Updated: 7 July 2003
C471 introduces students to a minimal set of chemical information sources and
concepts. These include printed tools, commercial databases, and Internet
resources. C471 is meant to be a practical, hands-on course that gives an
overview of many different products and services. It is assumed that students
do not know a lot about the use of a science library or the reference tools
available through science libraries when they enter this course.
The material is presented in 5 main sections:
- Communication in Chemistry--Formal and informal channels of communication
in chemistry are covered in this section, emphasizing the impact of the Web on
current communication practices.
- How and Where to Start--This section introduces students to various
guides and reference works that
either assume little or no knowledge of a topic prior to beginning the search
or lead to increasingly sophisticated treatments or the latest literature on
the topic. The goal is to get the students to think about how to formulate a
strategy and select the most appropriate tools to satisfy information needs.
- How and Where to Search: General--Author, citation, subject, molecular
formula, and structure searching--search techniques that apply across all areas
of chemistry--are treated in this section.
- How and Where to Search: Specialized--In this section, we look at more
specific subject areas of chemistry, particularly, analytical, physical,
organic and inorganic, and chemical safety. In addition, patent sources are
dealt with here because of their importance to the chemical industry. Within
the specific disciplines, we will look at special reference works, for example, treatises.
- Miscellaneous--Chemical History, Biography, Directories, Industry Sources,
and Study and Teaching of Chemistry are topics in this section.
In the C471 course, you should:
- learn about chemistry resources on the Internet
- learn about tools to assist in writing about chemistry
- learn to recognize the primary literature by format and to
construct appropriate bibliographic citations (references) for
- develop an understanding of the flow of information and
documents and the role of libraries, information centers, and
other information providers in that process
- learn to distinguish the various types of chemical information
sources and to choose appropriate sources to solve specific
chemical information problems
- understand the importance of patents for chemistry and learn
sources of patent information.
- understand the importance of indexing techniques in information
- understand the importance and nature of major chemical
abstracting tools and those of related sciences
- gain facility in searching Chemical Abstracts
- become aware of the variety of computer-based sources and
information retrieval techniques
- learn to perform efficient searches for authors and for
- learn sources of methods for performing certain tasks
- be able to locate chemical and physical properties of
substances, including spectra
- learn sources of assistance in designing and performing
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