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Using SciFinder: Introduction

SciFinder is an entry to research from many scientific disciplines including biomedical sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, materials science, agricultural science, and more.

Classic SciFinder Retired

As of December 2022, Classic SciFinder has been retired. All users logging in will be automatically directed to SciFinder-n. Please see the chat below for a comparison of the two.

SciFinder Quick Start

SciFinder n® retrieves information contained in databases produced by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) as well as in the MEDLINE® database of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). CAS Databases searched include: CAplus (journal literature), CAS Registry (substances), CAS React (chemical synthesis information), CHEMLIST (regulated chemicals), CHEMCATS (Chemical Suppliers), MARPAT (patent information), and CIN (industry news).  That means you can search for references in the literature, for chemical substances, or for chemical reactions.

Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) initiative 

You must create a free user account (see link below) before using SciFinder® . This must be done from on-campus using your Uleth email address.

Access research from many scientific disciplines including chemistry, biomedical sciences, engineering, materials science, agricultural science, and more. Explore:

  • references from over 10,000 currently published journals and patent information from more than 50 active patent issuing authorities
  • complete coverage of chemistry and the life sciences
  • important scientific discoveries from the present to the mid-1800s
  • the latest scientific breakthroughs in chemistry research
  • organic and inorganic substance information
  • reaction searching
  • For assistance using SciFinder, please consult the guide, Using SciFinder

SciFinder and SciFinder-n

Comparison of Platforms: SciFinder classic and SciFinder-n


ScFinder (retired on Dec 30, 2022)



1830 - present, see About SciFinder above for details

Same; with some irregular additions only available in SciFindern, e.g., Wiley Spectra (NMR, RAMAN and IR, Mass Spectra ) added between March to June 2020.


  • Reference, structure, and reaction can only be searched separately
  • Topic search mainly based on indexed terms
  • No autosuggest of search terms
  • Only one search session per user at a given time
  • Can combine keyword and structure searching
  • Can search across the substance, reaction, and references simultaneously
  • Can search with boolean operators, truncation/wildcards, parentheses, e.g. (machine learning OR AI) AND catal*
  • Can search Exact, Substructure and Similar Structures in one search
  • Topic search based on indexed terms along with title, abstracts, keywords
  • Provide AutoSuggest of search terms
  • Allow concurrent search sessions in multiple browser tabs
  • Allow biosequence search


  • Can be sorted by date, CAS accession number, author name, number of citations, title, and publication year
  • Narrow down results using Analysis or Categorize tools depending on the size of the search results
  • Grouped by relevancy (Best, Good, Fair) that is determined using the combination of hits in indexed terms as well as title, abstract, and keywords. 
  • Reaction results grouped by scheme
  • Can assemble highlighted Markush structures
  • Allowed fast retrieval of large sets
  • Narrow down results using Concepts; Concepts not hirearchically mapped but can be searched
  • Fulltext link clearly labeled, now with "GetThis@MIT" included

Search history and alerts

  • Search history not kept
  • Can save answer sets and set Keep Me Alerted
  • Live search history kept for each user account in a calendar and can be rerun
  • Can create an optional alert for saved searches with the ability to tag documents
  • Saved answer sets can be shared with other users

Drawing tools

  • CAS Draw
  • Integration with ChemOffice/ChemDraw
  • CAS Draw and ChemDoodle (Touch screen enabled)
  • Integration with ChemOffice/ChemDraw

Additional Modules

Additional cost for MethodsNow and PatentPak. Retrosynthesis planning not available.


 Used with permission from Ye Li,