Chemistry

Research in Chemistry

Chemical information exists in many different formats including: articles, books, chemical and physical properties, spectra, and data. Sources can be primary, secondary, or tertiary. Authors of primary sources analyze data. Secondary and tertiary sources interpret and summarize other sources. Primary sources are often the most up-to-date, but can be difficult to read and understand. Secondary and tertiary sources are often easier to understand, but have undergone additional interpretation. 

Primary Sources

Original research, evidence, and analysis

Examples: Research articlesPatents, Research dataLab notes, Conference papers, Clinical trials

Search tip: Did the authors themselves collect or analyze data? If the answer is yes, it is probably primary research.

 

 

 

 

Secondary Sources

Summaries, evaluations, or interpretations of others' original research

Examples: Review articles, Book reviews, Annotated bibliographies

Search tip: Scholarly review articles are usually easier to understand than the primary literature. Try adding the term "review" to your search strategy to find them. 

 

 

 

 

Tertiary Sources

Collections and summaries of primary and secondary sources

Examples: Reference books, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Chemical property databases, Indexes

Search tip: Try searching by  the "Registry Number" to pull up properties in chemical databases.

 

Chemical Literature

Most chemical literature is in the format of: 

 

Substance Information

Specific substance information typically includes: 

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