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CHEM 1003: Resources for chemical research assignment: Background Research

Background Information

Conducting Background Research

Before beginning your hunt for chemical data and peer-reviewed articles, you may want to do some background reading on your topic. Encyclopedias and books can be very helpful when collecting this background information and may also have information about the history or use of a particular substance. Use some of the databases below to conduct your background research:

Search the library catalog

The Library Catalog includes records for print and electronic books, theses, media, musical scores, and more owned by the DU Libraries.

Try the Advanced Catalog Search to find materials by type, location, publication year, language, and more.

To retrieve a book you found in the DU Library Catalog, note the:

1. Status: See a green dot & the word "Available"? The book should be on the shelf, ready for you to check out.

2. Location: The most common locations you'll see are:

  • 2a: Main Library, New Book Area : Located on the Main Level of the AAC -- see map below.
  • 2b: Main Library, Main Stacks: Located on the Lower Level of the AAC -- see map below.
  • 2c: Hampden Library, Stacks: This is our off-campus storage facility for books that don't fit in the AAC -- click the "Get It" button for details on how to request the book.
  • 2d: Online access: It's an ebook -- click "Access Online" to read it now.

3. Call number: This is the item's address on the shelf -- bring the entire call number with you to the library. Look on the ends of each shelf for signs indicating what span of call numbers are on that shelf.

The books in the Anderson Academic Commons are arranged by subject, so you can walk through the bookshelves in a particular subject area to see all the print books we have on that topic. Books purchased within the last six month are on the Main Level of AAC, and our main on-campus collection of books is on the Lower Level:

Subject areas of potential interest:

G -- Geography

  • GA: Mathematical geography, Cartography
  • GB: Physical geography
  • GC: Oceanography
  • GE: Environmental Sciences
  • GF: Human ecology

Q -- Science

  • QA: Mathematics
  • QB: Astronomy
  • QC: Physics
  • QD: Chemistry
  • QE: Geology
  • QH: Natural History - Biology
  • QK: Botany
  • QL: Zoology
  • QM: Human anatomy
  • QP: Physiology
  • QR: Microbiology

R -- Medicine

S -- Agriculture

Example chemistry books from our catalog

Science & Engineering Librarian

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Research Center Desk
Visit our "Make an Appointment" page to schedule a research consultation with a reference librarian.

You can also get in touch with the Research Center Desk during our operating hours at (303) 871-2905.