemistry Databases by Depth-First (2011)
WebElements: the Periodic Table on the Web (link is external) – The Periodic Table of Elements on the web. Features include history of each element, physical, geological, biological, chemical and atomic information, thermochemistry, pictures, isotopes, updates on new elements, etc.
Periodic Debate (link is external) – An interesting discussion on the continuing evolution of the Periodic Table of Elements.
Principles of Chemical Science, MIT Open Courseware (link is external) – Introduction to the chemistry of biological, inorganic, and organic chemistry. Also see additional chemistry courses from MIT (link is external).

Chemistry and Data

“Cheminformatics: Cheminformatics is the use of computational and informational techniques to understand problems of chemistry, for instance in the in silico mapping of chemical space – the theoretical space occupied by all possible chemicals and molecules. Cheminformatics strategies are useful in drug discovery and other efforts where large numbers of compounds are being evaluated for specific properties.” Nature.com/subjects


BIGCHEM: Challenges and opportunities for big data analysis in chemistry
Tetko IV, Engkvist O, Koch U, Reymond JL, Chen H.
Mol Inform. 2016 Dec;35(11-12):615-621. doi: 10.1002/minf.201600073. Epub 2016 Jul 28. PubMed PMID: 27464907; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5129546.

Chemistry Metadata

Metadata schemas vary by discipline and repository. See a list of chemistry metadata schemas provided by the Digital Curation Centre at  http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/metadata-standards/disciplinary/chemistry. A menu of disciplines and other metadata types is available at http://www.dcc.ac.uk/drupal/resources/metadata-standards.

Chemistry Data Repositories

PubChem By the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it contains information on the biological activities of small molecules.
Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) International repository of small molecule crystal structures.
ChEMBL is a database provided by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. It contains binding, functional and ADMET (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion, Toxicity) bioactivity data.
ChemSpider  Free structural database with text and structure searching, by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Figshare A multi-disciplinary repository. The American Chemical Society has partnered with them to provide access to ACS Publications articles’ supplementary data.

last edited 9/22/2020