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CHEM112H: General Chemistry (Honors) (Groh)


This guide provides information that will be useful to your writing assignments in this course: a list of selected journal titles and additional resources are provided in the "Finding Articles" section; the "For your assignment" section presents some resources to assist with reading scientific papers, cited reference searching, and citation format.

If you need some immediate assistance with accessing materials, you can chat with a librarian: "Ask the Library" tab at the far left, or click on this link.

Primary literature and peer-reviewed journals

Primary sources represent original research from the discovery stage to official publications:

  • R&D stage (lab notebooks)
  • Informal sharing (communication between colleagues, departmental colloquia)
  • preliminary communication (letters to the Editor, Letters Journals, Biosequence data) 
  • formalized documents (patents, conference proceedings, technical reports, dissertations & theses, journal articles)

Secondary sources organize, repackage and concentrate the published information from primary sources into: 

  • Indexes & Abstracts, Bibliographies, Databases (bibliographic, bioinformatics)
  • Handbooks, Dictionaries, Directories, Yearbooks, Almanacs
  • Encyclopedias, Treatises, Monographs or Books, Reviews

Secondary sources are where you go to find general overviews of research occurring in the field or interpretations of past research.

Is a review article considered a primary source?
No, because the authors are not reporting their own original research, but rather, they are discussing other authors' research in order to present a review of the subject area or topic.

How can I tell if a journal is peer-reviewed?

  • In a database, look for a filter that will limit the results to peer-review journals: "Peer-Reviewed Journals", "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals", or "Scholarly Journal"
  • Search for the title on the Library's E-Journals page, and look for the "Peer-Reviewed" designation.
  • Go to the journal's home page for more information about the journal.

NOTE: Not all items published in a peer-reviewed journal are necessarily peer-reviewed, for example editorials or letters.