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CHEM0350 Organic Chemistry Lab

Learning Goals

This assignment is meant to teach you how to use certain chemistry resources. As the lecture could not cover all the features of each resource, it is expected that students will explore these resources through the assignment.  Upon completion of this assignment, students should be able to:

1. Recognize that a chemist finds property data in the literature to validate conclusions based on property data measured experimentally, especially for synthesis of substances.

2. Find property data in online handbooks (tertiary sources).

3. Find property data in a scholarly research article database and the associated article (primary source).

4. Cite resources using a CHEM0350 citation style guide.

Tips for Success: Using Reaxys and Primary Literature

Choosing an Article

For this assignment, select the reference with the most current year of publication that has the property data that you need, measured under the given experimental conditions, and is available (full text) through our library. 

If the pressure entry for boiling point is blank in a Reaxys property table, then the experimental condition is atmospheric pressure.

A Reaxys table may have a solvent column associated with melting point data. The article used for this assignment should not have a solvent listed in the table entry.

In addition, the location entry of the table should be empty.  This indicates that the data is found in the journal article.  Do not use an article with the location specified as "Supporting Information".

Accessing the Full Text of an Article

Click the yellow 'Find it!' Find it! button to see if the full text of the article is available through our library.  This will either open a library page called easyArticle or bring you either directly to the article.  If the easyArticle page opens, then click on the link under Available onlineRemember: in order to answer the questions, you must be able to open the PDF.  

Be sure to note the DOI of the article, which is available in one or more of the following places: the easyArticle page; the journal's page for the article, below the title and authors or in an 'About this Article' section; the PDF of the article.

Finding Property Data in an Article

Be aware that authors can use condensed structures of functional groups. See your lecture text for examples.

In organic chemistry research articles, data can be found in tables, figures, or text.  If several compounds are being studied, the author(s) often assigns a structure number to keep track of the compounds. This number can be a letter, number, or letter/number combination.  To find the structure number, look for the first mention of your substance in the text, figures, or tables.

It is possible that the property data for a substance is reported in an article not about synthesizing the substance but to validate that the substance, as a reactant, is as pure as possible.

Citing your Sources

It is not uncommon that original research papers reference their obtained experimental findings to a literature value (lit.) from an earlier published paper.  The paper you utilize is the one that should be cited.