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Chemistry: Advanced Research Skills: Read Often

This guide describes how to find, manage, and organize information for students pursuing an advanced chemistry degree.
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2022 2:24 PM

Read Often

When you research, it is important to keep up with the research in your area of expertise and with the research in your general field.

  1. How to set up alerts in Web of Science and SciFinder-n.
  2. Other sources:
    • Review articles (Annual Reviews)
    • Browsing multiple journals on one platform (Browzine)
    • Finding information in specialized databases (ChemRxiv and Google Scholar). 

Current Research in Your Field

Databases are great tools to use when you need to keep up on the literature in your field. At UB, we have access to many excellent databases. For the field of chemistry, start with Web of Science and SciFinder-n and set up research alerts. 

  Web of Science SciFinder-n
Create an account? Highly recommended Required
Find general help?  "Help" in the header, pick "Training Portal" "Help" under Account icon
Find articles? Select "Web of Science Core Collection" and type in your search terms. Hit enter. Filter your results using the options in the box on the left-hand side of the page.  Select "Reference" and type in your search terms, then hit enter. Your results may be filtered by the options in the box on the left-hand side of the page.  
Save articles? Click "Search for Article" for options.  Remember, plug-ins help!  If we don't have a subscription, use Delivery+ Click "Full Text" for options. Remember, plug-ins help!  If we don't have a subscription, use Delivery+
Use an article to find additional research? If the times cited > zero, you will have access to the "Citation Network." Click into the article to view. On the right-hand side of the page, you will a see a link to a list of articles cited in your chosen article and a list of articles that cite your chosen article.  Click "Citation Map."  This is a great tool that provides you with a list of articles cited in your chosen article and a list of articles that cite your chosen article. 
Save a search?

Click the "Create an alert" button on the left-hand side of the page. Save. To review, click "Search and alerts" and then "Saved searches and alerts." 


Click the star icon (chose the star nearest to your results, not the star in the header).  Set your time parameters and save. To review, click the star icon in the header.


Current Research in Science

Annual Reviews, both a publisher of well-regarded journals and a series title, saves you time by synthesizing the vast amount of primary research literature and identifying the principal contributions in your field. Editorial committees comprised of the most distinguished scholars in the discipline select all topics for review, and the articles are written by authors who are recognized experts in the field. Annual Reviews publications are among the highest cited publications by impact factor according to the Journal Citation Reports® published by Thomson Reuters

Browzine is a platform that you can use to access UB's journal holdings. Create a bookshelf of titles in order to easily browse the current issues. Additionally, this platform may be accessed from other devices. 

  • You may want to add ScienceNature, Chemical & Engineering News, or JACS to your bookshelf. 

Additional Research

In addition to databases of articles and journals, there are two additional resources worth highlighting.

ChemRxiv:  This is a "a free submission, distribution and archive service for unpublished preprints in chemistry and related areas." It is co-owned/managed by ACS, RSC, CCS, CSJ and GDCh. 

  • You may want to register for an account, as that will permit you to save searches. 

  • The search functionality is limited at this time so this resource might be better used to follow authors or institutions working in your field. 

Google Scholar 

  • Set up a profile! In your account options, select "library links" to double-check that you are connected to UB (choose: University at Buffalo Libraries - View it @ UB) You may also create an alert in Scholar.  Click the envelope icon near "create alert." 

  • If you run across a journal title that isn't familiar...make sure to check the title to confirm that it is a trusted peer-reviewed journal (and not a predatory journal).  Use Ulrichsweb: Global Serials Directory 

Read Often

"Any scientist by reading my papers can see in some detail how I have spent most of my mature life. They can judge the quality of my mind and imagination, and my research abilities. They can see how thoroughly my claims have been documented by experimental results published in full-length papers. Any investigator can repeat my experiments - and many have! Only in the sciences can the history of a discovery be so thoroughly validated. I know of no other profession in which contributions to world culture are so clearly on exhibit, so cumulative, and so subject to verification." -UCLA Collected Speeches of Donald J. Cram