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SciFinder: Getting Started

The primary database for searching the chemical literature.

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SciFinder is available only to current UTK faculty, staff, and students. It is not available to alumni or guest users of the Libraries.

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Getting Started

Tips for Searching by Research Topic

  • Use natural language. SciFinder uses prepositions (such as of, in, for, with, etc.) to parse your search phrase into concepts.
             Example: synthesis of ketones with palladium

  • Avoid long, complex phrases. Keep your query to 2-4 concepts. It is better to retrieve a large set of results first, then use the Analyze or Refine options to narrow the results.

  • Although SciFinder automatically looks for synonyms, it sometimes misses useful terms. Include synonyms in your query by enclosing them in parentheses
             Example: effects of dehp in infants (children, fetus)

  • Avoid using complex chemical names in research topic searches. Search by structure drawing under Explore > Substances.

Substance Searching

Substance Searching Tips

  • Substance Identifier works best with CAS Registry Numbers and simple chemical names. For more complex names, consider searching by Chemical Structure.

  • To locate well-known substances in a large list of results, try sorting by Number of References.

  • An easy way to draw complex structures is to import structures using CAS Registry Numbers, SMILES, or InChI. Look for  in the drawing editor.

  • Take a look at the online Help file within SciFinder, the CAS Training pages,  or the University of Texas Libraries' Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Searching for Reactions

  • Narrow results by using tools to lock structures, map atoms, limit solvents, etc.

  • Be sure to search both SciFinder and Reaxys, which has better coverage before 1984.

Need help?

Teresa Berry
Teresa Berry
Science Librarian
University of Tennessee Libraries
1015 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37996-1000

SciFinder Support & Training