Organic Chemist's Desk Reference: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Organic Chemist's Desk Reference

3rd Edition

By Caroline Cooper, Rupert Purchase

CRC Press

296 pages | 215 B/W Illus.

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Launched in 1995 as a companion to the Dictionary of Organic Compounds, the Organic Chemist’s Desk Reference has been essential reading for laboratory chemists who need a succinct guide to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of organic chemistry — the literature, nomenclature, stereochemistry, spectroscopy, hazard information, and laboratory data. This third edition reflects changes in the dissemination of chemical information, revisions to chemical nomenclature, and the adoption of new techniques in NMR spectroscopy, which have taken place since publication of the last edition in 2011. Organic chemistry embraces many other disciplines — from material sciences to molecular biology — whose practitioners will benefit from the comprehensive but concise information brought together in this book. Extensively revised and updated, this new edition contains the very latest data that chemists need access to for experimentation and research.


"This is the third edition of an extremely useful book which fully lives up to its title. The authors are to be congratulated on producing an extremely useful reference book which will be of value not just to the organic chemist but also to all those in disciplines ranging from materials science to biological, environmentaland medical sciences. I can strongly recommend this book. Its ‘migratoryaptitude’ from the desk of its owner will be high."

— James Hanson, Science Progress (2018)/ 101(1), 92-94

Table of Contents

The Organic Chemistry Literature

Abstracting and Other Current Awareness Services

Principal Electronic Dictionaries and Chemical Compound Databases

Reference Works and Review Series

Patent Literature on the Web

Primary Journals

Electronic Sources for Chemistry Journals

Leading Publishers of Chemistry Journals and Chemical Information

Nomenclature Fundamentals


IUPAC Nomenclature

General Principles of Nomenclature

Chemical Abstracts (CAS) Nomenclature

Types of Name

Constructing a Systematic Name

Azo and Azoxy Compounds

Tautomeric Compounds

Nomenclature Algorithms

Nomenclature of Ring Systems

Ring Systems (General)

Bridged Ring Systems

Heterocyclic Ring Systems

Spiro Compounds

Ring Assemblies

Ring Fusion Names


The Sequence Rule: R and S

Graphical and Textual Representations of Stereochemistry

Chiral Molecules with No Centres of Chirality

E and Z

The d,l-System

Descriptors and Terms Used in Stereochemistry

Graphical Representation of Organic Compounds

Zigzag Natta Projection


Structure and Nomenclature of Some Individual Classes of Compounds


Alditols and Cyclitols

Amino Acids and Peptides

Nucleotides and Nucleosides



Organoboron Compounds

Organophosphorus (and Organoarsenic) Compounds

Labelled Compounds

Infrared and Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

Infrared Spectroscopy

Ultraviolet Spectroscopy

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Common Nuclei Used in NMR

Chemical Shift Data

Coupling Constants

Modern NMR Techniques for Structural Elucidation of Small Molecules

Determination of Structure by a Combination of IR and NMR

Mass Spectrometry


Ionisation Techniques and Mass Spectrometer Systems

Interpreting Mass Spectra and Molecular Mass

Sample Introduction and Solvent Systems for Electrospray Mass Spectrometry

Common Adducts and Contaminants in Mass Spectra

MALDI Matrices

Fragment Ions and Neutral Losses

Natural Abundance and Isotopic Masses of Selected Isotopes and Nuclear Particles

Glossary of Abbreviations and Terms Commonly Used in Mass Spectrometry




Crystallographic Point Groups

Space Groups

Reciprocal Lattice

Examples of Organic Crystals

CIF Data Format

Bragg’s Law and the X-ray Spectrum

Crystal Specimen Preparation for X-ray Analysis

Chemical Hazard Information for the Laboratory

Hazard and Risk Assessment

Physical and Reactive Chemical Hazards

Health Hazards of Chemicals

Handling and Storage of Chemicals

Hazardous Reaction Mixtures

Disposal of Chemicals


Peroxide-Forming Chemicals

Reactive Inorganic Reagents Including Strong Acids and Bases

COSHH Assessments for the Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Further Literature Sources of Hazard Information

Abbreviations and Acronyms for Reagents and Protecting Groups in Organic Chemistry

Glossary of Miscellaneous Terms and Techniques Used in Nomenclature, Including Colloquial Terms

Representation of Organic Compounds: Molecular Formulae, CAS Registry Numbers and Linear Notations

Molecular Formulae

CAS Registry Numbers


Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System

Laboratory Data and SI Units


Buffer Solutions

Acid and Base Dissociation Constants

Resolving Agents

Freezing Mixtures

Materials Used for Heating Baths

Drying Agents

Properties of Common Gases

Pressure–Temperature Nomograph

SI Units

Further Reading on SI Units



German–English Dictionary

Russian and Greek Alphabets


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biochemistry
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Organic