Skip to main content
Banner Image

SciFinder Database Guide: Advanced Search Tips

SciFinder Search Tips

  • Searches title, abstract, and subject indexing
  • Terms entered are supplemented by internal synonyms. These additions are incomplete: freeze dried or fang will not retrieve all of the references brought up by freeze drying or tooth.
  • American spelling is supplemented by British spelling (and vice versa): sulfur will retrieve sulphur
  • SciFinder applies automatic but imperfect truncation to search terms
  • "Closely associated" terms appear in title, in same sentence, or in same index term.
  • Some alternative spellings are provided if you cannot enter special characters like umlauts: Mueller will retrieve Müller
  • Only the first author's address is indexed
  • A "company" could be a university, government agency, or nonprofit organization
  • Mergers, acquisitions, etc. are not linked, so searching for a parent company will not retrieve everything published by a subsidiary
  • Use pre-drawn structures whenever possible: click through from a Substance Identifier search, or import from a .cxf or .mol file
  • "Exact Structure" searches retrieve isotopes, stereoisomers, tautomers (including keto-enol), polymers, mixtures, salts, charged compounds, radicals or radical ions, and coordination compounds
  • Identifiers include common names, trade names, and chemical names (you must keep track of changes in nomenclature rules over time)
  • CAS Registry Numbers ("CAS RNs") are highly specific:
    • An element, its ion(s), and isotopes may have different RNs.
    • Stereoisomersmay have different RNs.
    • Crystal structures may have different RNs.

5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 ; (207) 581-1673

Chat is offline. Contact the library.