Skip to Main Content

Chemistry: Start Your Research

Helpful resources to get you started on chemistry research.

Need help? Ask us!


Need help finding information? Call the Ask Here Desk at 406-657-1662 or email


Help on some topics also available at the Getting Started with Library Research guide.

Finding Background Info on Your Topic

Background sources like encyclopedias can provide context for your topic, or even help you choose one. They are great places to start because:

  • they explain topics in simpler language than scholarly articles
  • they are much shorter (often just a just a page or two, instead of the 20 pages or more found in a scholarly article or the hundreds of pages found in a book)
  • they highlight important issues, figures, dates, and/or events that you may want to focus on in your paper or project
  • they give you suggested sources for further research in the form of bibliographies or works cited

The following are recommended encyclopedias in your field. You can read the online books 24/7. Just log-in with your NetID and password if you are off-campus.

The MSUB Library also has a large collection of print books that you can access in person at the library. Here are a few that we recommend: