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Chemistry: Research and Writing: CHEM 210: Analytical Chemistry

Researching the Literature in Chemistry

Researching the literature is a critical step to reporting on various studies and their test methods. You can do this using library resources such as books, ebooks, and online journal articles. Ask your librarian for help getting started!

Keyword Searching in Analytical Chemistry

Some keywords and key phrases you may want to use when searching for articles and data are: 

  • spectroscopic method
  • colorimetric method
  • analyte's name (chloride, phosphate, etc.)
  • "determination of"
  • nutrient testing (if researching nitrate, ammonia, or phosphate)
  • metal ion testing (if researching copper or iron)
  • inorganic anion testing (if researching nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, or phosphate)
  • water quality
  • water quality testing

Key Databases for Chemistry Research

Citations and articles from scientific journals and research publications.

Data Collections

Writing in Chemistry

Plagiarizing can get you into big trouble, even if it's unintentional. These videos can help you avoid plagiarism.

Searching for Reviews and Research Articles in ACS

Quick Look: Review vs. Primary Research

Review Articles:

Researchers often publish reviews as a way to summarize the current state of a field of study. They usually communicate specific information gleaned from numerous studies. A review is not a publication of primary research.

A review article gives an overview of the published studies on a particular topic. A review article often has an abstract, an introduction, and a list of references, but it does not outline any one study in full.

Look for words like reviewcritical reviewliterature review, and perspective. These are clues that tell you that you’re probably looking at a review article and not at primary research.

Reading review articles is extremely useful for finding original research. They include a reference list of all the studies reviewed for the article. Often you can track down the original research using this reference list. 

Click here to read an example of a review article. 


Primary Research Articles: 

Primary research, on the other hand, is a publication of the methods and results from one particular study. Click here to read an example of an primary research article. Notice the sections of the article are very similar to those outlined in the document, "Dissection of  Primary Research Article."

Test Your New Skill

Click the link below to read a review article. Using clues in this article, locate one instance of primary literature the authors consulted. See if you can find that primary research article in our school's databases.