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Searching SciFinder

SciFinder LogoSciFinder is an advanced organic chemistry database that will allow you to search by molecule name, CAS #, formula, or even by molecular structure used by professors, graduate students, and research chemists. SciFinder does not contain the full text of scholarly articles, so you'll want to use the Journal Locator and ILL to retrieve articles that are important to you.

In order to use SciFinder, you will need to register for an account with your or email. You will need to create your account and authenticate it from campus.

Once you've created your account, you can log in to SciFinder and begin your work.

Searching SciFinder by Topic

Once you've created your account, get started by opening up SciFinder: 

If you are searching SciFinder for a topic, try typing your search in the main search box and leaving the option on the left set to all.

You'll want to spell out your search terms as much as possible.  For example, in the picture below, a search for short-chain PFAs (a class of chemicals used to repel water and grease out of materials such as fabric and cardboard) becomes short-chain perfluoroalkyl acids.  In order to search for articles, you'll also want to make sure that References is selected on the left of the screen.


Once you see the list of search results, you can narrow that list in several ways.  Start by looking to the left: is there a type of resource you'd like to look at, or a date range you are interested in, or even a concept that will focus your results?  You're welcome to play around in any of these fields to get a more focused set of articles. 

SciFinder search results page 2You can also click on source titles that sound interesting.  This will allow you to read an abstract of the article, see the search terms the database is using for your subjects, and even provide a linked list of substances related to your source.  Click the CAS number on any substance you might be interested in searching to learn more.  

Remember, SciFinder will usually not have articles in full-text. You'll want to begin your research early enough to use Journal Locator and ILL to hunt down the articles you need.

Searching by Molecule Name, Formula, CAS#, or Structure

If you are looking to search for information about a compound or molecule, you'll want to start with the Substances option in the main search menu.  You can search by formula, CAS #, name, other ID methods, or even draw the structure that you need more information about:SciFinder Substance Search

On your results screen, you'll want to select the substance you are interested in by clicking on the CAS # (the linked number in the upper left of the box.)  You'll find basic information in the screen below, including structure, formula, physical properties, name, and even spectra information.

Click on a reference for any one of these properties to be connected to the full citation (and often abstract) of the article.

SciFinder Spectra information

Once again, if you find a reference that looks interesting, you'll want to use the Journal Locator to see if we have access to a journal.  If there is no access, head to the article request form

Science Research Help

Trying to find a scholarly article?  Here are some specialized guides to searching databases for scientific information:

Have questions about what research or review articles are, how to read research articles, or how to evaluate them? Take a look at the following guides for more information. 

Need some help citing what you find?  You can check out the following links for some guidance:

And, as always, you're welcome to contact me using the information on the right, or schedule a research appointment with a librarian whenever the library is open by clicking "Ask Us for Help" on the right of the page. 

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  • Last Updated: Jan 4, 2024 2:33 PM
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