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CHEM.2600: Information Retrieval for Chemists

Course outline, information and materials for all undergraduate chemists.

Course Outline 2024

Class will be held in Lydon 203 on Wednesdays at 12:00 noon to 12:50 PM. 

Log on to Blackboard with your university email and password to access homework assignments, handouts and other material.  All homework assignments will be turned in on Blackboard.

All assignments are due by 5:00 PM on Monday before the next Wednesday class. Assignments will be posted on the Class Website and on Blackboard in time for each Wednesday class.

Dr. Schrenk' office hours:  Monday 3:00-4:00 (virtually only), Tuesday and Thursday 11:00-12:00; Wednesdays 1:30-2:30, in person (Olney 402c) and virtually.   

Links to the virtual office hours will be available on Blackboard. Also accessible via email.

Wednesday January 17
Course requirements and overview; WEB page for course; Services of the Library; Citations; Hill notation.


CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
Merck Index

MSDS Sheets
ASSIGNMENT 1: Use of websites listed above, and writing citations for them.  Hill Notation, Recent popular article on science topic.
Wednesday January 24
Knovel--electronic handbooks in science and engineering and ChemNetBase: Combined Chemical Dictionaries.  Sax: Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials.
ASSIGNMENT 2: Knovel, ChemNetBase/Combined Chemical Dictionaries, Sax.

Wednesday January 31
Using a general library database (Academic Search Ultimate). EndNote.  Producing a bibliography. Finding formats and citation rules for journals.  Transferring citations into EndNote.  Locating journal webpages and information. 
ASSIGNMENT 3:  Preparing a bibliography in EndNote, Using the E-Journal List.

Wednesday February 7
Quiz. (on Assignments 1 & 2)
Spectra and Latin Abbreviations.
ASSIGNMENT 4: Spectral Information.

Wednesday February 14
Organic Syntheses. Structure of journals and a journal article.  Finding old journal articles in Hathitrust. Primary/secondary articles, formats. Refereed journals. CASSI.  
ASSIGNMENT 5: Organic Syntheses. Finding a journal article, organization of a journal article.

Wednesday February 21
Introduction to Chemical Abstracts. SciFinder-n. Reading and interpreting a citation.  Using SciFinder-n to search for and with registry numbers, synonyms. Content of Registry Records in SciFinder-n. Experimental and calculated values and spectra in registry records.
ASSIGNMENT 6: SciFinder 1. 

Wednesday February 28
SciFinder-n.  Searching for author names, affiliations, research topics.  Narrowing your searches.

Wednesday March 6 Spring Break

Wednesday March 13

SciFinder-n. Preparations. Reactions, ways to search.
ASSIGNMENT 8: SciFinder 3

Wednesday March 20
SciFinder-n. Reading older abstracts. Pre-1960 searching. Partial Citations.  Citation Tracking. 
SciFinder 4

Wednesday March 27
Quiz on SciFinder-n.  No lecture, no assignment.

Wednesday April 3
ASSIGNMENT 10:   Patents. 

Wednesday April 10

Open Access, including Gallica, DOAJ, PubMedCentral. Embargoes. Google Scholar. PubMed. 

ASSIGNMENT 11: Open Access and Quality of Information.
Wednesday April 17

This class will be held in ____ TBD.

Beilstein: overview and scope. Organization of an entry. 
ASSIGNMENT 12:    Beilstein. 

Wednesday April 22
Useful websites for future use. Careers, Graduate School.
Final Exam (Take-home) will be made available.  

Take home final  DUE on the day and time assigned by the Registrar: TBD