Organic Syntheses is a scientific journal that since 1921 has provided the chemistry community with annual collections of detailed and checked procedures for the organic synthesis of organic compounds. The journal has a solid reputation because each contribution is independently checked by a group of other chemists.
Organic Syntheses started its history in 1914 when because of World War I the USA were cut off from much of the chemical supplies from Europe needed for chemical research. In response, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign started summer preps in which students worked on improving synthetic methods for research chemicals. One example of much needed chemicals were dyes for sensitizing photographic film. Research efforts in this field prompted the start of the Eastman Kodak Organic Chemicals Division. The summer preps also contributed to the war effort in World War II but were discontinued in 1950 because by then an infrastructure of chemical companies with their own research had established. In all these years the synthetic procedures were recorded by the summer prep students and initially published as pamphlets between 1919 and 1921 and then as Organic Syntheses starting in 1921. By then contributions were made from industrial laboratories and other university laboratories as well. In 1998 the Board of Directors decided to place the past and future volumes of Organic Syntheses on the Internet, with open access to all.