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CHE391: Independent Lab Project

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Search Tips

  • In most of the databases above, you can use keywords to search. SciFinder is the exception: you should use natural language (i.e. use a research question or statement) to search. SciFinder does the work of parsing your question for you. 
  • You can also search by chemical structure or reaction in SciFinder. 
  • For the other databases (e.g. Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science) you can use Boolean search operators (e.g. AND, OR , NOT) to combine related and unrelated search terms. 
  • For example: you can try a search like this: zwitterionic amino lipids AND (gene OR protein). If you are not getting enough results then use fewer search terms to broaden your search.
  • You can also combine keywords with other types of searches, such as an author search. For example you can search for "zwitterionic amino lipids" in the "all fields" search and then Siegwart in the author search.
  • Once you find an article by the author you are searching for, in most databases, you can click on their name and get more information about them (e.g. how many articles they have written, co-authors, etc) and get links to their other articles. 

More help resources:

Find Chemistry Data

  • WolframAlpha - Computational Knowledge Engine (You have to try it, trust me!)
  • NIST Chemistry WebBook - Thermochemical, thermophysical, and ion energetics data.
  • SDBS - Spectral database for organic compounds.


  • ChemDraw -A full chemical drawing package with 1H and 13C NMR and physical properties prediction.
  • Chem4Word - an add-on for Microsoft Word that makes it easier to include labels, formulas, and chemical images in documents.
  • Chemistry Dictionary - free downloadable chemistry dictionary for Microsoft Word

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This library guide includes free and subscribed content for finding protocols and laboratory techniques and methods for research in the life sciences.