Category Archives: Chemistry library services

Docking solutions are now available in the Chemistry Library

UPDATE: We now have four! 

Two ‘docking solutions’ consisting of a 27″ monitor, VGA and HDMI cables, mouse, and keyboard, are now available in the Chemistry Library.

This equipment is provided by the Chemistry Computer Officers to enable library users to access a large monitor via their laptop. There is no network connection.

Please connect your laptop to these, rather than removing cables from the other library PCs!


Instructions for use

Your laptop will need either a VGA or HDMI connection.

  1. Turn off the monitor (button is on the right underneath the bezel)
  2. Plug in your laptop and then turn on the monitor, wait to see if the laptop requires any drivers and then it should be good to go.
  3. If you wish to use the keyboard and mouse just plug the USB cable into your laptop. Wait until the drivers have been installed and again, you should be good to go.
  4. At the end of your session just unplug the connectors.


If you have any problems using this equipment please e-mail Chemistry Computing Support at

What do you think?

We welcome your feedback on this new service! Please drop by the Library Office and speak to one of us, or email

Chemistry Library Wellbeing Area

The Chemistry Library has a new Wellbeing Area! Take time out from your revision, study, or work day to relax and refresh in a quiet environment. Everyone in the Department of Chemistry is welcome!

In association with Chemistry Wellbeing @ChemWellbeing.

Chem Lib logo RGB


Do something creative and fun to help you de-stress and refocus! Thanks to generous donations from members of the Department, we have some great wellbeing materials available to use in the library only.

Try colouring in or drawing …



Try doing a jigsaw puzzle …


Try origami …


Further ideas (and donations!) suitable for a quiet space are very welcome (e.g. crafts? novels? magazines? knitting?).

We really hope you like and use the new Wellbeing Area, which is located in the comfy seating area of the library. Please let us have your feedback.

Find out more about wellbeing at the University here:

N.B. Hot and cold drinks are allowed in the library, but only in reusable, spill-proof containers. Food is not allowed. The library is a silent space.


Lean Library extension now fully up to date for Safari-users

Good news for Safari users of Library Lean!


We’re pleased to let you know that Apple now has the latest version of the Lean Library browser extension available for Safari.  If you’ve been using Lean with Safari, it will just update automatically, but if you’ve been holding off of Lean as a Safari-user, hold off no longer.

Lean can be manually updated from here:

Read more about Lean Library here.

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Nature Reviews Chemistry

Exciting news about this subscription, which was recommended by a member ot the Department of Chemistry!


New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : Nature Reviews Chemistry.

From the Nature website for the journal:

Nature Reviews Chemistry is an online-only journal for the weekly publication of Reviews, Perspectives and Comments in all disciplines within chemistry…

“Our Reviews aim to be balanced and objective analyses of the selected topic – with descriptions of relevant scientific literature and discussions that are easy to grasp for recent graduates in any chemistry-related discipline, as well as informing principal investigators and industry-based research scientists of the latest advances. Reviews should provide the authors’ insight into future directions and their opinion of the major challenges faced by researchers in the field.

“Perspectives – as the name suggests – take a look at a topic from a slightly different angle. They may offer more personal viewpoints, explain the historical background to a topic, or discuss some of the social, ethical or environmental factors related to…

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New self-service machine renew books function

Following the recent library management system upgrade we are very pleased to announce that the self-service machine is back in action, and there is some new functionality available!

You can now view the books you have on loan from libraries across Cambridge, and you can renew them on the machine.

You can continue to renew books online of course, by logging on to your iDiscover account with your Raven credentials (the previous My Library Account facility is no longer available following the system upgrade). The login button can be found in the top right hand corner of the screen:


Library staff can also renew books for you if you contact us by phone or email or in person, so there is no need to lug your book(s) around. Please remember that you can only renew a book on loan to you from the Chemistry Library three times.

To see what books you have on loan from libraries across Cambridge

First you need to press the Borrow button on the machine:


Then scan the barcode on the reverse of your University Card.


Your borrower record is displayed. Your name should appear at the top of the screen.


Press the Renew button on the left hand side of the screen. The books you have on loan will be displayed, in red.


(Note that the machine displays the amount any fines you have from a library after your name at the top of the screen, and next to the book concerned. A fine amount may be showing at the top of the screennext to your name but you cannot see it next to a book: this may be because you have returned the book(s) to the library you borrowed it from, but have not yet paid the fine. You will need to contact the library concerned about this. The Chemistry Library does not fine, and library staff here cannot help you with queries about fines from other libraries).

Unfortunately you cannot see which library the books have been borrowed from. We will investigate whether this can be displayed.

To renew a book(s)

Select the book(s) you wish to renew on the screen. The book(s) you have selected turn green.

Renew the book(s) by pressing the Renew Selected or Renew All button.

The due date for the book should change to reflect the renewal.

The number of books you have renewed appears in the box in the top right hand corner of the screen.

The new due date for the book(s) should also display in the Borrowed until column.


If the book has already been renewed the maximum number of times according to the Chemistry Library rules (this will vary across libraries) or if there is another problem, you will see the message telling you that the renewal failed.

View your reservations function

We have not tested this yet but it appears that you can see reservations you have made for books on loan to you across Cambridge by pressing the Reservations button on left of the screen (which displays the number of reservations you have).


Return books at any time using the Return button on the screen

You can return a book by pressing the Return button on the left of the screen.


Follow the instructions on the screen to do this (basically scan the barcode of each book).

You can find instructions for returning and borrowing books using the self-service machine in a previous blog post.

To log out of the machine

Press the Finish button to end the session. If you would like a receipt of the transaction(s) which gives you the details and due dates of books then press the Receipt button. This will print off a receipt on the printer next to the machine and you will be logged out of the session automatically.

Please give us your feedback

It is very early days with this new functionality and we will be monitoring whether it is working properly or if it is useful.

If you have any problems using the machine please let us know, either in person in the library, by email to, or by phone on (3)36329.


Try a Raspberry Pi in the Chemistry Library!


The Chemistry Library has made two Raspberry Pis available for researchers from the Department of Chemistry to use (in the Library only) on a ‘try before you buy’ basis. They are intended to provide inspiration and ideas for researchers on how they can use Raspberry Pis in their research projects.

Raspberry Pis are low-cost, high-performance computers that people use to learn and solve problems and have fun, as well as doing some serious research, with!

We welcome you to experiment with the Raspberry Pis and to share your knowledge and expertise on a wiki that we have created here:

The wiki provides instructions on how to set up and use the Pis in the library, examples of research projects that have used them, and information on the modules we have available (Gertbot Robotics Board, Sense HAT, and Camera modules so far). We welcome new project ideas and recommendations for additional modules.

You can edit the wiki by logging in with your Admitto password (currently researchers at the Department of Chemistry only, we might be able to consider allowing Chemistry undergraduate students to use them later on).

Alongside the Pis themselves we have a small selection of books and guides to help provide ideas for research projects and get you started. Please let us know of any other resources you think it would be useful to provide.

There is specific guidance on how to reserve and use the Pis in the library on the wiki and on posters next to them. Please follow this guidance.

Please experiment and contribute to the wiki!


Did you know that you can scan items in the library and send them to your @cam email address as a PDF, for free? Find out what else you can do using our ‘multifunctional device’ …


You may not be aware of this but you can use our library MFD (MultiFunctional Device) to do all of these things:

  • Scan items and send them to your @cam email address as a PDF, for free!
  • Scan or photocopy multiple-page documents using the feeder on top of the machine – even if they’re two-sided! (Multiple-page documents can be scanned into one whole document).
  • Staple your copied/printed documents!
  • Send print jobs from your own laptop or workstation! (Instructions here).

The library MFD is located in the Print Room next to the Library Office. We have just written new instructions on how to use the MFD for scanning and copying and displayed them in the Print Room. They are also available on our IT Facilities website here.

There are two other MFDs located in Rooms G30 and 154. You can collect (‘release’) the print jobs that you send from a computer in the library (or from your laptop or workstation) from any of these.

Undergraduates can find out how to send and pay for photocopying and printing here.

Postgraduate students and researchers can ask library staff to credit their account from a grant/ledger code to pay for printing and photocopying.

The scans are in colour, and we think they are of great quality, as well as being quick and easy to do as compared with using a traditional flatbed scanner! Give it a go! But maybe don’t what this Minion is doing!

minion-1724905_1280 (2)

Access your favourite cloud storage on MCS Windows

Did you know that on MCS Windows its possible to access your favourite cloud storage?

cloud-2104829_1280 (2)

Click on the Start button on the MCS (ex-PWF) machines in the Chemistry Library, or in Rooms G30 and 154:

Start -> Microsoft -> OneDrive
Start -> Dropbox -> Dropbox
Start -> Google -> Google Drive

Shiny new things now available in the Chemistry Library to make your life easier

As a result of feedback from undergraduate students on the Committee for the Library and Scholarly Communication, we have purchased the following:

Some new mice

IMG_0146 (2)

The mice currently in use are quite cheap and insubstantial. We have spent (only a little) bit more money on a selection of three mice from Logitech, follow these links to find out more:

These will be kept in the Library Office to borrow, just ask when you need one.


IMG_0151 (2)

Apparently these are useful for students when they are photocopying. These are located in the Print Room (the small room next to the Library Office).

An anti-glare screen hood

Sometimes there is glare on the computer screens in the library. This adjustable hood will be kept in the Library Office to borrow, just ask when you need it.

We hope these help. Please do not remove them from the Library!

Find out what books we have recently purchased

Please visit our ‘Recommend a book or other resource‘ web page for a link to a list of what we have recently purchased.library-images-take-2-5482-taken-by-nathan-pitt-university-of-cambridge

The books were either recommended by our readers, or by lecturers as part of their undergraduate reading lists (Blue Books), or were new editions of textbooks.

You will see that we have been purchasing more computational chemistry and drug discovery titles, in order to support the increasing amount of research that is taking place in these areas within the department.

We welcome recommendations for the purchase of books (and ebooks) for the Chemistry Library collections from our readers, as well as for journals and databases. Please see the above website for further information on how to do this.

Thing 23 – Ultimate Research Tool

Well done Georgina!

23 Research Things Cambridge

We’ve covered a lot of tools and concepts over the past few weeks. 22 tools and concepts to be precise and if you’re still with us at this point then well done! We are almost at our last and final Thing…the unveiling of the Ultimate Research Tool.

One tool to rule them all…you get the idea. So check out the Ultimate Research Tool video to find out what on earth it is. Go on! Now!

Video transcript

Now you’ve watched the video, gosh. What a reveal!

Thing 23 activities

Reflect on and blog about the Ultimate Research Tool. Do you agree with our choice and what role does the tool play in your life? Will you use it differently in the future now you’ve taken this programme and watched the video above?

Also, take some time to reflect and blog about the overall 23 Research Things programme. What were the…

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Launch of new library catalogue interface, iDiscover


The new library catalogue interface, iDiscover, has now been launched

iDiscover has replaced LibrarySearch and LibrarySearch+. The Newton catalogue will be available until August 2017 when the new library management system goes live.

iDiscover combines the print and electronic resources available within the University in one search interface, which offers simple and more advanced searching.

Please do let us have your feedback on this new interface at

You can find out more at

iDiscover, the new catalogue interface for Cambridge University libraries, will be launched on 1st September

The new discovery and search service, iDiscover, will launch on the 1st September 2016.

The new discovery and search service, iDiscover, will launch on 1st September 2016.

iDiscover will replace LibrarySearch and LibrarySearch+ on this date. The Newton catalogue will be available until August 2017 when the new library management system goes live.

iDiscover will combine the print and electronic resources available within the University in one search interface, offering simple and more advanced searching.

If you are interested, find out more on the University Library website here:


Molymods available in the library

Two sets of molymods are available for use in the Chemistry Library.

The Orbit Organic and Inorganic Individual Set which you can use:

to make models of many molecules and compare different structures including saturated hydrocarbons, unsaturated hydrocarbons, cyclic hydrocarbons, functional groups in organic chemistry, benzene, polymerization, optical isomerism, simple inorganic molecules and complex ions

It contains 240 atoms, and 200 bonds.


The other set is the molymod Inorganic/Organic (Student) Set. It contains 52 atoms, supplied in a 4- compartment box.


Feel free to use these sets but please remember that they cannot be removed from the Library.

Let us know how you get on using the molymods and which you prefer; perhaps even make us something!

New Chemistry Library website launched!

Library Web Shots-9501-Edit taken by Gabriella Bocchetti, -®University of Cambridge

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our new Chemistry Library website!

To get to it, click on the ‘Library’ menu from the Department of Chemistry website home page, or go directly to: (the URL remains the same as before).

It still includes content from our old website, for example on our collections, facilities, and services, and quick links to popular journals and databases. New content has been added, particularly to reflect the scholarly communications support role of the library. So there are pages that give information on how to manage your research profile, measuring the impact of your research, how to make your paper open access, and how to share your data, for example.

We are still developing the website and would really like your input so we welcome your feedback on the content and structure of the website, as well as your ideas for future content (especially for the ‘Cool tools for Chemistry‘ page!).

We hope you enjoy using the new library website!

Molymods now available in the Chemistry Library!

At a recent meeting of the Committee for the Library and Scholarly Communication, undergraduate student representatives told us that using the molymod in the library had been useful, so please could they have some more?

We thought this was a great idea, so a couple of sets were ordered, one of which is now available to use by anyone in the library.

It was purchased from the Part IA Chemistry teaching lab, so you may be familiar with it: the Orbit Organic and Inorganic Individual Set which you can use:

to make models of many molecules and compare different structures including saturated hydrocarbons, unsaturated hydrocarbons, cyclic hydrocarbons, functional groups in organic chemistry, benzene, polymerization, optical isomerism, simple inorganic molecules and complex ions

It contains 240 atoms, and 200 bonds.


Another set is on order, the molymod Inorganic/Organic (Student) Set. It contains 52 atoms, supplied in a 4- compartment box.

Please ask a member of library staff if you want to use one of these sets. They are kept in the Library Office and will have to be signed for, and cannot be removed from the library.

Let us know how you get on using the molymods and which you prefer; perhaps even make us something!


SciFinder now available off-campus via Raven authentication

SciFinder official

We are very pleased to announce that members of the University of Cambridge can now access SciFinder off-campus via Raven authentication.

This means that you no longer have to use the VPN to specifically access SciFinder when you are away from the University network.

Revised information on how to access SciFinder is provided on the Chemistry Library’s website at You can find this by following the link to ‘SciFinder’ on the main Chemistry Library website, under the ‘Resources’ section of the left-hand side menu.

In summary, all members of the University must first register for a SciFinder account (links are supplied on the website), but once you have registered and you want to access SciFinder from off-campus you just need to follow the link provided on the website above and you will be prompted for your Raven password. Links are also provided on the website for registration and logging in from within the University network.

Please be aware that SciFinder Mobile can also be used by registered users to access SciFinder on their mobile device. There’s no app to download and no IP address restrictions.

Please let us know at if you encounter any problems with registration or accessing SciFinder via the links provided on the website.

SciFinder is also listed on the Chemistry Library’s new LibGuide.

New Chemistry LibGuide

IMG_0133LibGuides are now available for many subjects taught in the University of Cambridge, including chemistry.

LibGuides are online web pages created by librarians to help you perform various tasks, such as using library resources or doing research. They include links to the most relevant subject databases and websites, and provide information on the libraries whose collections cover that subject.

The Cambridge LibGuides can be accessed from the ‘Cambridge Libraries’ tab on the University Library website.

Check out the Chemistry LibGuide at!

Open access publishing – share your experiences on our wiki!


We have revived the Chemistry Library wiki so that you can share your experiences of open access publishing in Chemistry.

Useful tips, problems and successes are all welcome. It is hoped that this can become a useful, central source of information and guidance in open access publishing for you all, ultimately saving you time by avoiding duplication of effort.

  • Follow this link to get to the wiki: (Alternatively, there is a link to the wiki from the Chemistry Library website, on the left-hand side menu bar, in the ‘Information’ section).
  • The Raven login page should appear (unless you are already logged on to Raven). Please enter your Raven login credentials and click on the ‘Login’ button.
  • Click on the link for ‘Open access publishing – share your experiences!’.
  • To add a comment, please click on ‘Edit’ which can be found on the menu at the very top of the page.
  • Once you have added your name, your CRSID, the date, and your comment(s) click on the ‘Save’ button.

There are links to help in navigating/editing the wiki throughout but if you have any problems please contact us.

We look forward to seeing your comments on the wiki!

New ‘Chemistry Journal Access’ web page

journal access web page screenshot

The aim of this new web page is to make it easier for you to get to the full text of journals from outside the Department by listing the key journals with links via the University Library’s proxy server (that hosts all our subscribed e-journal content).

When you click on a journal name on the list from outside of the Department you should be prompted for your Raven login details in order to gain full-text access.

It is a work in progress; the most common chemistry journals are listed for now but your suggestions for additions would be most welcome (email link provided at the bottom of the page). Please let us know if you encounter any technical problems.

Follow this link to get to this new web page: (Alternatively, there is a link to ‘Journal Access’ from the Chemistry Library website, on the left-hand side menu bar, in the ‘Book & Periodical Search’ section).