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Find articles, books, and learning opportunities in chemistry

Laboratory experiments

Students in lab courses, such as CHEM 120 General Chemistry 2, may be asked to design their own experiments. These types of detailed methods that list chemicals and equipment can be found in books and chemical education journals. If you need help, don't be shy to email me (April) questions or schedule an appointment.

Journal of Chemical Education (from the American Chemical Society)

  • Follow this printable step by step guide to finding experiments in Journal of Chemical Education
  • Use OR to search for synonyms or alternative names, for example: vitamin c OR ascorbic acid
  • Use a the truncation symbol (*) to replace any letters and find alternative versions of a word
    • A search for experiment* will find: experiment, experiments, and experimental
    • Be careful not to use it on only a few letters - use laborator* instead of lab* 

Protocols and methods

There are a few dedicated resources for finding experimental protocols. The chemical literature can also be searched with CAS SciFinder Discovery Platform, which includes CAS Analytical Methods. In addition, theses and dissertations are a great resource for detailed methods that are often overlooked.

  • Science of Synthesis (Thieme): A full-text resource for methods in synthetic organic chemistry.
  • CAS Analytical Methods: Search and compare the latest published analytical and synthetic scientific methods.
  • Current Protocols Online: Benchmark laboratory manuals for scientific research methods.
  • Springer Nature Experiments: Searches Springer Protocols, Nature Methods, and Nature Protocols.
  • To find books, try searching the McGill Library catalogue, Sofia and adding relevant keywords, such as protocol or method. The asterisk symbol (*) will be replaced with any letters. For example, laborator* will pick up records with laboratory or laboratories.
    • For example, you can edit and copy this string to search the subject field: su:((laborator* OR experiment*) AND (protocol* OR technique* OR method* OR manual*)).
      • PCR AND su:((laborator* OR experiment*) AND (protocol* OR technique* OR method* OR manual*))


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April Colosimo
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