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CHEM 300 -- The Literature of Chemistry (Schmidt)

Library Day 1 - Background Research

CHEM 300 - Background Research

In this session, we will cover:

  • How to begin conducting your background research in books and online
  • How to search the library book catalog using keywords, limits, and subject terms
  • The different library catalogs available (CSUSM, CSU+, WorldCat)

In-class work

  1. Complete the .
  2. Save the file and rename as <<CHEM300.Background.YourLastName.docx>>
  3. Email the completed worksheet to Talitha by Friday, September 6. 

Library Day 2 - Journals and Databases

CHEM 300 - Journals and Databases

Before this session, please complete this short tutorial:

In this session, we will cover:

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, technical reports -- and how they are different than the information you've had to use so far
  • Literature databases and how they work
  • Tips on how to search databases, including:
    • using limits
    • truncation
    • combining terms using AND/OR

In-class work

  1. Complete the Journals Worksheet.
  2. Save the file and rename as <<CHEM300.2017FA.Journals.YourLastName.docx>>
  3. Email the completed worksheet to Talitha Matlin.  


Library Day 3 - Citations and Bibliographic Managers

CHEM 300 - Citations and Bibliographic Managers

In this session, we will cover:

  • The purpose of citing your sources
  • How to cite in JACS style
  • How to manage your citations with Zotero 

In-class materials

In-class work

  1. In Microsoft Word, create a bibliography using Zotero (see step-by-step instructions below)
  2. Save the file and rename as <<CHEM300.2018FA.Citations.YourLastName.docx>>
  3. Email the completed worksheet to Talitha Matlin ( by Friday, September 28.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Create Bibliographies

  1. Open Zotero Desktop (go to the Applications folder and look for this icon: 
  2. Create entries in Zotero for the following articles by using the button to "Add items by identifier":
    • ​10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01056.x
    • 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2010.08.028
    • 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02337.x

  3. Create bibliography from items
    • Highlight all three records in the Zotero library (use Shift+click to select multiple)
    • Right click
    • Select "Create Bibliography from Items"

    • Select the following options: "Journal of the American Chemical Society", Bibliography, and Copy to Clipboard.

  4. Edit citations in MS Word
    • Open a blank document in MS Word
    • Paste citations into Word (Right-click, select "paste" or Command+V)
  5. Format your citations
    • Make sure all citations are left-justified 
    • Double-check the citations against the examples on your ACS handout. Do the authors' names appear correctly? Is the journal title abbreviated? Is the formatting/punctuation correct? 
  6. Make sure your name is on the document somewhere
  7. Save the file as <<CHEM300.2017FA.Citations.YourLastName.docx>>
  8. Email to Talitha Matlin ( by Friday, September 28.

Library Day 4 - Looking Forward (Web of Science)

CHEM 300 - Web of Science

In this session, we will cover:

  • The difference between Google Scholar and Web of Science
  • How to use Web of Science to find articles that are newer on a particular topic

In-class work:

  1. Complete the Web of Science scavenger hunt (passed out in class)
  2. Complete the assignment: webofscience_assignment_17fa.docx
    • Save the file as <<CHEM300.2017FA.WoS.YourLastName.docx>>
    • Email the completed assignment to Talitha by Friday, October 6.
  3. Complete the library session evaluations

Helpful Resources


Need Help?

Talitha Matlin

STEM Librarian
Office Location: 
KEL 3423
Office Hours: 
By appointment

Remember to follow the "15-minute rule" -- if you can't figure something out after 15 minutes, contact me!