This site is designed to introduce you to chemical literature and
provide you with direct links to electronic resources that you need
for your chemistry coursework. Start with the Introduction
or, if you feel confident, the Quiz. Then, explore
the links under Data, Primary Sources, and Encyclopedias, etc. Finally,
familiarize yourself with the guides under "How to...".
Have fun and provide feedback
to help us make this site better.
In order to find information you need in an efficient manner, it
is useful to understand how chemical literature is created and disseminated.
In the most simplified form, the process of research starts with
an idea or a theory or a purpose. Experiments are performed to test
that theory and data is collected in the process.
If the experiment is a success, the results are disseminated widely
through presentations of papers at conferences and writing
articles in scientific journals. When a novel idea or process
is discovered, it is patented to preserve the authorís right to
earn profit from it. Original articles and patents
are generally referred to as primary literature.
When a topic has been researched and written about widely, the
need for a summary is felt. A review of the developments
in that topic is written giving a summary of the original
theory, the successes, the failures, and the challenges that lie
ahead. Examples of such compilations include a book, an encyclopedic
article, a review article, and a newspaper article.
This distinction is important because different strategies need
to be employed in order to find them. Scifinder, Applied
Science & Technology and General Science Abstracts
are sources to find primary literature (journal articles). Review
articles are also found in these databases but chapters of books,
and encyclopedic articles are not. The best way to find books is
to search the online catalog CLIO. Use the table of contents
and the index in the encyclopedia to find articles written in it.