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CHEM 5010: Graduate Teaching and Research, Fall 2022: Assignment 1

Library Assignment 1 - October 5

Before coming to class, please do the following:

  • Register for a SciFinder-n account (see Box 1. below),
  • Review the information below, moving through the boxes in numerical order, and 
  • Download the Library Assignment #1 worksheet - it will be posted in Canvas. If you want a hard copy, print it out before you come to the computer lab.

If you have any difficulties registering, please contact me for help. During class, I will give a short talk, and then you will have the rest of the time to work on your assignment.

Please combine the following into one PDF in this order: 

  1. a PDF of 5 to 10 research and review article references downloaded from SciFinder-n
  2. PDFs of 3 full-text articles from your reference list. Don't forget to put your name and class code on the first page! Use Combine PDF to combine your PDFs into one file (Don't click on Start, just upload files and combine). Upload the final file into the assignment link for this class day on Canvas. 

The purpose of the assignment is to learn about different types of scholarly communications in chemistry, and how to do substance, reference, and author searches to find chemistry research and review articles in SciFinder-n, which is the top literature resource for chemists. 

1. Register for SciFinder-n

All UNT students are required to register with CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) before using the SciFinder-n database.  The whole process takes 10 to 15 minutes. Please register before coming to class on Wednesday, October 5.

Steps to register:

  1. Go to this link: 
  2. Complete and submit the registration form using your UNT email address, e.g., (students) or (employees)
  3. You should receive an authorization email in less than 10 minutes and then can start using SciFinder-n. 
  4. In the future, you can connect to SciFinder-n through the library's homepage, using the Databases search (in the Start Your Research section). 
  5. SciFinder-n will always require you to enter your username and password. If you're off campus, you'll also have to enter your EUID and password when you first connect with the database. Sorry about the multiple sign-ins!
  6. If you have problems accessing the database, clear the browsing history, cache, and cookies in your Internet browser and try again.

If you have any difficulties registering for or using Scifinder-n, contact Jenn Washburn at

2. Scholarly Communication in Chemistry and Refining Your Sources

Scholarly communication is the conversation that occurs between scholars, both in written and verbal form. Watch this 3 minute video, Introduction to Scholarly Communication, from the University of Guelph for a full explanation. In chemistry, the communication takes the form of research articles, review articles, conference proceedings, patents, conference presentations, posters, and more. As you learn more about chemistry, you'll be able to start participating in the scholarly conversation. If you've done a conference poster or presentation, you're already contributing to scholarly communication!

For Library Assignment #1, you will be searching in SciFinder-n for only research and review articles, which have gone through the formal peer-review process. Watch this Peer Review in 3 Minutes for an explanation. Research articles are written by the researcher or group of researchers who have completed a study. They are reporting on their own work. Most articles you'll find in SciFinder-n are research articles. Review articles are written by one or more authors after reviewing many research articles in a subject area. They write about trends in that area of research. There are fewer of these in SciFinder-n, and they nearly always have the word "review" in the abstract. You can add "review" to your search in SciFinder-n to easily identify review articles.

Do not include conference proceedings or patents in the article list you are going to compile for Library Assignment #1. Neither of these scholarly communications go through the formal peer review process. Conference proceedings are a collection of abstracts or sometimes full papers presented at a conference. A proceeding can be identified by the conference name in the citation/abstract provided by SciFinder-n  A patent is a document submitted to the US Patent and Trademark office (or patent offices in other countries) that describes an invention and may be approved to give the author rights over the invention. A patent in Scifinder-n will have the name of a patent office in its citation.

In Box 3. on this page, you'll  learn how to search in SciFinder-n and refine your results to research and review articles only. 

3. SciFinder-n Searching Tutorials

Read these short help guides with screenshots to learn how to do substance, reference, and author searching in Scifinder-n. To learn more about the database, explore the additional resources on the Scifinder-n Training page.

4. Download Your Selected Results from Scifinder-n

  1. Once you have refined a search, browse through the titles and read some of the abstracts to determine which articles would be useful
  2. Click the boxes to the left of the references you want to save

Selected references in Scifinder-n


3. Select Download at the top right of the results screen.

Download references button in Scifinder-n


4. Enter your name and class code for the file name, leave all other options as is, and download as a PDF.

5. SciFinder will produce a PDF that you'll eventually combine with other PDFs and submit to Dr. Slaughter.

5. Find Full Text Articles with SciFinder-n

SciFinder-n doesn't contain its own full text articles, so you have to follow links to locate the articles in the library's collection. Here's how you do it starting from a results list:

  1. Identify an article that you want and click on the dropdown menu, Full Text. Select the option, Find Full Text (UNT-Denton).

Full text dropdown menu for a reference in Scifinder-n


2. When you link to the journal article, locate the PDF icon and download the file.

3. Sometimes the link doesn't connect you to the article, and you'll see a screen like the one below. Use the link, Check the UNT Library Catalog, to see if the library subscribes to the journal and has the right volume for you. If not, then you'll need to select another article for Assignment #1. If you eventually want the article, then order it through Interlibrary Loan using the link, Request This Item through ILLiad.

Check UNT Library Catalog screen


Additional Links