Resources for LC Practitioners in 2017: What’s on Your Bookshelf and in Your Web Browser?

December 1, 2017
Dwight R. Stoll

LCGC North America

Volume 35, Issue 12

Page Number: 854–861

What are the most useful chromatography books on your bookshelf? What are the most useful web-based resources (such as websites, downloadable documents, videos) about separation science? What are the most useful tools supporting your work (such as calculators and simulators)? In this installment, Dwight Stoll compiles input from the separation science community (both individuals and vendors) to guide you to the resources that people find most useful.


What are the most useful chromatography books on your bookshelf? What are the most useful web-based resources (such as websites, downloadable documents, videos) about separation science? What are the most useful tools supporting your work (such as calculators and simulators)? In this installment, Dwight Stoll compiles input from the separation science community (both individuals and vendors) to guide you to the resources that people find most useful. 

Since I started thinking several months ago about putting this installment of “LC Troubleshooting” together, my thoughts have been focused on two themes. First, the information landscape is changing very rapidly in most fields, and separation science is not immune to this trend. There are so many different vehicles for sharing information available now, including webinars, blogs, and websites, in addition to the more traditional resources of journals and books. As a result, it really is difficult-if not impossible-for any one of us to keep up with changes in the field that are important to us. I don’t think any of my chromatographer friends would say they feel confident that they have a good handle on the literature and other information at any moment in time. Second, I think that a point John Dolan made in his final “LC Troubleshooting” column installment in October (1) is astute and valuable: toward the end of that installment he noted that over the years he aimed to help readers of his column be better troubleshooters by supporting their learning about chromatography concepts and how chromatography instruments work. In other words, the more deeply we understand how the instrument works and what is going on inside the box chemically and physically, the more likely it is that we as practitioners can solve problems we encounter and make our work more efficient and effective (and enjoyable!). The more I have thought about John’s point, the more I agree with it. To that end, I am hopeful that the resources that I’ve pulled together in this installment will yield at least one gem for each reader. I hope you find one new book, website, or tool that you had not considered before, and that it helps you in your work.

Now, the problem of course is that I don’t think there is any single person in the chromatography community that has the “right” answer to the following question: Which resources are the best ones? So, the approach I have taken here is to crowdsource that information, with the hope that the cream has floated to the top. I’ve asked instrument and consumables companies that regularly contribute to LCGC to send me a list of resources highlighting those they think are most useful to the community. I’ve also reached out to more than 60 individuals in my professional network who I view as experts in their respective research areas, or at least as highly experienced chromatographers. This group is roughly composed of 60% from industry, 40% from academia, and a few folks from government laboratories. They represent six continents and eight countries. A large majority of respondents were in the age range of 31–50 years old; however, the range spanned from one person in his 20s to several over 70. I asked them to respond to the following questions, with a focus on those resources they find most helpful in whatever work they do that involves liquid chromatography (LC):

·      What are the five most useful books on your bookshelf?

·      What are the five most useful web-based resources (such as websites, downloadable documents, or videos)?

·      What are the five most useful tools supporting your work (such as calculators or simulators)?

In my presentation, discussion, and summary of the input received from individuals and suppliers I have focused the attention on those resources that people find most useful. Of course, it is impossible to summarize all of the resources available to us in a few pages, so the perspective here is not intended to be comprehensive. However, I’d love to hear from you if you think there is a gem that has been overlooked here, and I’ll be sure to call attention to it in a future article (please see contact information at the end of this article). You can also share suggestions through the commenting function at the bottom right of this page, where it says “Add new comment.”





In total, 58 different books were cited by respondents as being on their list of five most useful for their work in LC. Many of these were only cited once by the group, but I’ve chosen to share them all because there is quite a lot of diversity of material represented in the list. Table I shows the list, sorted by descending frequency of mention by the group, where the “votes” column indicates the frequency of mention. Those titles receiving the fewest mentions are sorted by year of publication. A few comments come to mind after looking at this list. First, I think it makes a great shopping list for young scientists. Second, several respondents pointed out that the most useful books on their shelves are not about chromatography per se, and this observation is evident from the table. For example, the books by Reichadt and Welton (Solvents and Solvent Effects in Organic Chemistry) and Poling and Prausnitz (The Properties of Gases and Liquids) are not focused on chromatography, but contain information about solvent properties that help us understand how chromatography works. Similarly, some respondents referred to books that focus on a different mode of chromatography (for example, Berger’s Packed Column SFC), because they contain good ideas and explanations of chromatography that are generally applicable. Again, I’ve intentionally included the less frequently mentioned books. Some of the newer ones will benefit from more consideration by a wide audience (for example, Vitha’s Chromatography: Principles and Instrumentation), while some of the older ones are classics that younger scientists simply may not be aware of (for example, Snyder’s Principles of Adsorption Chromatography).

Introduction to Modern Liquid ChromatographySnyder, Kirkland, and Dolan2009 978-047016754020
Practical HPLC Method DevelopmentSnyder, Kirkland, and Glajch2011978-812652853013
HPLC Columns: Theory, Technology, and PracticeNeue1997978-047119037012
High-Performance Gradient Elution: The PracticalSnyder and Dolan2006 978-047170646511
Unified Separation ScienceGiddings1991978-047152089410
Practical High-Performance Liquid ChromatographyMeyer 2010978-04706821737
Dynamics of Chromatography Giddings2002978-08247122596
Essence of ChromatographyPoole 2002978-04445019985
Introduction to Separation ScienceKarger, Snyder, and Horvath1973978-04714586094
Quantitative Chemical AnalysisHarris2015978-14641353854
Troubleshooting LC SystemsDolan and Snyder1989 978-08960315173
Modern Size-Exclusion Liquid ChromatographyStriegel, Yau, Kirkland, and Bly2009978-04712017243
Modern HPLC for Practicing ScientistsDong2006978-04717278973
HPLC for Pharmaceutical ScientistsKazakevich and LoBrutto2007978-04716816253
Chiral Separation Techniques: A Practical ApproachSubramanian2006978-35273150932
Multidimensional Liquid ChromatographyCohen and Schure 2008978-04717384732
Comprehensive Chromatography inMondello2011978-04704340792
Chromatography: Concepts and ContrastsMiller2009978-04705302522
The HPLC-Expert II: Optimizing theKromidas2017978-35273397231
The HPLC–MS Handbook for PractitionersKromidas2017978-35273430721
Chromatography: Principles and InstrumentationVitha2016978-11192708811
Cromatografia Líquida - Novas Tendências e AplicaçõesCass and Cassiano2015978-85352759711
UHPLC in Life SciencesGuillarme and Veuthey201518497354921
Chromatography TodayPoole and Poole2014978-04445961921
Beginners Guide to UPLC: Ultra-Performance Liquid ChromatographyWaters Corporation2014978-18797320701
Pitfalls and Errors of HPLC in PicturesMeyer2013 978-35273329391
Hydrophilic Interaction Chromatography: A Guide for PractitionersOlson and Pack2013978-11180541781
HPLC of PolymersPasch and Trathnigg2013978-35406555101
Multidimensional HPLC of PolymersPasch and Trathnigg2013978-36423607941
Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography (HILIC) and Advanced ApplicationsWang and He 2011978-14398075381
Solvents and Solvent Effects in Organic ChemistryReichadt and Welton2011978-35273247361
Handbook of Modern Pharmaceutical AnalysisAhuja and Scypinski2010978-01237568001
Chiral Recognition in Separation Methods:Berthod2010978-36421244401
Lipid Analysis, Fourth Edition: Isolation, Separation,Han and Christie2010978-09552512451
Basic Gas ChromatographyMcNair and Miller2009 978-04704395481
Fundamentals of Preparative and Nonlinear ChromatographyGuiochon, Felinger, Shirazi, and Katti2006978-01237053721
Coulson and Richardson'S Chemical Engineering, Volume 2, 5th Edition: Particle Technology and Separation ProcessesRichardson2006 978-81814714441
Principles of Instrumental AnalysisSkoog and Holler2006978-81315255791
Chirality in Natural and Applied ScienceLough and Wainer2002978-08493243451
Solvent Mixtures: Properties and Selective SolvationMarcus2002978-08247083751
The Properties of Gases and LiquidsPoling and Prausnitz2000978-00701168251
Contemporary Instrumental AnalysisRubinson and Rubinson1999978-01379072671
Basic HPLC and CE of BiomoleculesCunico, Gooding, and Wehr1998978-09663229031
Handbook of HPLCKatz, Eksteen, Schoenmakers, and Miller1998978-08247944461
Manuel pratique de chromatographie en phase liquideRosset, Carde, and Jardy1997978-22258512611
Chromatographic Detectors: Design: Function, and OperationScott1996978-08247977991
High Performance Liquid Chromatography,Lough and Wainer1995978-07514007621
Packed Column SFCBerger1995 978-08540450061
HPLC: A Practical User's GuideMcMaster1994978-04711858641
High Performance Liquid ChromatographyBrown and Hartwick1989978-04718450651
Multidimensional Chromatography:Cortes1989978-08247813611
Quantitative Gas ChromatographyGuiochon and Guillemin1988Journal of Chromatography Library1
Gradient Elution in Column Liquid Chromatography,Jandera and Churacek1985978-00808583401
Contemporary Practice of ChromatographyPoole1985978-04444250651
Instrumental Methods of Chemical AnalysisEwing1985978-00701985791
Practical Liquid Chromatography: An IntroductionEttre and Yost1980B000JJLTAM (ASIN)1
Modern Practice of Liquid ChromatographyKirkland1971978-04714887811
Principles of Adsorption ChromatographySnyder1968978-08247163941
Advances in ChromatographyMultiple authors  1




User-Identified Web-Based Resources

The books listed in Table I provide an incredible amount of information to support anyone working in LC. Increasingly, though, web-based resources provide information and tools that are difficult, if not impossible, to deliver in the form of a traditional printed book. Table II contains a summary of the web-based resources mentioned by respondents to my user survey. Again, this collection is not intended to be comprehensive. Rather, it represents a first pass at identifying those resources users find most useful in their day-to-day work with LC. The printed version of Table II only contains the resource name and a short description, but the online version of this article contains hyperlinks.. And in principle, these are discoverable with a simple web search. Many of these resources are self-explanatory, but I’d like to highlight a few things in each category.


Resources, Broadly DefinedTutorials, Primers, and GuidesTools for LC Simulation and Calculation
Tools for Column Selection and CharacterizationTools for Molecular Properties 




Resources, Broadly Defined

Many users commented on the usefulness of John Dolan’s past “LC Troubleshooting” articles. These are all accessible through the LCGC website, but they have also been organized into John’s “LC Troubleshooting Bible.” The web version of this resource is searchable by keyword and enables rapid discovery and access to the troubleshooting ideas you need most.

Tutorials, Primers, and Guides

Much of the information cited in this box did not exist five years ago, and certainly not 10 years ago. The resources listed here are incredibly rich, with accurate information that is relevant to modern high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). ChromAcademy was mentioned by users most frequently, and it is an excellent tool for learning about HPLC and related technologies. I personally use it extensively in my own teaching-both for classroom teaching and with my research students-in addition to the excellent primers on various topics offered by Waters and Agilent.

Tools for LC Simulation and Calculation

When we get to the tools in this column, the value of web-based resources really becomes apparent. It is said that a picture is worth 1000 words. A video or animation, then, must be worth at least 20,000 words. The tools listed here, like animations in ChromAcademy, enable users to explore and study the complex physical relationships that are central to the way chromatography works. The HPLC simulators listed in this box offer users a number of different options for simulating HPLC separations with varying degrees of sophistication. There are also dedicated tools to assist users with transferring methods from one instrument to another (2), or to improve analysis time by taking advantage of recent improvements in particle and instrument technology. The commercial product DryLab was mentioned frequently as an aid to method development. This sophisticated tool was originally developed by LC Resources, and is currently available from the Molnar Institute.

Tools for Molecular Properties

Effective and efficient method development in HPLC usually benefits from a detailed understanding of the physical and chemical properties of the compounds we are trying to separate. Users pointed to a number of tools that are useful for this purpose. I’ve only listed two in this box, because the ChemSpider website actually leverages several individual tools for molecular property prediction. For example, ChemSpider allows the user to predict (for free) properties such as dissociation constants (pKa) and partition coefficients (log P) using the EpiSuite algorithms from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tools from ACD Labs, Inc., and ChemAxxon (for example, As someone who also spends quite a lot of time teaching acid-base chemistry in the context of quantitative chemical analysis, I find these tools invaluable.

Tools for HPLC Column Comparison and Selection

Finally, several web-based resources were mentioned by users as being useful for the purpose of understanding the relationships between different column chemistries and columns from different vendors. To some extent these tools also support column selection, especially in cases where a column is very similar to, or very different from, a column already in hand.

Vendor-Identified Web-Based Resources

In addition to my survey of individual experienced chromatographers, I also asked several vendors of chromatography instrumentation, consumables, and software to send me references for up to five web-based resources that they believe are particularly useful to the community. Of these, I selected up to four in each case, and organized those into the categories presented in Table III. 


VendorHandbooks and GuidesApps, Calculators,ApplicationsOther
Agilent TechnologiesLC Columns NavigatorApplication Finder 
Chiral TechnologiesChiral Separation Method Development Guide Generic Drug Application Index 
Restek CorporationTroubleshooting and FAQs Application NotesPhysical Characteristics of HPLC Columns
Thermo Fisher ScientificCharged Aerosol Detection for Liquid Chromatography and Related Separation Techniques  
Tosoh BiosciencePrinciples of Chromatography Chromatography Calculator AppApplications DatabaseGel Permeation Chromatography Glossary
Waters Corporation  






Surprisingly, there is not too much overlap between Tables II and III. Perhaps some of the resources identified by vendors have been a bit hidden, and users will find them useful now that they have been brought to light. I think most of the items in Table III are self-explanatory, especially given the prior discussion of Table II, and I will not comment further on them here. However, there is one item that I found to be unique-the Phenomenex blog post “What is USP Chapter 621?”-which may be of particular value to many readers. In conversation with many users and vendors I find there is a lot of confusion around United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapter 621 (3), part of which is concerned with allowable changes to a USP method. I hope that resource will bring some clarity to this topic.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this installment achieves two things. First, I hope that all readers find a resource identified here that they were not previously familiar with, and helps them in their work on LC. Second, I expect that identifying these resources will lead to conversation that uncovers other gems, and perhaps even inspires individuals or groups to develop new resources that address existing gaps in these materials. If you know of a useful resource that you would like to see discussed, please let me know and I will draw attention to it in the future.

Two final points are worth mentioning here. First, a few respondents pointed to online discussion groups such as as resources for questions that the chromatography community might have answers to. Second, some respondents pointed out the value of hands-on training in learning about chromatography. Although the paper and web-based resources discussed here are very useful, I would certainly agree with the idea that there is no more effective way to learn about the practice of LC than through hands-on experience, recognizing that this can also involve significant upfront cost.


I want to extend a sincere and hearty thank you to all of the individuals and vendors who took the time to respond to my questions.


  1. J.W. Dolan, LCGC North Am. 35(10), 746–751 (2017).
  2. D.R. Stoll and T. Taylor, LCGC North Am. 35(11), 802–809 (2017).
  3. General Chapter <621> “Chromatography-System Suitability” in United States Pharmacopeia 39-National Formulary 34 (United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Rockville, Maryland, 2016).


Dwight Stoll is the editor of “LC Troubleshooting.” Stoll is an associate professor and co-chair of chemistry at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. His primary research focus is on the development of 2D-LC for both targeted and untargeted analyses. He has authored or coauthored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters in separation science and more than 100 conference presentations. He is also a member of LCGC’s editorial advisory board. Direct correspondence to: