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CHEM 400 - Freshman Seminar (UNH Durham): Find Articles

Articles in Chemistry

Articles, or papers, are published as individual pieces within a larger work, such as a periodical.  Periodicals can be scholarly journals or trade (professional) magazines; they can be newspapers, blogs, zines, etc.  At scholarly conferences, presentations that are written up for publication in the conference proceedings are also called articles. 

The first scholarly scientific journal began in England in the 1600's and is still being published today. Articles in scientific journals are the essential written record of scientific discovery.  Fundamental physical constants are key to chemistry, so chemists can use historical discoveries that have been preserved in articles to inform cutting edge research. Chemists of today contribute their own discoveries to the growing scientific record in journal articles and as conference talks.   This information cycle from the lab to the literature and back is a strong element of chemical research.

Chemical & Engineering News

Also known as C & E News, this is the top trade magazine published by the American Chemical Society.  You can browse by sections and/or search it. From off-campus, you can use this UNH Library Catalog link and put in your UNH username and password:

C & E News

Most links in the UNH Library Catalog and Databases can be accessed from off-campus this way! 

Note:  If you want to, you can also set up the UNH VPN on your own computer for online library resources by installing it with the optional UNH Library configuration.


From 1907 to the present, SciFinder is the premier research discovery tool for pure and applied chemistry, covering journals, conference proceedings, and more. Links to the library's subscriptions are provided. To use SciFinder, create an individual account.  Use is restricted to UNH students, faculty, and staff for non-commercian purposes. 

To learn more, create your own account, and get started, click here.  

Finding Journals Through the Library Catalog

Scholarly periodicals are often called "journals." To find out whether UNH has a particular journal online, in print, or in another format, you can search for the journal title in the UNH Library Catalog. Or, you can check the list of UNH fulltext online journals, which lists online journals by title; it does not include the library's collections of print journals.

Like most library catalogs, the UNH Library catalog lets you look up the author of a book, or the title of a journal, whole book, magazine, newspaper, or other whole works.  The catalog does not keep track of articles individually, so searching in it for articles does not work. To find articles, use the library "databases."  For general instructions on finding articles at the UNH Library, see the "Find" tab or click here.

For help interpreting journal abbreviations, ask a librarian/library staff or check the list of Science and Engineering Journal Abbreviations

Getting Articles from Selected Magazines

To do a search on science or engineering ethics or policy, or to select certain entry-level science magazines, the Academic Search Complete (ASC) database is useful.  You will find citations and you'll need to locate the articles, too.  These are mostly not primary source or peer-reviewed articles, so if you need those, don't limit your search to this list of magazines.  Use scholarly journals, instead (see right-hand list of databases).

1.  When you search, you can limit to specific "source" magazines.  For example, use a search box and change the dropdown field to Source.  This means the words you are searching will just be in the magazine title.  If you want to limit your search to these 7 magazines, you can copy and paste this line, adding any other recommended titles.  Note that "OR" means your search terms can be in any of these specific magazines.  All of these are indexed by Academic Source Complete.

Scientific American OR Science News OR National Geographic OR Discover OR Smithsonian OR Natural History OR New Scientist

2.  Each magazine has its own focus, so try searching with different keywords to get best results.  Save the results you like each time, before you move on.  Look for articles with article titles you understand. 

For example, you could be searching for articles on the earthquake in Japan in the spring of 2011, the tsunami that followed, and the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power station there. Search terms (keywords) could be:  tsunami, earthquake, Japan, nuclear, accident or disaster.  To learn enough background to choose keywords, Wikipedia or Google are good starting points.

3. You can use a date limit.  This earthquake was in 2011, so articles published before 2011 would not cover it.  Most article databases have a date limit; in ASC, scroll down the search page to "Publication Date" and input an appropriate month and year for starting and ending coverage.

MODEL IN ACTION:  Click to see this search 

 4. After you search, to get the articles:

a)  Click on the article title to see its summary (abstract).  Decide if you want to read the article.  If you do...

b) ASC offers links to these choices for fulltext: 

  • HTML Fulltext  -- the article in HTML.  Text but usually NO GRAPHICS (pictures, tables, charts, etc.)!
  • PDF Fulltext  -- the article in PDF.  Includes text and graphics (it's a copy of the full article).
  • Check for Fulltext -- this checks what UNH offers.  It can link to the online article or journal, or give you other options for getting the article. 

Getting a print copy:  if there are no online links to the article or journal, the "Check for Fulltext" page will show links to automatically search the Library Catalog by journal title or ISSN.

 When you are at the journal's record in the UNH Library Catalog, if the location of the volume you need says Storage Per Request Item, use the Request icon at the top toolbar to request the volume you need.  Or, use the InterLibrary Loan form online (see below) to request a scan of the article and we'll make one for you.

 If the UNH Library does not have the article you need, the Check for Fulltext page links to InterLibrary Loan so that you can order the article conveniently at no charge. If you are a First-Time User, log in with your UNH user ID and password (Blackboard ID) and fill out the registration. (more InterLibrary Loaninfo)

Other databases for articles

Where are the other databases?

For two more good databases for your podcast, Web of Science and Ebsco's Academic Search Complete, please scroll down.  For a more inclusive list of Chemistry databases with explanations, try our main Chemistry research guide.

Database List icon Beyond chemistry:  The Library home page has a complete list of the databases we subscribe to organized by title, subject, and type of information. Find it by clicking the folder icon on the left side of the page.  Top databases are starred and shown at the top of each subject list.

On the left side of the page, there are also tabs for "Articles & More" and "Databases." The Articles & More tab offers a quick discovery search across many topics using multiple databases and the library catalog. It is not complete for sci-tech fields, especially chemistry.

Do databases have the articles?

Some academic databases have copies of articles within them plus links to the article that go beyond the database.  Most scholarly databases just provide links to the article within its source publication (the source is the journal, magazine, or conference proceeding that includes the article).

The "Check for Fulltext" icon is available in most UNH Library databases.  Use it to see if the UNH Library has the article online; a new page will open with results and options.  If an online subscription is not available through UNH, there is an option to check the Library Catalog for the printed version of the journal or book.  There will also be an option to order a digital copy of the article through InterLibrary Loan.

The two databases below are examples of these two types.  These both cover many academic topics.  Both have "Check for Fulltext."  Web of Science is a scholarly database with links out to the articles; it indexes high-quality scholarly journals only and also provides "Cited Reference" searching.  Academic Search Complete is very popular for starting out because it covers many subjects and provides copies of many articles or links out to the original online articles.  The coverage includes magazines and newspapers as well as peer-reviewed, scholarly journals, but you can limit your search to peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.


Search for Articles with Library Databases