Effectively Searching the Scientific Literature

Concept: When you are researching an area that is brand new to you, it is a good idea to search in very general domains first, and then look in more specific areas.

General Searching

1. Turro Group Literature

There are a number of resources within the Turro Group.
a) books and series on a number of different topics
b) collection of reviews and journal articles that have been collected in binders by various members of the Turro Group

2. Google
This is a search engine that can lead you to general information on your subject, universities that might focus in that area, as well as the homepages of researchers in a particular subject area.

3. Knovel
This is a search engine for scientific subjects.

4. Columbia Libraries On-Line Catalogue (CLIO)
Find out what books the library might have on the subject area. Even though you might find older references here, a good review chapter can give you a feel for the key people in the field and past directions that laid a foundation for recent research.

Searching the Scientific Literature

Now that you are more familiar with the people in the field and they key concepts, now search the scientific literature. Don’t forget that you can refine your searches by reference type so you can find some recent reviews in the area, before you ultimately jump to the primary literature.

5. Scifinder


Science Citation Index

8. Search on-line journals (see favorites)

Searching Photochemical Sources

9. Physical Sciences Information Gateway
There is a section on this page where you can search photochemistry sites.

10. Photochemistry Database
This is a site that will search only the photochemical literature

11. The European Photochemical Society
This site has a link to all the other photochemical society webpages with links to the homepages of photochemists world-wide.

12. I-APS Who's Who in Photochemistry
An internet directory for photochemists. A link to homepages and resources of other photochemists

Any references that you collect should be organized in an Endnote database, and you should store your PDF's electronically. In the Turro Group, we have a structured way of labeling PDF's and linking them to Endnote. Please see "Labeling PDF's" and "Storing Literature References Using Endnote."

Searching for Spectroscopic Information

Searching for Synthetic Information