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C471 Exercise 4: The Publication Process (Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources)

26 August 1997; Updated: 30 July 2003
Key Points: This is largely a treasure hunt designed to familiarize you with the library, to give you an idea of the utility of the concept of subject classification, and to enable you to identify certain types of materials by document format.

Map of the Chemistry Library: http://www.indiana.edu/~libchem/map.html

You will:

A standard information storage and retrieval technique is to group materials or records that deal with similar subjects so that they physically sit together on a library shelf or are found in the same section of a printed abstracting or indexing service. We'll see how the Library of Congress Call Numbers perform that function for books and how Chemical Abstracts Service categorizes similar materials in the printed CA. We'll also begin to see that there are different types of secondary sources that repackage primary scientific research findings into more usable or findable formats:


1. Look at the broad Library of Congress (LC) call number ranges for chemistry, and select the call number range for your favorite area of chemistry (analytical, biochemistry, etc.).

Which area and call number range did you choose?

2. Look at the index to LC call numbers relevant to chemistry and pick out a particular subject you are interested in.

3. Again, using the subject area you chose in question 1 from the broad LC chemistry table, scan the shelves in that section of the Reference Area of the library. [In the IUB Chemistry Library, turn to the right as you come into the library, turn left at the computers, walk toward the fire exit doors, and turn left.]

4. For this exercise, we have placed on reserve in the IUB Chemistry Library an uncataloged copy of an IU chemistry dissertation: Total synthesis of Myxovirescin A(1) and approaches toward the synthesis of the A/B ring system of Zoanthamine.

5. Browse through the unbound journals section of the Chemistry Library and find the following types of science journals. Write down the title of each example you select.

6. Locate the printed Chemical Abstracts in the Reference Area.

Look at one of the bound volumes for the year 2000. Pay attention to the subject matter covered in each weekly issue and how it is arranged into 80 subject categories.