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Organic Chemistry Online Е and for Free.

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tion by posting questions as well as
answers. Simple laboratory techniques,
such as proper handling of a refractor,
are demonstrated in short video clips.
The authors praise their work as
being a novel approach to impart
organic chemistry by arranging its contents by reaction mechanisms instead of
the conventional classification by functional groups. It must be noted that this
is not the only textbook on the current
market that follows up on this concept.
Its contents completely cover very basic
organic chemistry, and it will, therefore,
Organic Chemistry Online …
mainly appeal to ambitious high school
and for Free?
students as well as undergraduates. In
At, the well-dis- the first few chapters, atomic and molecposed internet user will find the intro- ular orbitals are introduced and
ductory organic chemistry textbook by explained step by step, as well as chemRichard F. Daley and Sally J. Daley ical bonding, nomenclature, conformaentitled “Organic Chemistry”, organ- tional analysis, and physical properties
ized into chapters that are available as of organic compounds. Then, a general
free, pdf-formatted downloads following chapter on chemical reactions and reaction orders is followed by the chemistry
registration (Figure 1).
The homepage itself is clearly of carbonyl and carboxylate groups.
arranged in a somewhat naive design, Strangely enough, chapters on IR and
but, in turn, it is easy to follow and NMR spectroscopy then appear before
operate. In addition to the download- returning to organic chemistry with
able isolated chapters of the textbook, chirality and nucleophilic substitution
the site also features a couple of extra reactions. Elimination and addition
learning instruments (priced at $ 30 each reactions, aromaticity in connection
or $ 45 total). A forum provides a plat- with the chemistry of aromatic comform for mutual exchange of informa- pounds, the chemistry of enolates, and
radical reactions complete
the standard repertoire.
An additional chapter on
polymers as well as amino
acids, carbohydrates, and
nucleic acids provides an
introduction to biological
chemistry and biochemistry, the chemistry of life. A
few digressions, so-called
“sidebars”, and discussed
syntheses liven up the subject.
schemes and equations are
extremely simple if not
antiquated in style; they
are non-uniform and sometimes flawed. The individual pages are everything
but overladen making the
entire book extend over
1200 pages, and thus the
reader may have serious
difficulty to find the
Figure 1. Access to Daley and Daley’s textbook of organic chemistry
desired information. It
requires only a free registration.
2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
lacks a complete table of contents and
a general index—instead, it merely
includes an index on (named) reactions,
which only refers to chapters but not to
appropriate page numbers; this is also
true for references in the main text. This
major shortcoming is supposed to be
ironed out in the printed version, which
For more information visit
costs, however, another $ 70 for the
three-volume set. One would think (or
even expect) that an online textbook
could allow for cross-linking of key
terms by a simple “click”.
The authors laid substantial emphasis on repetition and understanding
throughout, thus every chapter ends
with a summary of the “key ideas”
combined with ample exercises, which
are highly recommended to do. Again,
further exercises and, particularly, the
solutions to all exercises must be purchased as two separate books for $ 30
and $ 40, respectively.
Making knowledge available at no
cost is certainly noble-minded, yet the
user will realize fairly quickly that, in
this case, it is merely intended to be an
appetizer. Efficient use is really only
practicable with the full package. When
taking into account that the focus of this
textbook is basic organic chemistry—
there is hardly any discussion of organometallic chemistry or modern (asymmetric) synthetic methods—it is rather
expensive, as it will quickly become
insufficient for any advanced level.
However, it is generally to the students<
advantage to scrutinize before buying a
textbook whether the offer is what they
really need.
Axel B. Machotta, Martin Oestreich
Westflische Wilhelms-Universitt
Mnster (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200603935
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 7114
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