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IDS 101: Chemicals and Society

Find Books, Movies, Articles, and More


Academic Search Complete is an interdisciplinary databases that provides full text access to 8,500+ academic journals in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, and multi-cultural journals. It also indexes nearly 12,500 peer-reviewed journals.

Academic Search Complete
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JSTOR is a high-quality, interdisciplinary archive of over 1,000 leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Search term highlighting, includes high-quality images. Current editions of journals are excluded due to embargos.

Search for Articles, Books, and more in JSTOR


Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Be sure your Google Scholar preferences include Willamette University as your library (under library links) to access Willamette-licensed content. For more customization & info visit our Google Scholar page.

Google Scholar


Newspaper Source provides cover-to-cover full text for more than 40 national (U.S.) and international newspapers, including USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Times (London), Toronto Star, Christian Science Monitor, etc. In addition, full-text television & radio news transcripts are provided from CBS News, CNN, CNN International, FOX News, NPR, etc. It also contains selective full text for more than 370 regional (U.S.) newspapers.

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These are news headlines are from Science Daily, a prominent news source that promotes medical and health news.  This is a go to source for cutting edge medical and health information.

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Steps for Finding Chemical Info

This works most of the time it will, but come see me if you have problems.

1. Search for your chemical in Wikipedia. This is perfect for background info and will list their sources of information. For example, I searched for "Aspirin" in Wikipedia.

2. There is a ton of historical info. Find the Chemical Abstract Society (CAS) Number in the box to right side of the screen. For example, the CAS number for aspirin is (50-78-2). If you are lucky, it may list and link to the PubChem number (2244). If not, go to the next step and open PubChem.

3. Open PubChem and search for the CAS Number. It will likely be the first item if you have multiple results. The right navigation bar lists information, including a Literature section for chemical use and impact on our society. 

4. Make sure to search the Library's catalog to find print books and ebooks. For example, I search for "aspirin" and limited my results to print or ebooks, yet I had over 15,000 items dealing with aspirin. I jotted down a few call numbers, then went upstairs and found a book or two on my topic.

stack of books

EBSCO Search Terms

  • Keywords
    History of chemistry, molecules, compounds, spices, textile fibers, dyes, explosives, ascorbic acid, glucose, cellulose, nitro compound and military, morphine and medicine, nicotine and cancer, opioid addiction, caffeine and addiction, nylon and silk, isoprene, salt, carbon compounds, malaria, aspirin, urea, camphor, morphine, strychnine, penicillin, vitamin B12, Taxol, Brevetoxin and quinine
  • People
    H. Brand 1699 (Phosphorus-first "modern" element discovered since ancient times), H. Cavendish 1766 (hydrogen), W. Scheele 1771 (oxygen), D. Rutherfold 1772 (nitrogen), H. Klaproth 1789 (uranium), H. Davy 1808 (silicon),
  • Locations
    Middle East (discovery of copper), Egypt (lead & iron)



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