Skip to main content

CHEM 1445: Finding Sources

Sources for library research in science

Selected Journals

  • New Scientist
  • Scientific American
  • Science News
  • Popular Science
  • National Geographic
  • Chemical & Engineering News
  • Basic Science
  • Economist
  • Newsweek
  • Time

Brainstorming Keywords

The following web sites and library database may help you to identify terms and phrases related to your topic.

Characteristics of Popular/Non-Scholarly Articles

  • Popular articles about science are not peer reviewed
  • Often these articles summarize a new scientific finding, study or experiment
  • Popular articles about science have no distinct format, intended to educate or entertain the reader
  • Typically the language is simple and intended for the general public
  • Often times the articles include colorful photographs and advertisements that may or may not add to the depth of the articles content
  • References will rarely be included


Databases for Popular/Non-Scholarly Articles

Searching strategy techniques

·         Read the database summary to be sure it fits your subject area

·         Start with a broad topic then narrow it down

·         Use Truncations symbols to get variant forms of spelling and/or replace characters in words or phrases

o   *   [Asterisk]                Wom*n, (woman, women, womyn)

o   ?  [Question mark]      dra???t  (draft or draught)

·         Use Boolean operators  (AND, OR, NOT)

o   AND to narrow results                --      green AND chemistry

o   OR to increase results                --      green OR chemistry

o   NOT to eliminate            --      mammals NOT whales

·         Search by author, journal title, subject, keyword or conference proceeding title

·         Limit for more specific results 

o   Language - English

o   Publication date(s) 2001 to present

·         Look for specific characteristics to determine if article is a primary source

·         A “review” article is a secondary source

·         Use “Help” screens when stuck