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Pick "Chemistry" from the subjects drop down box, and "articles" from the database types drop down box.
Use the four "best bet" databases (ACS, Reaxys, ScienceDirect and SpringerLink)
All of these databases are set to work mainly by keyword searching (as opposed to structured field searching)
Also take a look at PubMed (or Medline if you like the Ebsco interface. This is freely available AFTER you graduate, though the links into our other databases won't be. This database is especially useful if your topic is related to medicine or the human body.
Be sure you have an interlibrary loan account as you will likely need to ILL some articles
Research Process in General
The research process involves four steps:
1. Topic Analysis
development of a research question which matches the scope of the project (may include background research)
consideration of information needed relative to the scope of the project
brainstorming of initial vocabulary for searching including synonyms, related terms and variant terms
2. Resource Types/Selection of an appropriate search tool
consideration of what types of information are needed and what format they might take. For example:
Articles from Specialized Encyclopedias
Articles from Periodicals
determination of which search tool will locate the desired information
Note: using pre-compiled lists related to your research interest, e.g. a bibliography at the end of an article, can be an excellent starting point.
3. Searching a database
Understanding of Databases/Records/Fields/Data
Understanding of how the search terms you enter are manipulated to match the data and generate results
Skill set of search techniqes such as Boolean operaters and connectors (AND/OR/NOT), adjacency operators (W/#), phrase searching (" "), wildcard/truncation characters (*)
Understanding of how the results lists are presented (by relevancy, date, alphabetical...)
Ability to manipulate the results list (limiting by date, language, journal source, etc)
4. Physically/Electronically obtaining items
For articles, use the FindIt button/link
For books or articles only available in paper, knowledge of the Library of Congress Call number system
For items not immediately available, understanding the Interlibrary Loan system