Research Activities

Use of Library Resources

  • All Duke chemistry faculty, staff, and graduate students have access to the information resources in the Perkins Bostock Library and the Medical Center Library. Many resources are available electronically, especially databases and journals. You can find out what is where by going to the chemistry library resources web, http://library.duke.edu/chemistry.
  • There is one online circulation system used by all the Duke libraries. Your library card is your Duke picture ID. The barcode on the back allows you to check out books in all campus libraries. Your Duke ID number or your NetID is also used to set up your My Library account on the main library website (http://library.duke.edu). From this account you can request and see the status of interlibrary loans, requested items from off-site stacks, and a list of the materials you have checked out of the library. You can renew materials that have not been recalled from your My Library account. Look for the My Accounts link on http://library.duke.edu.
  • Duke faculty and graduate students get annual book loans in the Perkins Bostock Library. All books must be renewed in May. The Medical Center, Law, and Business School libraries have their own loan periods. Check their web sites for loan periods.
  • You may renew a book in a variety of ways: by going to "My Library Account" (See #2 above), or by emailing your name, the book's title, and the barcode in the back of the book to perkins-request@chem.duke.edu, or by calling circulation (660-5870), or by bringing it to the library.
  • Recalls: If library materials are requested by another patron or needed for reserve, they can be recalled after the original patron has had the material for at least two weeks. So, while faculty and chemistry graduate students may be able to keep books for up to a year without needing to renew them, they are only guaranteed use of any book for a minimum of two weeks. Although most library fines are waived, fines for recalls and lost books are not. If you are out of town and a book is recalled, email perkins-requests@duke.edu, or call circulation (660-5870) to negotiate your options.
  • Journals (bound or unbound) and reference books must be used in the library. These holdings circulate only in unusual circumstances, and then only with the clearance of a librarian.
  • Unbound journals may be found on the first floor of the Bostock library building. If there is no electronic access to journal backfiles, they are held at the Library Service Center (LSC). To get articles from journals at the LSC, use the interlibrary loan articles request form (via Interlibrary Loan link on library.duke.edu), and in the call number/location field put "at LSC". Check the catalog record for journal locations and call numbers by doing a journal title search in the catalog. Books held in the LSC may be requested via the REQUEST link in the catalog (click on Location to get to the request option) and will arrive in the Perkins Bostock Library within 12 to 24 hours. You may pick them up at the Perkins circulation desk (Perkins 1st floor).
  • Materials on Closed Reserve do not leave the library under any circumstances and are only available for 3 hour in-house use when the library is open. If you are unsure of location, look up the title in the catalog and look at the LOCATION. This will display the library where the material is held and the call number, as well as whether the material is on closed reserve.
  • During the Fall and Spring semesters the reference desk is staffed by a professional librarian from 8:00AM – 2:00AM, Monday through Thursday, 8:00AM – 5:00 PM on Friday, 12:00PM – 5:00PM on Saturdays, and 10:00AM – 2:00 AM on Sunday. For summer and holiday hours consult the web site. Student assistants staff the circulation desk during the evening and weekend hours as well as many hours during the weekdays. For a personal or group tour of the library or for help using any of the library's resources, contact the chemistry librarian. We are available to teach individuals, classes, or groups how to use or access any of the library resources. Sessions can be tailored to fit any course or specific assignments. Course specific library resource guides can also be created and can be made available in print, web or Blackboard format. Requests should be sent by email to the chemistry librarian. The chemistry librarian keeps drop-in office hours a few afternoons a week in Room 1213, French Family Science Center. For specific times and days, e-mail the librarian or check the white board in the room.
  • For more detailed information visit the web site or contact the library by phone: Chemistry librarian: (919) 660-1578, Reference desk: (919) 660-5880, Circulation desk: (919) 660-5870, or by Fax: (919) 668-3134; or by email: chemlib@chem.duke.edu or on the web at http://library.duke.edu/chemistry.

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Obtaining Research Supplies

  • Fund Codes Methods of accounting for purchases:
    1. Purchases for Use in Research Your research director should advise you as to which code or codes you are authorized to use when purchasing materials. You are responsible for keeping up with these codes. You will need a 7-digit fund code when making a purchase from Buy@Duke or in person at the VWR Storeroom. It is very important that the charge code given for your purchase is the correct code.
    2. Purchases for Use in Teaching Materials purchased for the various undergraduate laboratory courses are charged to the Chemistry Department. If it is necessary for a teaching assistant to purchase materials for use in a course, the TA should obtain authorization and a fund code from an Undergraduate Laboratory Manager or the Lab Preparator. Only items that are to be used as supplies in the course should be charged to the Department.
  • Self-Service Supplies A few common research supplies are available 24/7 in French on a self-service honor basis. Locations of these supplies and accounting honor systems:
    • Crushed Ice Crushed ice for teaching and research purposes is available from the ice machine located in the 1004 corridor. It is intended that ice be used for research purposes and not for picnics, etc. Please note that this ice is not edible. There is no charge for this item.
    • Dry Ice Dry Ice is available from an insulated chest located in the hall near Room 1133. Utilize Dry Ice only in quantities required. Insure that container is closed after obtaining the Dry Ice. A log is provided to indicate the amount of ice purchased. Indicate your name, your research advisor, quantity (in pounds or blocks) and the code to which it is to be charged. The current charge for Dry Ice is is posted on the log. In emergencies, small quantities of dry ice may be purchased from the VWR storeroom located in the basement of the LSRC between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
    • Liquid Nitrogen Liquid nitrogen is available in the Chemical Storage Room, Room 1239. A log is provided to indicate the amount of nitrogen purchased. Please indicate your name, your research advisor, quantity (in liters) and the code to which it is to be charged. The current charge for liquid nitrogen is posted on the log. Under no circumstances should liquid nitrogen be taken from the tank servicing research equipment in Room 1241.
    • Silica Gel Bulk dispensing of Silica Gel is available in Room 3209. A log is provided to indicate the amount of Silica Gel purchased. Please indicate your name, your research advisor, quantity (in grams) and the code to which it is to be charged. The current charge for Silica Gel is posted on the log.
  • Purchases from On-campus Vendors There are two on-campus vendors:
    1. VWR operates a stockroom with supplies that are immediately available to research personnel on a self-service basis. It is located in the Levine Science Research Center and is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, with a storeroom employee on check-out duty during these hours. Purchases require a charge code. Anyone wishing to transport chemicals from the storeroom must carry chemicals in a secondary container. These secondary containers may be checked out from the LSRC stockroom, but must be returned to that stockroom after use to avoid being charged for them. If a researcher needs to transport a chemical and does not have a container with them, VWR will provide a container. Following use of the container, the researcher has three options:
      • The researcher may keep the container for future needs, but will be charged for the container.
      • The researcher may return the container to the storeroom (no charge for use).
      • The researcher may contact the VWR storeroom and schedule a return/ pickup (no charge).
  • Purchases from Outside Vendors
    • Compressed Gases There is no central storage of compressed gas cylinders in the French Family Science Center. Vendors deliver and remove cylinders regularly from individual labs. Contact your vendor for orders, deliveries and pick-ups. The safe use of gas cylinders is described in the Duke Chemistry Safety Manual.
    • Glass Blowing Glass blowing needs can be met through University Research Glassware in Chapel Hill (919-942-2753) or Prism Research Glass in Raleigh (919-571-0078).

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    Research Instrumentation

    • Supervision of instruments
      ​In all cases a faculty or staff member is responsible for supervision of usage. The supervisor of an instrument may be an individual whose research group uses it the most or the Director of Instrument Operations. This responsibility is assigned by the Director of Instrument Operations. The Director of Instrument Operations, Dr. Peter Silinski, has the following responsibilities for Departmental instruments located in FFSC:
      • Establish operating procedures and policy.
      • Supervise scheduling of use as necessary, to include coordinating with the manager of the NMR Center scheduling of Center instruments housed in Chemistry.
      • Provide for training of new operators either by Department Staff or previously authorized operators within the Department
      • Certify approved operators and maintain a list of these posted with the instrument.
      • Assign qualified operators to run samples for persons who wish to have occasional measurements carried out.
      • Establish a schedule and check out procedure with Departmental Business Manager for preventive maintenance.
    • Instruments provided by research groups
      Individual research groups have purchased specialized instruments. See the supervisor of the instrument to obtain permission to use it and to be trained to use it.
    • Instruments provided by the University
      In addition to the Departmental Instrumentation, four other high field NMR instruments are available within the NMR Center in the LSRC that can be used by certified users.
    • Instruments provided by the department
      Within the department there are many research instruments that can be operated by those who are certified to operate them. These instruments either belong to the department or to the NMR Center. See Instrument Facilities for instruments that are available, their locations, and charges.
    • Responsibilities of Authorized Operators
      • Operate instruments in compliance with policies and procedures established.
      • Maintain instrument activity log books.
      • Report instrument problems to Dr. Silinski or Trish McMillan for Departmental Instruments. NMR™ problems are reported to Dr. Silinski, the NMR Center staff or Trish McMillan. Note in the problem log book the nature of the problem and to whom and when it has been reported.
      • Run samples of non-qualified persons as assigned by their research group advisor.
    • Responsibilities of Trainees:  
      • ​​Trainees shall operate the instruments only under supervision until certified by the supervisor as qualified.
    • Rules of Usage
      Some basic protocols should be adhered to and below are some Do's and Do Not's to be followed.
      • Do not smoke or bring food or beverages into an instrument room.
      • Do not remove manuals from an instrument room without permission.
      • Do not scribble or make notes on any instrument.
      • Do leave NMR instruments locked on nights and weekends after obtaining data.
      • Do report all problems with any instrument to the Director of Instrument Operations by e-mail or in person. Maintain instrument activity and problem log books as per b and c under responsibilities of authorized operators.
    • Procedure for handling requests for additional use of instruments
      • Requests for a student or research associate to train as an operator should be made by the research director to the Director of Instrument Operations, Dr. Silinski for instruments that are not commonly operated by the user.
      • Dr. Silinski will judge when the trainee is qualified and will add the name to the list posted on the instrument.
      • All certified operators shall have equal rights and privileges, except that certain times may be established by Dr. Silinski (see scheduling) when one or another operator or group has precedence.
      • All disputes as to matters of policy shall be referred to Dr. Silinski and, if he is unable to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the parties, appeal may be made to the Infrastructure Committee.
    • Modification of Instruments
      Modifications made to a Departmental instrument that limit its use should be readily reversible. Upon completion of the experiment that requires the use of any modification, the instrument is to be returned to its normal configuration. All requests for such modifications should be cleared through the Director of Instrument Operations and the Infrastructure Committee who will make a recommendation to the Chair on the advisability of making the modification. This must be done every two years.
    • Scheduling
      The Director of Instrument Operations shall establish scheduling policy as the level of use warrants it. If desirable, he may designate certain times during which individual operators or research groups have precedence, though normally regular times shall not be reserved exclusively for one group or individual unless required by the nature of the experiment. Any such request should be made in writing with copies going to the scientist's Research Advisor and the Chair of the Infrastructure Committee. In scheduling the use of the instrument, all users shall be expected to take their fair share of nights and weekends to accommodate all those needing to use the instrument. For the more complex instruments which are used primarily by a single research group, a sign-up sheet should be available so that other users may have access as needed.
    • Instrument Charges
      So that charges can be made properly, each user of a departmental instrument must sign the log book for that instrument with his/her name (initials and last name), the date, the number of samples run (or time used in some cases) and the correct code to which the charges should be applied. Please print legibly. Begin a new page in the log book the first day of each month. If the instrument malfunctions and you should not be charged for use, please note this in the log book by placing "N/C" in the left hand column. If no notation is made, you will be charged for the use of the instrument.

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    Research Emergencies

    • Accident
      In case of an accident, call the Duke Police (from cell phone: (919) 684-2444, or from Duke land line: 911) which will bring a Duke policeperson with a police car. The police are authorized to transport an injured person to the health center. If an ambulance is needed, tell the dispatcher. As soon as possible after the emergency has been dealt with, please file a report of the incident as described here.
    • Fire
      In case of fire, call the Duke Police (from cell phone: (919) 684-2444, or from Duke land line: 911) and report the following:
      • Exact location of fire — building, room, floor and department
      • Your name
      • Phone number from which you are calling

      As soon as possible after the emergency has been dealt with, please file an Incident Report Form and bringing it to Trish McMillan in Suite 3236, room 3237.

    • Chemical Spill
      In case of a chemical spill please do either a), or b) below:
      1. Call the Duke Police (from cell phone: (from cell phone: (919) 684-2444, or from Duke land line: 911) and report the following:
        • Exact location of fire — building, room, floor and department
        • Your name
        • Phone number from which you are calling
      2. If the spill is less than 500 mL of a not-too-hazardous material and you want to clean it up yourself, each laboratory is equipped with a set of three spill kits: one for acids, one for bases, and one for solvents. Please use the appropriate kit for the type of spill you have and follow the instructions included with each kit. As soon as possible after the emergency has been dealt with, please file a report of the incident.
    • Floods
      All standing water on the floor must be cleaned up immediately. Water will quickly seep through the floor and could damage equipment or offices on lower floors. Mops and buckets are available on the first floor near the ice machine which is nearest room 1112. These may also be obtained through Housekeeping. For large spills, a vacuum cleaner for picking up water is available on the third floor by the vending machines which are nearest room 3224. Please empty water from the vacuum and return it when you have finished using it.
    • After-Incident Reporting
      Fires, accidents, and chemical spills should be reported as soon as possible after the incident by completing an Incident Report Form and bringing it to Trish McMillan in Suite 3236, room 3237. Make an additional copy of the form to give to Dr. Woerner in Suite 1219, room 1224. Include the locations of any fire extinguishers and/or spill kits which you used and now need recharging / replacing. If an extinguisher is used you must call Duke Police immediately so that the extinguisher can be recharged/replaced.
    • Emergency Maintenance Emergency maintenance calls should be placed to the Campus Police (from cell phone: (919) 684-2444, or from Duke land line: 911). See the Safety Manual for dealing with emergencies for more details including the emergency evacuation plan for French.
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