Skip to main content

Chemistry Resources: Get Started!

Featured Chemistry Resources

SciFinder: The Choice for chemistry research. Logo

Style Guides

Information Competencies for Chemistry Undergraduates

Chemistry undergraduates should:

  • Understand the nature and purpose of scientific literature and be able to use library tools and services to obtain needed information.
      • understand library organization, tools, and services
      • understand the purpose and characteristics of different info-finding tools such as indexes and databases, search engines, and guides
      • be able to request help from faculty and librarians when needed
  • Understand the scope and nature of scientific literature.
      • understand the flow of scientific information and how it is communicated - Suggested Reading: Peer Review and How to Read a Scientific Paper
      • understand the nature and purpose of different types of scientific literature including journals, patents, encyclopedias, ect.
      • be able to read and interpret citations for different types of literature - Suggested Reading: ACS Style Guide, chapter 14
      • understand the general nature of peer review - Suggested Reading: Peer Review Education Resource
      • understand scientific ethics and accountability and be aware of intellectual property issues - Suggested Reading: ACS Ethical Guidelines
  • Know how to find and obtain chemistry-specific sources of background information from a variety of information sources.
  • Be able to locate patents by number or topic and be able to identify different types and parts of a patent.
  • Be able to search property information for both known and unknown compounds.
  • Be able to locate spectra using library and webbased information sources.
  • Be able to locate crystallographic data.


Taken from: Information Competencies for Chemistry Undergraduates: the elements of information literacy. Special Libraries Association, Chemistry Division and American Chemical Society, Division of Chemical Information. 2nd ed. May 2011.