Science of Synthesis at Stanford

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What's New?  SynOne: SynOne offers search, browse, and discovery options across the entire Thieme Chemistry publication portfolio (journals, reference works, and encyclopedias) and the results are linked via a systematic and unique hierarchy of compound classes, which has been put together by chemists for chemists. SynOne is a Thieme Chemistry discovery interface which can help you find relevant and reliable high-quality publications on organic synthesis and which will present your results in context.

We have licensed the online version of the Science of Synthesis (SoS) and also get a print "archive" copy. Our SoS subscription includes access to the Houben–Weyl Methods of Molecular Transformations archive. Note: new content may be available in print volumes before it is added to the database (e.g. Reference Library).

About Science of Synthesis

The need to provide a dependable source of information on evaluated synthetic methods in organic chemistry embracing these characteristics was first acknowledged over 100 years ago, when the highly regarded reference source Houben–Weyl Methoden der Organischen Chemie was first introduced.  Recognizing the necessity to provide a modernized, comprehensive, and critical assessment of synthetic organic chemistry, in 2000 Thieme launched Science of Synthesis, Houben–Weyl Methods of Molecular Transformations.

Science of Synthesis provides a critical review of synthetic methodology developed to-date in the fields of organic and organometallic chemistry. As of November 2013, Science of Synthesis includes 30,000 synthetic methods with 275,000 reactions for 2,700 different types of compounds.  Features include:

  • Selection of molecular transformations by world-renowned experts with elaboration on scope and limitations. 
  • Full-text descriptions of synthetic methods with practical experimental procedures immediately applicable in the lab
  • Community of over 1,750 experts involved in the review and updating of methods
  • Logical organization of the synthetic methods for each functional group
  • Provides text, structure, substructure, and reaction searching capabilities in a powerful, yet easy-to-use, intuitive interface in order to allow rapid lead generation and route optimization

Science of Synthesis Knowledge Updates: From 2010 onward, Science of Synthesis is being updated quarterly with high-quality content via Science of Synthesis Knowledge Updates. The goal of the Science of Synthesis Knowledge Updates is to provide a continuous review of the field of synthetic organic chemistry, with an eye toward evaluating and analyzing significant new developments in synthetic methods. A list of stringent criteria for inclusion of each synthetic transformation ensures that only the best and most reliable synthetic methods are incorporated.

Science of Synthesis Reference Library: The Reference Library comprises volumes covering special topics of organic chemistry in a modular fashion, with six main classifications: 1) classical, 2) advances, 3) transformations, 4) applications, 5) structures, and 6) techniques.  To view Reference Library content in the Science of Synthesis database, click on the "Explore Contents" tab.

Houben-Weyl archiveScience of Synthesis includes a backfile with the complete Houben-Weyl series, published between 1909 and 2003 and stretching back to methods of the 1800s. The backfile documents are available in PDF format and their tables of content are text searchable.  The backfile includes access to 146,000 product specific experimental procedures, 580,000 structures, and 700,000 references.  Organized by chemical structure to facilitate browsing, the print copy of Houben-Weyl is shelved in the Robin Li and Melissa Ma Science Library.  For more details, please see these two catalog records:

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