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Organic Chemistry: Literature Reviews

Organic Syntheses (1921-present) is a collection of "detailed, reliable, and carefully checked procedures" for synthesizing organic compounds. Each detailed procedure repeated and "carefully checked" for reproducibility. There are about 30 new articles published annually, all indexed in SciFinder and each with photos, detailed notes and discussion, and references. Articles can be searched by text/author, and structure/substructure.

Sample articles:

  • Ugi Multicomponent Reaction
  • Asymmetric Michael Reaction of Aldehydes and Nitroalkenes
  • Palladium-Catalyzed Direct Amination of Allylic Alcohols at Room Temperature
  • Syntheses of Substituted 2-Cyano-benzothiazoles

Organic Reactions (1942-present) is a database of more than 300 important organic synthetic reactions. Each reaction includes an in-depth discussion of the reaction mechanism, the reaction scope and limitations, comparison with other reactions, experimental procedures and conditions,  applications, and examples of the reaction from the primary literature. You can browse the series by title and volume, or search by author/text.


Sample articles:

  • Olefin Ring-Closing Metathesis
  • Gold-Catalyzed Cyclizations of Alkynes with Alkenes and Arenes
  • The Tishchenko Reaction
  • Suzuki–Miyaura Cross-Coupling

Organic Reaction Mechanisms
Online, 2006 to date 
Print: 1965-2005

An annual series that surveys the organic reaction literature for a given year (the volume published in 2020 covers the 2016 journal literature).

Sample chapter list (from the 2014 volume) - Reaction of Aldehydes and Ketones and their Derivatives; Reactions of Carboxylic, Phosphoric, and Sulfonic Acids and their Derivatives; Oxidation and Reduction; Carbenes and Nitrenes; Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution; Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution; Carbocations; Nucleophilic Aliphatic Substitution; Carbanions and Electrophilic Aliphatic Substitution; Elimination Reactions; Polar Addition Reactions; Cycloaddition Reactions; and Molecular Rearrangements.

Comprehensive Organic Functional Group Transformations II

140+ reviews of the synthetic literature from 1995-2003, organized by the functional group formed.

Sample chapters:

  • One or More CH and/or CC Bond(s) Formed by Rearrangement
  • Alkylphosphorus Compounds
  • Nitriles: General Methods and Aliphatic Nitriles
  • Carboxylic Esters and Lactones
  • Functions Containing Three Chalcogens (and No Halogens)

Comprehensive Organic Transformations: A Guide to Functional Group Transformations

Print: 1st (1989) and 2nd (1999) editions
(We don't have the 3rd edition, but we may be able to obtain articles via interlibrary loan)

Encyclopedia of thousands of useful reactions and synthetic transformations, with references back to the primary literature. Sections: alkanes and arenes, alkenes, alkynes, halides, amines, ethers, alcohols and phenols, aldehydes, and ketones, and nitriles, carboxylic acids and derivatives

Compendium of Organic Synthetic Methods
Online: V. 9 (2000) to date
Print: V. 1-12 (1971-2009)

Reference book of "quality, selected organic functional group transformations," organized by "reacting functional group of starting material and functional group formed."  In the first chapter, Preparation of Alkynes, you'll get Alkynes from Alkynes, Alkynes from Acid Derivatives, Alkynes from Alcohols and Thiols, Alkynes from Aldehydes, Alkynes from Esters, Alkynes from Hydrides, Alkynes from Ketones, etc.

Reactions are selected from the primary literature (the most recent volume covers the literature from 2005-2008) based on their utility and availability of reagents.

Chemistry of Functional Groups

PRINT ONLY: 1964-1997
We do not have the later volumes, but we may be able to obtain articles via interlibrary loan.

Multi-volume reference work covering all aspects of functional group chemistry, including "physical organic chemistry, analytical chemistry and techniques, reaction mechanisms, chapters on synthetic pathways, reactions and strategies as well as applications."

Sample volumes:

  • The Chemistry of Organic Silicon Compounds
  • The Chemistry of Diazonium and Diazo Groups
  • The Chemistry of Alkanes and Cycloalkanes

Comprehensive Organic Synthesis: Selectivity, Strategy, and Efficiency in Modern Organic Chemistry

Online - 1st (1999) edition
Print - 1st (1999) edition

Another reference work on organic synthesis. Volumes include: Additions to C—X π-Bonds, Carbon–Carbon σ-Bond Formation, Additions to and Substitutions at C C π-Bonds, Combining C C π-Bonds, Heteroatom Manipulation, Oxidation, and Reduction.