Scifinder Guide

Personal Librarian:
Lois Coleman
Milstein 312
  • Published by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society.
  • With SciFinder you can explore the chemical sciences literature by research topic, author name, company name, chemical structure, chemical substructure, chemical structure similarity, molecular formula, or substance identifiers.
  • In addition to retrieving bibliographic references, SciFinder provides predicted and experimental physical property data including spectra, chemical regulatory information, and chemical suppliers.
Materials in SciFinder


Content Indexed  
(February 2016)

Years of Coverage





>71 million single- and multi-step reactions

1840 – present



>107 million organic and inorganic substances and >66 million sequences

Early 1800s – present


CAplus (Chemical Abstracts plus)

>42 million records: journal articles, patents, books, dissertations, technical reports, meeting abstracts

1907 – present



>102 million commercially available chemicals

2013 – present

Twice a week


>345,000 regulated chemicals

1980 – present


Markush Structures

>1,100,000 searchable Markush structures

1961 – present


Getting Started
Exploring by Research Topic
  • Specify only two or three concepts at a time. You can refine your search later with additional terms.
  • Include prepositions and articles to connect the concepts.
  • SciFinder automatically searches related terms and substance names.  It also includes alternate spellings and word endings.  Boolean operators (AND, OR) are not used, and there are no truncation symbols.
  • In the results sets,
    • “As entered” means the terms are found exactly as you have entered them.
    • “Closely associated with one another” means the terms are found within the same sentence or title.
    • “Present anywhere within a reference” means the terms are found anywhere (perhaps widely separated) within a record's title, abstract, or indexing.
    • “Containing the concept” means the entered terms, synonymous terms, or similar terms are found within the record.
Working with References
  • You can find various types of related information: substances, reactions, citing references, or full text.
  • You can Refine or Analyze your answer set.
  • To find Review articles, click on “Document Type” and select “Review.”  
Finding a Structure
  • It is possible to import images from ChemDraw by clicking on “Import CXF.”
  • You can search for the exact structure, or all the structures containing the one you drew.
  • You can then find commercial sources, reactions and articles about the substances.

Sample Search: azulene





Try this one:

  • Do a substructure search for this chemical structure:





  • What is the name of this structure?
  • In the results set, find C5 H4 D4 and retrieve all the references on it.
  • Find the title of the most recent article.
  • Find reactions where this compound is a product.