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CHEM 406 - Interface of Chemistry & Biology

Library Resources and strategies for Interface of Chemistry & Biology

Strategies for Choosing a Topic


1) Focus on a small area of research.  Browse conference proceedings and recent issues of prominent journals for ideas.  Opinion, commentary and perspective articles are particularly useful because they may discuss open avenues of research.  

2) Start with a few topics in case one doesn't work out.

3) Read abstracts of high quality articles to save time.

What is a quality article?

  1. Authors are reputable.  Not sure? Ask your professor.
  2. Authors come from reputable institutions
  3. Authors are working in their field
  4. Published in a high quality peer reviewed journal.  Impact factor or Eigenfactor may help determine.
  5. Depending on age, citation counts may indicate value to community
  6. Current - not out of date
  7. Unbiased - cites widely, less self citations.

4)Use a great article as a connector to other articles.  

5) Once you have done some searching and reading, meditate on what is missing from the research. What is left to discover? For example, pick substances that haven't been full characterized or mechanisms that aren't completely understood.

6) When you have a topic, share with your professor and fellow students to see what they think.

Conferences for Browsing

Journals for Browsing

Professor Bren supplied the following list of journals to browse:


Very current, probably not peer reviewed