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Organic Reactions is a secondary reference which synthesizes the organic chemistry literature around particular chemical transformations. Each chapter of Organic Reactions is devoted to a particular organic chemical reaction, and chapters provide exhaustive coverage of literature work in the form of a tabular survey of known reactions. Mechanistic and experimental details, including the scope and limitations of each transformation, are also included.
Organic Reactions is a comprehensive reference work that contains authoritative, critical reviews of many important synthetic reactions. Authors for these chapters are solicited by the board of editors from leading chemists worldwide. The publication process entails a thorough peer-review process, ensuring the high quality and attention to detail for which this series is noted. Organic Reactions chapters focus primarily on the preparative aspects of a given transformation. Particular attention is paid to substrate scope, reaction limitations, stereochemical aspects, effects of chemical structures, and the selection of experimental conditions. Detailed procedures illustrating the significant modifications of the chemical reaction are also included, along with comparisons to other methods to achieve a similar transformation. Every chapter contains a comprehensive compilation all of the published examples of the reaction organized in tables according to the structure of the starting material. Each reaction is presented with information about the reaction conditions, yield, products, and is fully referenced.
The aim of Organic Reactions since its initial publication in 1942 has been to assist organic chemists in the design of new experiments by providing "critical discussions of the more important synthetic reactions." Organic Reactions is unique in providing an authoritative discussion of the topic reaction accompanied by tables that organize all published examples of the reaction being reviewed. This combination of critical discussion and thorough coverage is responsible for the leading position this series occupies for scientists interested in the reactions of organic chemistry. An additional distinctive feature of this series is that it is assembled almost entirely through voluntary dedicated efforts of its authors, editors and assistants.
The Organic Reactions book series is owned and copyrighted by Organic Reactions, Inc. a not-for-profit, private operating foundation incorporated in the state of Illinois. The books are published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. who also manage and maintain the Organic Reactions website.
The decision to undertake the preparation and presentation of "critical discussions of the more important (synthetic) reactions" was made at a meeting of the editors of Organic Syntheses and representatives of John Wiley & Sons during the Eighth National Organic Chemistry Symposium at St. Louis in December 1939. At that meeting the organizational setup was agreed upon, the operating procedures were roughed out, and the topics and authors were selected for Volume 1. These actions were formalized by the incorporation of Organic Reactions in Illinois on August 1, 1942, for educational and research purposes, with Roger Adams, Harold R. Snyder, Werner E. Bachmann, John R. Johnson, and Louis F. Fieser as directors, and by the appearance later that year of Volume 1. Roger Adams was elected president and served as President and Editor-in-Chief until he was succeeded in both positions by Arthur C. Cope in 1960 with the publication of Volume 11. He remained an active member of the Editorial Board until his death in 1971. Professor Cope in turn was succeeded in 1966 by Professor William G. Dauben who served from 1966-1984. Subsequent Editors-in-Chief and Presidents of the corporation are: Professor Andrew S. Kende (1984–1988), Professor Leo A. Paquette (1988–2000) Professor Larry E. Overman (2000–2007) and Professor Scott E. Denmark (2008–present). The close relationship of Organic Reactions to Organic Syntheses, Roger Adams, and John Wiley & Sons is obvious; the great value of that relationship is equally obvious to all who have been connected with the series as editors and authors.