Getting started: Finding Relevant Scholarly Literature in Chemistry

Tackling a new topic?

Try looking for a review article first. Review articles attempt to summarize the state of research on a scientific topic. While lengthy and not generally including the very latest research, review articles can be a great way to start to get a handle on a topic.  

Don't overlook the literature cited at the end of the review: the bibliography contains a wealth of information about the key discoveries and main researchers in the field.  

Most databases (including SciFinder-n and Web of Science) will allow you to limit your search to include only review articles or literature reviews.  

See alsomore chemistry resources for use at Northeastern.

What is a preprint?

A preprint is an article that is published prior to peer review, allowing scientists to see and discuss works immediately. As these articles are published before peer review, they may not be finalized by authors and some errors may appear. Advantages include the dissemination of scientific information in a timely manner, as the length of the peer review and publication process can be time consuming, and gives the authors the opportunity to receive feedback on their manuscript prior to journal submission. As a reader of preprints, it is important to remember that these articles have not yet been peer reviewed or accepted by a journal. Preprints are typically stored in preprint databases such as arXiv or bioRxiv.