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Chemistry Literature Seminar and Capstone

Resources for students in Chemistry Literature Seminar CHE51-822-01

Helpful Hint --- Online Tutorials

Most, if not all, scholarly databases have online tutorials, both text and video, available. When you're using a database, look for a "help" or "tutorial" button to find how-to documentation. 

You can always consult with a librarian on the various databases we subscribe to, as well. She will know where to locate tutorials and point you in the right direction. She may even be able to troubleshoot your database problem as well. 

Getting Help with Technology

NOTE: Southwestern will NEVER ask for your account password via email or phone. Report any phishing attempts to the InfoDesk.

Debby Ellis Writing Center

At the Debby Ellis Writing Center, any student can come in for (completely free) help with papers at any stage of the writing process.  The DEWC is always open to students as a study space.

Style Guides

Various Style guides found in the libraryA style guide, or manual, provides direction on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language.  

Many academic disciplines have their own style guide. Some journals even have their own specific style. Ask your professor what style he or she wishes you to use for your paper/project.

These guides offer guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, simple, and elegant communication.

For more information, see the individual tabs for specific styles here, or use the printed style manuals shelved in the library's Research Commons. 

Library Information and Research Help

Have a quick question? Ask a Librarian. ​ 

Need more in-depth assistance? Request a Research Appointment.


In Chemistry, a primary source is the first place research appears. 

The purpose of reading the primary source is to get the original data, not someone else's interpretation of the data (a secondary source).  Books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, review articles, and textbooks are all secondary sources because they have already processed the information in the primary sources for you. 



Primary Sources in the Sciences:

  • ​​Report original research, ideas, or scientific discoveries for the first time
  • Report results/findings/data from experiments or research studies
  • May also be referred to as primary research, primary articles, or research studies
  • DO NOT include meta-analyses, systematic reviews, or literature reviews (these are secondary sources)
  • Are frequently found in peer-reviewed or scholarly journals
  • Should explain what research methodology was used (randomized controlled trial, etc)
  • Frequently include methods, results, and discussion sections
  • Are factual, not interpretive

From off-campussimply provide your SUeID & password to authenticate yourself and gain access to the library's databases. 

TIP: Make sure you're logging into the yellow Southwestern login screen, NOT the database's login screen.

Never pay for articles; the library can get that information for you for from another source. Ask a librarian.

Smith Library has 24-hour student building access (with ID card) for most of the week during the normal fall and spring semesters.

Always check the website for the most current operational hours.

Scifinder's Tutorials and How-to Videos