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Scientific Literature

Searching the Scientific Literature

For this report, you will be assigned one compound. Your task is to find a literature procedure for the synthesis of the assigned compound. Details for how to do this are listed below. For your report, you must do one of the following.

  • Send me an e-mail message that includes your name and the article as an attachment.
  • Turn in a hard copy of the first page article with your name written on this paper during lab.


Using the Science Citation Index online Database

  • You MUST be using a computer physically located on one of the campuses of the Kent State University system for this to work! The databases that we will use are only available by paid subscription, and OhioLink checks where requests originate before connecting to the appropriate server.
  • Login to one of the computers on campus, and launch your favorite web browser (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, ...). You can either go through the library's web site, or through the following URL:
  • The above link should direct you to the Web of Science search page. Once you have gotten to this page, perform the following steps.
    • Type your molecule's name in the first box as a Topic.  (If this doesn't work, you could change this to Title). As you can see, there are several other options available.
    • Go to the bottom of this page. Since you are looking for a recent article, limit the Timespan to cover only the last two or three years.
    • Below this is a Citation Databases option. (You may need to click on the + icon to view the available options.) Select only the Science Citation Index Expanded database.
    • After all of the options have been selected, press the Search button image button.
  • If all has gone correctly, the first page of results should be displayed. This page will display the title, author, and journal citation for each matching result. Select the best of these results, keeping in mind the following criteria.
    • The paper should emphasis the chemistry (specifically the synthesis) of your molecule. Journals focusing on nutrition, biology, medicine, etc. would not be ideal sources. If necessary, you can limit your results using the box on the left side of the results page.
    • You can select View Abstract to determine if this article is suitable.
    • You need to obtain a copy of the actual article. While OhioLink subscribes to a large number of scientific journals, it does not subscribe to all journals.  You will need to select an article in one of the journals available through OhioLink.
  • Once you have looked at the abstract and determined that you have found a suitable article, you need to download a copy of this article.
    • Select the Find it buttonbutton to locate this article.
    • If all goes well, there should be an option to find the Full Text of this article in the EJC. If this link is not available, it will probably be best to select a different article.
    • Once you have located the journal article in the Electronic Journal Center (EJC), select the Full Text option.
    • Usually, at least one option will appear to view the article as a PDF file.  Either open this file and save it, or right-click on the link to Save Link As ... .
    • If you are unable to obtain the article directly from the Scientific Citation Index (or if you simply want to see what journals are available through OhioLink), enter the following URL: From here you can either find specific journals by name or use the subject categories to find all journals related to organic chemistry.
  • After you have found the article you need, download or save the article as an Adobe PDF file. (It might be a good idea to save this to a flash (thumb) drive). For your report, either e-mail me a copy of the article, or print at least the first page and turn this in. In either case be sure that you put your name somewhere so that I know who turned this in.