CH 3410: Structure, Bonding, and Reactivity in Inorganic Chemistry

Professor Marion Emmert

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Understanding the Flow of Scientific Information

What is primary, secondary and tertiary literature? How does a researchers idea become part of the scholarly communication of a discipline? View this flow chart to find out.

Finding Background Information

When researching topics in inorganic chemistry, it may be helpful to find background information via websites or specialized encyclopedias.

If searching a specifc compound, you will need the following:

  • Compound name & synonyms
  • Molecular formula
  • CAS Number

This information can be found in the following, as well as background information on chemistry research topics.

Finding Review Articles

Review articles summarize existing published information about a topic. They can be terrific starting places for research because authors have already compiled the most useful information for you in one place. They also have lengthy bibliographies which can be mined for additional information.

Example of a review article:

Andrés Aguado and Martin F. Jarrold. Melting and Freezing of Metal Clusters. Annual Review of Physical Chemistry. 62: 151-172 (Volume publication date May 2011) DOI: 10.1146/annurev-physchem-032210-103454


To find review articles, use the SciFinder Web Refine by Content Type in the right column.

Finding Synthesis of a Compound

Identifying Source Types: In-Class Activity

If you are not familar with the virtues of different source types, you may want to peruse our research guide on this topic.

Below is an online version of the in-class handout.