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CHEM.2600: Information Retrieval for Chemists

Course outline, information and materials for all undergraduate chemists.

Course Description



Sections 201/202, 2 credits

Spring 2024

Time/Place:    Wednesdays 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room 203, Lydon Library, North Campus.

Co-requisite:  Organic Chemistry Laboratory IIA, CHEM.2280L.

Instructor:    Dr. Janet Schrenk, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Chemistry.

Office Hours:                        Monday 3:00-4:00 Zoom only (subject to change).         

                                                Tuesday 11:00-12:00 Olney 402c, Zoom available.

                                                Wednesday 1:30-2:30 Olney 402c, Zoom available.

                                                Thursday 11:00-12:00 Olney 402c, Zoom available.

                                                          Links to virtual office hours will be available on Blackboard.

Blackboard:   Blackboard will become available on Jan. 13, 2024 at: (select “Login for On-Campus Blackboard Login”)

Course Description:

An introduction to the important chemical and chemical-related reference sources including journals, patents, technical publications, and compiled reference works, and instructions in their use. Assignments require the use of each source discussed. On-line searching using computerized chemical and chemical related databases is also introduced. Meets Core Curriculum Essential Learning Outcome for Information Literacy (IL).


This course meets the Essential Learning Outcome (ELO) of Information Literacy as defined under the Core Curriculum requirements. As such, the course will instruct students as to the use of digital technologies, communication tools and/or networks to define a problem or an information need; devise an effective search strategy; identify, locate, and evaluate appropriate sources; and manage, synthesize, use and effectively communicate information ethically and legally.


The University Library Holdings are your principal texts. You are required to have a UML e-mail account ( to access certain library resources.

Web Site:       

The URL for the class website for Information Retrieval is


A detailed calendar of dates for lectures and quizzes, and topics to be covered, is given on the class website (under “Outline 2024”).


Written assignments will be given weekly. All assignments can be obtained from BlackBoard (or the class website above) and are due at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, before the next Wednesday class. All assignments are to be submitted on BlackBoard.  Late assignments will be assessed a 25 point penalty for each week the assignment is late. Any assignment that is graded “unacceptable” must be redone and resubmitted. “Unacceptable” assignments will be assessed as late assignments. The Final Exam will be a take-home exam that includes use of on-line sources.


 Weekly Assignments (50%) + Quizzes (17%) + Final Exam (33%). At the end of the course, if any assignments missing or graded “unacceptable” are still outstanding, their grades will be recorded as a ‘0’. If the Final Exam is missing or graded “unacceptable”, a grade of F will be given. The Final Exam, to be submitted on BlackBoard, is due on the date and time set by the Registrar.

Grading scale:

 <60% F, 60-66% D, 67-69% D+, 70-72% C-, 73-76% C, 77-79% C+, 80-82% B-, 83-86% B, 87-89% B+, 90-93% A-, 94-100% A.


You are expected to attend class regularly, as this is one of the most important contributors to student success. However, you may occasionally need to miss class due to illness, emergency, or caring for a sick family member. In such cases, you are responsible for making up any missed work. We will be accommodating to students who are experiencing pandemic-related challenges, but you must communicate your requests to us regularly and with as much advance notice as possible. You may not miss a scheduled exam without prior permission, unless in the case of a sudden emergency. If you must miss an exam, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options.

If I should become ill or need to miss class or office hours, I will communicate with you as soon as possible via an Announcement on Blackboard or email with instructions.

Academic integrity:

Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work and are held to the highest standards of integrity. Please review UML’s policy regarding academic integrity on this website:

If you choose to remain in this course, you must agree that you will neither give nor receive any unauthorized help on your homework, quizzes and exams, or other work

Disability Accommodations:

If you have a documented disability that will require classroom or testing accommodations, please notify us as soon as possible after the first class meeting so that we can make appropriate arrangements. Please speak to us either during office hours or privately after class as we respect and want to protect your privacy. For further information, visit the Student Disability Services webpage at In addition, Student Disability Services supports literacy software (available to all students) that allows you to read on-screen text aloud, research and check written work, and create study guides. You can download the software from

Technology Assistance and General Instructions:

Learn about the instructional technology (Blackboard and others) on UML’s web pages on Continuity of Learning. These websites will be updated as the semester progresses.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Classroom Community Standards:

We value human diversity in all its forms, whether expressed through race and ethnicity, culture, political and social views, religious and spiritual beliefs, language and geographic characteristics, gender, gender identities and sexual orientations, learning and physical abilities, age, and social or economic classes. Diversity and individual differences are respected, appreciated, and recognized as a source of strength in this class. Please interact respectfully with one another.

Spring 2024

Dr. Janet Schrenk