obscure paper

April 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm | | grad life, literature

I was recently looking for a prep for p-bromophenylphosphine, and I found exactly 1 reference for it’s synthetic prep that’s cited by every paper that uses it.

It happens to be in (possibly) the most obscure journal in the world – “Phosphorus and the Related Group V Elements.”  It had all of 6 volumes in the 70’s before it merged with the “International Journal of Sulfur Chemistry” to form “Phosphorous and Sulfur and the Related Elements.”

I finally found TWO places in the world that had hard copies – the North Carolina State University library, and, of course, the National Library of Australia.

I’m beginning to think what I want must be some obvious synthesis, and that I’m just an idiot.  However, I did fail organic chemistry and am now working in a synthesis lab, so the “idiot” part is probably appropriate…


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  1. According to ISE, now it has already become PHOSPHORUS SULFUR AND SILICON AND THE RELATED ELEMENTS. They’re coming after the entire table!

    I think I found some copies of it in Israel:

    BAR: Bar Ilan U. : 1-40,1976-88
    TEC-CEN: Technion. Central Library : 1,1976 TCP5274
    BR: Israel Institute for Biological Research : 1-40,1976-88

    If by any chance you need the volume that’s in the Technion, I can try and get it for you. If it’s in Bar Ilan it would be a bit harder, but also possible.

    Comment by David E — April 7, 2010 #

  2. How long will it be before useful chemistry in obscure journals with no on-line repository are lost forever? Maybe you should republish the method, perhaps with some improvements and uses in a journal like OPPI.

    Comment by Sinbad — April 8, 2010 #

  3. Do you still need the article? We have the journal (v2-5) at U at Buffalo. I could probably get my hands on it by mid next week

    Comment by Nate — April 9, 2010 #

  4. Thanks for the offers of support, but I got it from Australia!

    Comment by charles — April 13, 2010 #

  5. Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to guide himself.
    Just a monopolist could study a company and ruin it by providing away products.

    Comment by Ophelia Waxler — March 9, 2012 #

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