How Chemistry
Becomes Chemical Information

 

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FIG. 3.--Lewis:   Memorandum of 1902

Lab Notes

 

A chemist has an idea and experiments with it.  Here is an exerpt from a memo by Gilbert Lewis (of Lewis acid fame) outlining his ideas on atomic and molecular structure.

 

Journal Article

 

Usually the first place that scientists can learn about new work is in a journal article.  Hence journals, (and other sources such as patents) which give a 'first look' at new science are called primary sources.

Note the date of the memo above and the date of the article.  It took several years for the journal article to appear.

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
April 1916, pg. 762-85

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Abstracts & Indexes

 

Once the number of chemical journals became too great for an individual scientist to read; abstracts and indexes were developed.  These secondary tools digest and organize the information in primary sources.

Note the date of the abstract for the Lewis article.  It appeared a month after the original article.