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Chemistry: Background Information

An introduction to resources in Chemistry. Includes sources for background information, chemical literature, chemical properties (including spectra), as well as safety information and sources for material safety data sheets (MSDS).

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

If you're brand new to a topic, you can use dictionaries and encyclopedias to look up and find basic background information to get you started. 

Review Articles

Review articles can be useful for basic background information. They can also give you a sense of the history of a topic, what research has been done, and what questions are left to be answered. Citations and references can help you to identify the major researchers in a field as well as individual articles relevant to your own research.

  • Many databases allow you to refine your results to just reviews. Look for Document Type -> Reviews.
  • If you can, search a journal that focuses on publishing reviews, like one of those listed below.
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