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SciFinder and SciFinderⁿ User Guide

About SciFinder and SciFinderⁿ

SciFinder, produced by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), is the most comprehensive database for the chemical literature, searchable by topic, author, substances by name or CAS Registry Number, OR use the editor to draw chemical structures, substructures, or reactions. It is a core research tool for chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, nanotechnology, physics, environmental science and other science and engineering disciplines.

SciFinder contains a wide variety of content from journal articles to information on chemical structures, properties, and reactions. Its content is retrieved from various sources:

  •  Chemical substances from Chemical Abstract Services, CAS REGISTRYSM;
  •  References, CAplusSM (1907-) and MEDLINE (1950-);
  •  Reactions, CASREACTSM;
  •  Regulated chemicals CHEMLIST®;
  •  Chemical suppliers CHEMCATS®;
  •  Chemical industry notes CIN®;
  •  Markush structures (chemical symbols to indicate a chemical class, may include hypothetical compounds) MARPAT®;
  •  Chemistry abstracts 1830-1969 from Chemisches Zentralblatt, ChemZent.

ChemZent features the entire collection of Chemisches Zentralblatt, the oldest compendium of chemistry abstracts, dating from 1830 to 1969. Click on the icon for ChemZent and it will take you to the original German PDF version of the document. It also pinpoints the location of the abstract within the PDF. You can print and export both the original German and English translated abstracts.

CAplus, produced by CAS, contains journal articles, patents, books, clinical trials, preprints, editorials, and more. In 2018, it contained over 47 million records from more than 180 countries and indexed more than 50,000 journals, 1,500 of which are core chemistry journals whose article records are added to SciFinder within 7 days of publication. Coverage also includes patents from 9 patent offices worldwide, whose records are added 2 days after publication. The majority of CAplus records begin in 1907 and continue to the present, but there are also more than 224,000 patent and article records dating back to 1808. See more in Coverage Details

There are three separate search sections in SciFinder: references, substances, and reactions.

SciFinderⁿ is a new generation of SciFinder. The table below provides a brief comparison to both tools.

Feature SciFinder vs SciFinderⁿ
Core databases Same. But loading of new datasets will only happen to SciFinderⁿ. An example of this is the recent (2019) addition of >300.000 H1NMR spectra from Enamine and more than 28,000 UV/Vis Absorption spectra from BIORAD.
Interface Different
Search algorithm Different - Classic SciFinder uses indexed terms to find results.  SciFinderⁿ uses indexed terms, but also uses the Title, Abstract, Keywords to find documents that are referring to the query entered, that might have been missed in Classic SciFinder. SciFinderⁿ retrieves a lot more results, however the relevancy should place higher importance on those documents that have more hits as well as hits on Concepts and Substances.
Added features

Touchpad friendly (works great on a smartphone or iPad), multiple windows support, improved structure rendering, interactive filtering, incredible speed, recall of your entire search history, type-along-suggestions and removal of system limits. See more in SciFinder Tutorials tab.

Ability to remove duplicates Is still under development for SciFinderⁿ.
Added tools PatentPak, MethodsNow Synthesis, and Retrosynthesis planning come embedded in SciFinderⁿ. PatentPak is a collection of patent documents from 31 organizations in a cleaned, layered and converted PDF format. It's "Viewer” or the mark-ups can link directly into the location of the chemistry (both, intermediates and starting materials) in each patent. 

MethodsNow Synthesis is a collection of synthetic protocols from many important publishers going back to 2000. It can be accessed by searching for reactions and filter on Experimental Protocols. The protocols are in bullet points stepwise and contain information about scale, purity and validation data (if provided). Reactants and other compounds are all hyperlinked to extra information.

Retrosynthesis planning is a computer-aided synthetic design tool that helps generating and organizing synthetic routes for a given molecule. It works on known and previously prepared synthetic targets. The retrosynthetic tool will generate and display reaction pathways generated from single step reactions published in the literature. These results will potentially include reaction pathways generated from multiple literature sources thus creating new and novel synthetic pathways previously unavailable in the literature.

Available with payment

CAS offers a set of boutique databases CAS Solutions for additional payment. Those are incorporated in the main interface and are designed to focus on the specific subdiscipline. For example, Formulus is a tool to search formulations, while MethodsNow Analysis is a tool to search and compare analytic procedures, equipment, and validation methods.