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CHM 496-7 Chemistry Seminar: Primary Chemistry Sources

What are primary chemistry sources?

Primary sources are those where a researcher can find original data.
The major source of primary information are peer-reviewed journals.
These include:

  • Original articles (research articles) - longer, full accounts of orignal results of scientific investigations.
  • Communications and letters -  short descriptions of new work requiring rapid publication of significant work from across the chemical sciences.


Publication Process

Popular Press: Material written for the general public.

Scholarly Journal: Articles written by experts in academic or professional fields.

Peer-Reviewed: Articles are submitted to rigorous scrutiny by other subject experts prior to publication.

Footnote Chasing

Select "Elmhurst User" and Use your enumber and password.

Sometime you want to track down the full-text of an article that you see in reference list of another article.  This research technique is called footnote chasing  or backwards searching. Because the library owns articles electronically and in print, you'll need to use two different tools to track down the full text.

1) To check if we have the full-text electronically, use the "Find an E-journal"  or the "Citation Tracker" tool to see in which database it might be.  

2) If you don't find it in our databases, try searching for the title of the journal in the Bluejay Search to see if we own the print version of it.

3) Finally, if you can't locate the full text in either location, you may want to place an inter-library loan request.

Where can I find primary chemistry sources?

Non-Library Subscribed Academic Databases


Google Scholar - searches scholarly articles, peer and non-peer reviewed, gray literature, unpublished work, and articles from predatory journals - search results from 15+ U.S. federal agencies

Semantic Scholar -  AI-powered algorithms that find hidden connections and links between research topics.

BASE – 136 million articles

CORE – open access publishers

RefSeek- more than one billion documents from academic and organizational websites. Snippets only.

Library Contact Information

Reference Desk
(630) 617-3173

(630) 617-3160