CHEM 3123 - Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry Literature Assignments: Resources at NSU


Digital versions of the handout that was distributed during your library instruction session: .DOCX | .PDF

Desk References

     See handout.

Article databases and indexes

Getting to the databases

     From the library's main page (, click on Articles and Databases, then on Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Tips and Tricks

     Remember the two most important Boolean search operators, AND and OR. If your searches are retrieving too many hits, try narrowing your search with AND (e.g. flunitrazepam AND synthesis). If you're getting too few, try OR (e.g. flunitrazepam OR nitrazepam).

     Don't forget print resources! Being able to access e-journals and other electronic resources is convenient, but some of the best resources are in print in the reference section or elsewhere in the library. You can use the library's catalog to find these resources.

Review vs. Research Articles

     It is important to distinguish between review articles and research articles. A review article’s primary purpose is not to present new research, but to summarize, analyze, discuss, and provide an overview of previously published work on a topic. A research article is designed to present new research, methods, and/or findings.

     Research articles often employ the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Research, and Discussion) format. See for a more extensive treatment of this format.

Evaluation of Sources

  • Peer review
  • Wikipedia: a starting point
  • Open web vs. proprietary online databases
  • Remember to ask yourself "Who, what, when, where, why?"

When using the work of other people, remember to:

  • Give credit if you use their words (quotation)
  • Give credit if you use their sentiments or ideas (paraphrasing or summary)
  • Give credit if you use their methods, techniques, or conclusions (replication/modification of prior work)
  • Avoid accidental plagiarism with proper citation!
ACS Style

Brandon Oberg

Page maintained by: Brandon Oberg
Last Updated: April 1, 2014