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Using SciFinder: An Overview

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

What is SciFinder?

SciFinder® is a database focused on the literature in chemistry.  It is produced and published by CAS: Chemical Abstracts Service, a division of the American Chemical Society.  CAS has, as its objective, "to find, collect and organize all publicly disclosed chemical substance information." 


What is contained in SciFinder?

SciFinder® is a database of databases, seven to be specific:

  • CASRegistry focused on substances, including experimental property data, with indexing from the early 1800s and updated daily.
  • CAPlus focused on literature, North American and international, from 10,000 active journals as well as other sources, dating back to the early 1800s and updated daily.
  • CASREACT focused on both single- and multi-step reactions with indexing from 1840 onwards and updated daily.

         These three databases emerged from the print predecessor to SciFinder®, namely Chemical Abstracts, and are core to SciFinder®. (Garritano, 2013)

  • CHEMLIST focused on more than 308,000 regulated chemicals with indexing from 1980 onwards and updated weekly.
  • CHEMCATS focused on suppliers of commercially available products with indexing from 2011; updated weekly.
  • CIN focused on industry news (i.e., production, pricing, sales, facilities, products, processes, and corporate/government activities) with indexing from 1974 forwards; updated weekly.
  • MARPAT focused on Markush structures from patent information indexed since 1988 and patents (generally) since 1961; updated daily.

Since the content grows on a daily basis, check CAS - Content at a Glance for the latest updates on numbers of records in each of the above sub-databases.

Why might you want to use SciFinder®?

You should choose SciFinder ®when you wish to: 

  • find journal literature and patent documents in aspects of chemistry and related scientific fields.
  • identify a chemical substance.
  • find information concerning reaction conditions, yields and catalysts.
  • suppliers for different chemical substances.
  • find regulatory information on different substances.
  • seek current industry information in the field of chemistry.

Suggested Workflow

CAS recommends that you use SciFinder® in the following sequence or workflow, regardless of search performed:

  1. retrieve an answer set
  2. analyze your results
  3. refine the answer set (i.e., apply limiters)
  4. keep or remove references
  5. get the data associated with specific references of interest
  6. tag, save, export, send, or print the references of interest

Tools in SciFinder


CAS requires you to create an account in order to access SciFinder®.  As a result, you have the ability to:

  • Set preferences (upper right corner) including the ability to:​change your password or account information.
    • receive email notifications of "Keep Me Posted" alerts.
    • set which kind of search SciFinder ®defaults to. (NOTE: The current default is set to search Explore References.)
    • set whether your results are automatically de-duplicated or not.
  • Save and retrieve your search history
  • Create alerts for yourself called KMPs or "Keep Me Posted"
  • Organize your research with SciPlanner




Saving & Sharing

The SciFinder® toolbar (right end) allows you to:

  • create a permanent or perpetual link to a specific record (only when you are in the specific record),
  • save selected records for use later on
  • print selected records
  • export selected records into a reference or citation management software (e.g., Endnote)



Mobile Use

For those who want to search SciFinder® on the go, there is a mobile view (not app!) for that.  Go to: OR scan the QR code below.  You will be asked to log into to both the University's network and to SciFinder® just as if you were on your computer.

Search SciFinder @ UofL

How to create Persistent Links from SciFinder®
Persistent (or permanent) links or stable URLs are used to point people to a specific record of interest.  They are usually used when citing sources used in the writing of any papers.


Create an account on SciFinder® 

Search SciFinder®