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Searching SciFinder

SciFinder 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.

Details and Registration

In order to use SciFinder, you will need to register for an account with your COD email. You can see this file for help with registration. Once you've registered an account, you can login to SciFinder and begin your work.

The login link is located both at the very top and in the middle of the initial screen.

Searching SciFinder by Topic

You can search SciFinder in a variety of different ways. The first is to do a traditional search by topic. Click in the searchbox and type a phrase related to your search:

After you click search, SciFinder will attempt to refine your search. For example, for the search above, SciFinder presents me with the following options:

As you can see, the first two options are probably the best for my search:

  • 249 references were found containing "biodegradation of oil" as entered is showing me the articles that contain my search terms as a phrase.
  • 11481 references were found containing the two concepts "biodegradation" and "oil" closely associated with one another shows me the number of articles that have both biodegration and oil as closely related important topics.

Select the best option for your search and click "Get References." At this point, you have some options to refine your search. The Refine box on the left of the screen will allow you to narrow your results by year, topic, or document type:

 You can also begin to click on article titles that sound interesting.

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

On the initial search page, look for the Substances heading in the box to the left.

Note that here, you can select several options that will help you to learn more about a substance. For example, after selecting Substance Identifier I could type in Diphenhydramine, the brand name of the active ingredient in Benadryl, or one of the many other names the molecule has. I could also type 58-73-1, the CAS registry number for the substance. Once I've selected the right substance from the options that appear, you'll notice that you can discover a lot of information about the substance, including:

  • formula
  • molecular weight
  • melting and boiling point
  • density
  • other names for the substance
  • experimental properties
  • experimental spectra (complete with article references)
  • regulatory information by country
  • much more info

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

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: Feb 22, 2021 9:49 AM
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