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 below) will allow you to limit your search to include only review articles or literature reviews.  

See alsomore chemistry resources for use at Northeastern.

Research Tools and Tips

Looking for a specific item for which you know the title? Use these quick search tools:


Use the Scholar OneSearch browse search to find books by title (or change drop-down selection to Author and enter last name, first name).


Use the E-journal finder (search by title, e-only).


Use the A-Z database list.

Search Tips

For a comprehensive literature search in chemistry, start by searching SciFinder-n or Web of Science. To do a quick search, you could also search or browse the full text collection of American Chemical Society Journals.

Feeling lost or not finding what you need? You can get speedy assistance by using the following service:

For Research Assistance (Ask-a-Librarian)

For in-depth questions, please send me an email or use the Schedule Appointment feature (in the profile boxes to the left) to set up a remote research consultation.

Green Chemistry

ACS Green Chemistry Institute's 12 Principles of Green Chemistry

Citing Your Sources

ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication

      available online  

For help with your reference list, see chapter 4.3.

See more information on Citing/Bibliographies

NOTE: You can set Endnote or RefWorks to ACS citation style.  

In Endnote, go to EDIT > Output Style > Open Style Manager.  Find ACS on the drop-down list of styles and check the box to make it one of your "favorites" (preferred citation style).  

In Refworks, look under Bibliography on the menu bar and go to Output Style Manager to select your citation style.  

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