This article constitutes the fourth part of a general review of the gas-phase protonation thermochemistry of polyfunctional molecules (Part 1: Theory and methods, Mass Spectrom Rev 2007, 26:775–835, Part 2: Saturated basic sites, Mass Spectrom Rev 2012, 31:353–390, Part 3: Amino acids, Mass Spectrom Rev 2012, 31:391–435). This fourth part is devoted to carbonyl containing polyfunctional molecules. After a short reminder of the methods of determination of gas-phase basicity and the underlying physicochemical concepts, specific examples are examined under two major chapters. In the first one, aliphatic and unsaturated (conjugated and cyclic) ketones, diketones, ketoalcohols, and ketoethers are considered. A second chapter describes the protonation energetic of gaseous acids and derivatives including diacids, diesters, diamides, anhydrides, imides, ureas, carbamates, amino acid derivatives, and peptides. Experimental data were re-evaluated according to the presently adopted basicity scale. Structural and energetic information given by G3 and G4 quantum chemistry computations on typical systems are presented. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev 34: 493–534, 2015.