Chemists often refer to a particular type of reaction by name. Often, the reaction is given the names of the chemists who discovered, improved or promoted that particular reaction. Examples: Diels-Alder reaction, Claisen rearrangement, Sharpless epoxidation.
I have the name of a reaction; how do I find out what the chemical reaction is?
Some good starting points:
Advanced organic chemistry: reactions, mechanisms, and structure, Jerry March. (Main Library reference collection or course reserves, QD 251.2 .M371 1992. Look up the reaction name in the index to find a description & scheme, and citations to review article(s) on the reaction. (print only)
Named Organic Reactions. Thomas Laue and Andreas Plagens. (also in Main Library reference collection, QD 291 .L35 1998). Alphabetical arrangement with descriptions, schemes, examples, and citations to reviews and first articles on the reaction.