ICT Literacy in Chemistry

Compiled by Dr. Lesley Farmer, California State University Long Beach


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2006). Information literacy standards for Science/Engineering/Technology: 

The following wiki is useful for chemistry information literacy: 

Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and state content standards also refer to K-12 ICT competencies (sometimes listed as information literacy, digital literacy, media literacy, or research skills).



  • Science and Technology/Chemistry
  • Science and Technology/Geology/ Geochemistry
  • Academic Support Services/ ICT literacy
  • Academic Support Services/Library and Information Services 



  • Caltech chemistry help on findings articles, lab safety, structure representation, professional development, and historical information 
  • Chemical information literacy tutorials 
  • MIT guide on finding articles, chemical properties, chemical engineering, managing references 
  • UC San Diego chemistry and biochemistry research guide, including articles/patents/databases, references, lab safety, ChemDraw, lab videos, mobile sites/apps, ethics, current awareness in chemistry, communications/presentation tips, research and writing tips 
  • UC Davis library chemistry guide, including articles and journals, references, chemistry properties, crystallography, safety data, citing, ChemDraw, and class handouts 
  • University of Michigan-Flint guide to chemistry research, databases, research topics, and specific aids for biochemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry 
  • Indiana State University chemistry guide, including analytic chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, medical chemistry, physical chemistry, polymer chemistry, chem and physics properties, research and writing 
  • City College of New York inorganic chemistry guide, including databases, references, directories, tutorials, blogs, businesses, associations, safety, software, translation tools, writing, history, humor, and several specific topics     





  • Ask students to post a moral issue relative to chemistry, and have a peer research an appropriate and feasible recommendation. 
  • Ask students to compare codes of ethics for different chemistry-related professional or trade associations.Ask them to create their own code of ethics.
  • Ask students to find a chemistry-related article or news item in a popular magazine or newspaper. Then ask them to find and cite the original research paper on which the article is based. 
  • Ask students to locate and summarize legislation and regulations that impact chemistry (toxic substances, accessibility, intellectual property). Then ask them whether this is the way the law ought to be or whether it should be changed and why. 
  • Ask students to create an infographic to help communicate a chemistry issue or action plan. 
  • Ask students to create a podcast or public service announcements about chemical use. 
  • Ask students to create a timeline of technical advances in chemistry. 
  • Ask students to flowchart a chemistry experiment (e.g., tracing a seminal one from history). 
  • Ask students to conduct a citation analysis of a current chemistry research study to identify scholarly influences. Ask them to present it as a concept map showing the relationships among articles/papers. 
  • Ask students to design a chemistry experiment to solve a problem, and then critique a peer’s process in terms of implications and consequences that follow from their reasoning. 
  • Ask students to research the impact of “green” technology on chemistry. 
  • Ask students to locate articles on a chemistry topic in two different database aggregators (e.g., Web of Science, ACS Web edition, Reaxys, Science Direct), and compare processes and results. 
  • Ask students to develop and implement a chemistry topical search strategy in various information retrieval systems using different user interfaces and search engines, with different command languages, protocols, and search parameters. 
  • Ask students to interview professional chemists to ascertain the use of information literacy.
  •  Ask students to create a Venn diagram about different branches of the chemistry industry.
  •  Ask students to compare advertisements for two competing chemistry products or services; consider quantitative information and emotional appeals. 
  • Ask students to debate a chemistry issue (e.g., food “enrichment”).