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Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

Chemistry 371: Physical Chemistry Laboratory: Home

Get ready for P-Chem!

Definitions, Formulas, Calculations

Finding Specific Data

Background Information

Searching the Literature

Search the catalog for books on physical chemistry in the general collection by clicking the link below.

Search the catalog for a specific journal title:

Search Strategies








Use quotation marks around known phrases.  For example: bomb calorimeter = "bomb calorimeter"

Use AND/OR/NOT to combine keywords:  polymer AND "molecular weight"

Use * for root word expansion:  molecul* = molecule, molecules, molecular

Consider reverse chronological sorting.  Some of the first measurements or experiments appear early in the chemistry literature.

Look for *review* articles.  There is often a way to limit searching to this type of article when you are searching a database.

Journal Title Abbreviations

Interpreting citations

Common citation formats in chemistry:

Jack S. Summers and Barbara Ramsay Shaw, "Boranophosphates as Mimics of Natural Phosphodiesters in DNA," Curr. Med. Chem. 2001, 8, 1147-1155.

Summers JS; Shaw BR.  Boranophosphates as mimics of natural phosphodiesters in DNA.  Current Medicinal Chemistry (2001), 8(10), 1147-1155.

Elements of a citation:

  • Authors:  Generally first and middle names are initials.
  • Title of article:  Occasionally omitted from some chemistry citations (see citation in the Kirk Othmer for examples).  Article titles are not searchable in Hunter Library's catalog.
  • Title of journal (aka the "source"):  Often abbreviated in a reference list, generally not abbreviated in databases.  Look online to verify (see  Journal Title Abbreviations).
  • Year published.
  • Volume.
  • Issue:  Often omitted since most scientific journal volumes are continuously paginated.
  • Page numbers.


Useful ACS guides from other schools!