The acid-base equilibria of Schiff bases derived from salicylaldehyde, glycine, alanine, serine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, and their Ni(II), Cu(II) and Zn(II) complex formation equilibria were investigated by a potentiometric method in aqueous solution (t = 25 degrees C, mu = 0.1 M, KCl). The data from the potentiometric titrations were evaluated by means of the BEST computer program. The order of the formation constant values of the Schiff bases was Sal-Ala > Sal-Gly > Sal-Ser > Sal-Phe > Sal-Tyr, which is the same order as the increasing log K-1 values of amino acids (and the log K-2 values of tyrosine) with the exception of an inversion between serine and phenylalanine. Also, it was seen that the stability constants, log beta(1) and log beta(2), of Schiff base-metal complexes vary for all the metal ions investigated, viz., Sal-Gly > Sal-Ala > Sal-Ser > Sal-Tyr > Sal-Phe with the exception of Sal-Gly in the copper complex. The effect of the nature of the amino acids on their formation, protonation and stability constants was also discussed.