Information Retrieval: SciFinder®, 2nd Edition is an essential guide explaining how to get the best out of SciFinder. It discusses the 50+ options in SciFinder® including topic, bibliographic, and chemical substance explore options, and post-processing options Analyze, Refine, and Categorize. The book summarises the databases and explains how to take advantage of the unique search and analysis options, explains selected algorithms behind the operation of SciFinder® and why it helps to understand them, discusses why it is important, and how to apply scientific method to information retrieval, describes how to search for chemical structures and chemical reactions.
by A. Ben Wagner. The primary goal of this article is to assist researchers and librarians to accurately and completely search Chemical Abstracts Service's (CAS) SciFinder web-based system for inorganic substances, excepting coordination compounds.
Tips from Sue Cardinal
Here are some learnings over the years:
Author Search: Enter as much of the name as you know. Select obvious matches and review results. If search must be comprehensive, go "Back" and select Last name with first initial (by itself). Analyze and refine results by organization or time period or CAS Section name to locate works by your author. Spelling alternatives are offered for first and last names.
Research Topic Search: Use prepositions (in, of) when possible and limit use of "and" and "or" as they may not work as expected. "Closely Associated" means the terms appear in the same sentence.
Molecular Formula: Capitalization is very important to differentiate various elements (CO and Co). Avoid using parentheses. Hill order is not required.
For more precise match, indicate hydrogens using common abbreviations found under the "Short" icon (example: Me or Ph).
Check "Show Precision Analysis" on search screen to eliminate some unwanted compounds.
Ignore valency error messages when drawing coordination compounds.
For complex structure like coordination compound, draw unconnected pieces of compound and do substructure search.
For a quick structure drawing, search by name in "Substances Identifier" search and then click on chevron and "explore by structure" which will copy substance to structure editor.
Draw multiple ring structures quickly using the ring tool. Specify number of sides for each ring and how they are connected. For example, 66u5 means 3 rings, 6-membered attached to 6-membered, attached on the higher side to a 5-membered ring (u means up and d means down).
If you need di-substituted compounds with variable points of attachment, draw two substituents.
Reactions: Reaction roles are automatically assigned when arrow is drawn.
Spectra search: Find substance. Get References. Limit to references associated with spectral properties. Refine results with name of technique in "research topic". Alternately, look for spectra in the experimental properties off the substance record.
The "Categorize" tool is a great way to drill down to relevant records.