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Chem 105b/107b: General Chemistry: Catalogs vs. Databases

Library Catalog

The library catalog is useful for searching books, e-books, journals, DVDs, CDs, and other materials owned by USC Libraries.

USC Libraries Catalog

General Science Databases

Databases are useful for searching for journal articles, newspaper articles, magazine articles, patents, etc. Most times when you use a database, you will be doing topic searching. The science database listed below, Web of Science, is a very powerful tool to search across various disciplines, journals, and years.

Topic searching is only as good as the topic being entered. Before you click search, utilize Boolean terms, like AND, OR, and NOT, to help refine your search. After clicking search, use refine results tools to help narrow down the number of citations.

Chemical Databases

Specialized chemical databases, like the ones below, provide a much more in-depth tool to find chemical information. These databases can provide literature on how to prepare compounds (preps), patents, and much more in-depth information.

These links are here for you to explore and try these resources. There will be a more in-depth tutorial in Organic Chemistry.

Full-Text Articles

Articles are only as good as your ability to find the full-text of an article. Without the full-text, you do not get the graphs, tables, references, and supplemental information. Usually the full-text article is not available in the database, but on a different website. USC Libraries has provided the “Find it @ USC” link to directly link to the full-text article, if available. Occasionally, USC Libraries does not have a subscription to the journal the article appears in. When clicking the “Find it @ USC” link, you will be told to request the article via interlibrary loan (ILL).