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Chemistry Seminar - Fall 2022 (21:160:453 / 26:160:601)

This guide was created specifically for Dr. Stacey Brenner-Moyer's class - Fall 2022

Getting Started with Research at Rutgers University Libraries: Scholarly Communication & Information Literacy Skills

Learning objectives:

Students will learn some foundational information literacy skills, how to get started doing literature research at Rutgers, and basic data management skills. Upon completion of the session, students will be able to:

  1. explain the scholarly communication process, including what peer review entails
  2. distinguish between original research articles and review articles
  3. identify, based on a citation, whether a source is an article, book, conference proceeding, dissertation, patent, or Web site
  4. search for books and specific articles using the QuickSearch system at Rutgers
  5. evaluate sources

**Please note that the graded library exercise can be found on the Canvas course site, under the 'Assignments' or 'Quizzes' module.**

1a. The Scholarly Communication Process

Scholarly communication is a cyclical process that is a vital aspect of doing research:

1b. The peer review process

The peer review process

Peer Review Process

2. From background information to original research articles

Researching a topic that's new to you?  

  • 1st: Learn more about the topic:
    • A book can be helpful since it's broader in scope
    • Reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias can also be useful for looking up unfamilar terms
  • 2nd: Review articles are valuable resources:
    • Providing historical background information
    • Explaining the significance of the research - why it's important to study
    • Discussing possible future directions
    • Identifying key papers (& scientists) in the subject area
  • 3rd: Read current original research articles:
    • Narrow in scope
    • More details about methodology
    • Be up-to-date on newest discoveries

3. What type of source is it?

As you may be aware, different citation styles are followed depending on the discipline. Even in just the sciences, there's ACS (American Chemical Society), AIP (American Institute of Physics), and CSE (Council of Science Editors), to name a few.  In fact, different publishers use different styles – and may even decide to use different styles depending on the journal in question.

Given a citation, how can you tell what type of source it is?  Here are tips on what to look out for...

  • Book - includes publisher name
  • Journal article - includes volume/issue #
  • Dissertation - includes university name
  • Conference proceeding - includes conference name, location
  • Patent - includes patent # that typically begins with 2 letters
  • Web site - includes URL


​For examples of citations in these categories, take a look at the link below:

4. Flowchart for accessing books at Rutgers

Flowchart for Accessing Books

Helpful Links


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