Information Competencies for Chemistry Undergraduates/Scientific Communication And Ethical Conduct

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Section 4. Scientific Communication and Ethical Conduct[edit | edit source]

Chemistry undergraduates should understand that being able to clearly and concisely present research conducted in an ethical manner is imperative to a scientist.


Students should be aware of the different methods for presenting research (articles, posters, oral presentations at scientific conferences, etc); understand the reasons for citing the literature in one's own writing; demonstrate the ability to cite using appropriate formatting and standard abbreviations; and be familiar with software that allows for storing, managing, and formatting bibliographic references or citations.

  1. Writing:
    Recommended resources:
    The ACS Style Guide, Chapter 1: Writing a Scientific Paper. 2nd ed. 1997
    The ACS Style Guide, Chapter 14: References. 3rd ed. 2006 Print edition $$; info
    The ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information. 3rd ed. 2006 Print edition $$; info online access may require ACS ChemWorx registration
    The Craft of Scientific Writing, by Michael Alley. 3rd ed. 1996 $$
    How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, by Robert A. Day (various editions) $$
    Information for Authors. American Chemical Society. Author and Resource Reviewer Center
    On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser $$
    Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams and Gregory G. Colomb. 10th ed. 2010 $$
    Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students
    Writing Scientific Manuscripts: A Guide for Undergraduates
  2. Citation and reference manager software:
    Recommended resources:
    EndNote $$
    EndNote Web $$; EndNote Web, included in Web of Science $$
    RefWorks $$
    Zotero (use with FireFox browser)
    Citation and Document Managers, by Bioscience & Natural Resources Library, UC Berkeley
  3. Poster presentations:
    Recommended resources:
    Poster Presentations: designing effective posters, Fred Stoss, University of Buffalo Libraries
    Creating Effective Poster Presentations, by George Hess, Kathryn Tosney, and Leon Liegel
    Designing Conference Posters, by C.B. Purrington (research poster PowerPoint templates)


Chemistry undergraduates should learn the professional standards of chemists as articulated in the ACS "Chemist's Code" and in relevant works on scientific ethics; understand that science is filled with ethical judgments; recognize the ethical component of complex situations; and analyze complex ethical problems and design appropriate solutions.

Recommended resources:
The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct. American Chemical Society. 2012
Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research. American Chemical Society. 2015
On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research. Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. 3rd ed. 2009
Scientific Integrity: Text and Cases in Responsible Conduct of Research. by Francis L. Macrina, 3rd ed. 2005. $$