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Chem 267 1 SEARCHING THE CHEMICAL LITERATURE Learning to search the scientific literature effectively and thoroughly is nontrivial and requires much practice. As you continue your scientific pursuits and begin doing lab research, you will need to know everything that is known about a certain compound or topic. After defining a problem, the first step in beginning a research project is to find out such information. If your literature search is not done well, you may spend weeks or months doing work that has already been determined to be fruitless, or you may redo work that has already been published. Of course, sometimes you may purposely want to reexamine previously done work, but that too requires knowing what has been done previously. Spending a day searching the literature can save you days, weeks or much longer in the lab. Books and monographs are the main hardcopy printed information sources that library collections provide to chemists at present. Journals and data collections, however, have changed hugely in the past 5-10 years, becoming largely electronic access capable. Much of what was done manually ten years ago can now be done electronically, as more chemical databases and literature are digitized and made available via the WWW. You still need to know how to use the library for books, but primary chemistry research information from journals now is available from the WWW in many, many cases. This exercise is a small example of how to search the literature. You must gain more expertise in this area as you do research. Electronic searches can change very rapidly so it is worth using electronic search methods frequently, to keep up with the latest methods. It is always worth checking a subject of interest or need to you, by doing a quick literature check. The Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library (ISEL) in the Lederle Lowrise Building (2nd floor) and the Chemistry Resource Center in the Integrated Sciences Building (ISB) have all the software interfaces you need to do good literature searches. Also, some sources (such as Web of Science) can be accessed from any computer registered for us on the UMass-Amherst campus, without special interface software. Also, research groups in the Chemistry Department have these software resources, so be sure to use them when you join a research group. Remember, information = efficiency = success!! Remember also that the reference librarians at the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library (ISEL) in the Lederle Lowrise Building (2 nd floor) are founts of knowledge and are there to help you with using the library and its electronic resources. BACKGROUND INFORMATION – HOW TO DO LITERATURE SEARCHES (A) Doing an online search by directly accessing a chemistry e-journal . For an overview of carrying out a literature search go to . Link your WWW browser to
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course CHEM 267 taught by Professor Samal,p during the Fall '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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