7 Ways to be a More Efficient Chemist

White text on purple background: 7 ways to be a more efficient chemist
Research is a huge part of working as a chemist. Learn how to be more efficient through these seven tips. Questions? Ask me! 
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1. Get started with review articles & books

Exploring a new research topic? Avoid the temptation to jump straight into individual studies.

Review articles and books are great secondary sources of information. Reviews summarize primary literature and are an excellent source to find info on chemical procedures, reactions and findings.

Search for a book or browse a review journal. Search for a book or browse a review journal.

2. Stay current with alerts

Stay up-to-date with current developments by setting up automated alerts.

By journal: Have you identified a relevant journal? Browse its website and find a link for an e-Table of Contents to set up email notifications.

By search: Construct a comprehensive reference, substance or reaction search in SciFinder. Select Keep me Posted, and you’ll receive emails when new materials are published.

3. Keep your references organized

During the research the stage, you will probably come across hundreds of potentially relevant articles and other information sources.

Use a citation management software, such as Zotero, that allows you to collect, organize and export citations directly from databases and websites.

Zotero streamlines your writing process by automatically creating references and bibliographies.

4. Complete a data review

Everyone knows to review the literature before you begin a project, but do you search for relevant data before you begin?

Chemical properties: Find chemical and physical properties published in SciFinder, NIST databases, and handbooks.

Research data: Many researchers are making their data available via open access. Don’t reinvent the wheel! Search data repositories before starting a project.

5. Manage your data

Manage your data and: save time, preserve your data, make it easier to find & share.

  • Make folder hierarchies as simple as possible
  • Document and describe what your data are, and how you collected them
  • Use open formats to store your data. E.g., CSV, XML, TXT, TIFF
  • Back up your data
6. Borrow from other libraries
No library has everything, but you have access to everything. Use the Interlibrary Loan service if Leddy doesn’t have access to an article, book or other information resource. We’ll find it somewhere in the world and bring it to you at no cost.
7. Ask your librarian

Librarians can help you every step of the way:

  • Finding and accessing chemical information
  • Exploring research topics
  • Understanding scientific communication

Content on this page is shared under the following license: 
CC Attribution 4.0
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