Chemical Literature (Chem 184/284)

Lecture 2: Types of Primary Literature

Primary Literature: Publication of Information

Types of Publication

The major forms of primary scientific publication include:

Scientific Journals

The scientific journal was invented in the mid-1600's as a means of speeding scholarly communication: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. As science grew, so did the volume of literature and the specialization of journals. Today there are over 100,000 scientific journals.

Types of Journals

Journals vary widely in degree of specialization, from

Types of Journal articles

Peer Review

Technical Reports

Why use technical reports?

Accessing Technical Report Data

Conference Papers

Accessing Conference Papers


Accessing Dissertation Information


Patents as information sources

Patents are:

What may be patented?

Requirements for patentability

Disclosure of patent information

The patent application must contain:

Patents on the international level

Chemical Patents and Markush Structures

Chemical patents often have claims made for a whole family of compounds. These are called Markush claims, after the first inventor to successfully claim a generic structure. The inventor need not have tested or even prepared all members of the family -- just make a chemically plausible claim of equivalence.
Sample Markush Structure

Accessing Patent Information

Electronic Publishing

Electronic publishing, through listservs, bulletin boards, electronic archives, and the World Wide Web, is of growing importance to the scientific community. Starting with tightly knit research areas, where the latest information is vital (e.g. particle physics), electronic publishing is spreading to all areas of science.

Types of Electronic Publication

  • WWW (World Wide Web) [You're using it now!!}
  • Issues in Electronic Publishing

    New Technology, New Problems

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    This page created by Chuck Huber ( modified by Carol Carr. Last modified: March 24, 1998.