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An Opportunity for a First Chemistry Research Paper for College Students

Shu-Kun Lin
Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), Saengergasse 25, CH-4054 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 79 322 3379, Fax +41 61 302 8918, E-mail:,

Chemistry professors, laboratory instructors and teaching assistants can help college students synthesize new compounds in undergraduate research or chemistry laboratory courses.

The student would need to do a literature search to find new structures never published before. Well-established methods described in textbooks or journal articles might be used to synthesize the new structures. The product might be different because the starting material has a side chain or other functional groups not present in the textbook or journal reaction. Students will need to characterize the product as fully as possible (elemental analysis, melting points and/or boiling points, NMR, MS, IR, etc.).

A short article describing the synthesis and properties of the compound would need to be prepared as an experimental report. References need to be supplied. MolBank ( section of Molecules ( [1,2] will consider publishing such short articles. If a paper is published in the on-line journal, abstracts will appear in Chemical Abstracts, CAPLUS, Science Citation Index Expanded, and other abstracting journals.

The possibility of students obtaining their first publication serves as an incentive for students to perform undergraduate research or synthesis and to pursue further graduate studies.


1. Lin, S. -K.; Patiny, L. MolBank: First Fully Web-Based Publication of Chemical Reaction Data of Individual Molecules with Structure Search and Submission. Internet Journal of Chemistry, 2000, 3, 1. (
2. Lin, S. -K. MolBank: Rapid and Easy Publication of Short Notes of Individual Molecules, presented at the First International Electronic Conference on Synthetic Organic Chemistry (ECSOC-1),, September 1-30, 1997 (

Copyright © 2000 by Shu-Kun Lin, all rights reserved.

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