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CHM 2110L/CHM 2120L: Articles/SciFinder

Quick Tips: Deciding Where and How to Search to Find What You Need

1. Think about the kind of information you need to find to determine what kind of search tool and/or source would be appropriate.  Here are some general guidelines:

  • If you need to look up the scientific rationale for an established fact or principle, try your text book, a subject encyclopedia, or a web site (but be sure you evaluate web sites and other sources for credibility).
  • If you need the first published reference of a particular reaction, SciFinder is a good place to start because the coverage of the chemistry literature is more authoritative than Google Scholar in terms of date and journal coverage.
    • Hint for prep work assignments - SciFinder allows you to sort your search results by date and then switch to reverse chronological order to view the oldest reference first.
  • If you need a few quick scholarly papers on a topic, you might prefer Google Scholar because of the familiarity of the Google interface.
  • If you have a reference to a known paper and you just need to determine if we have the full text, Google Scholar can be useful.
    • Use the Google Scholar link on the libraries databases list  or set up "Library Links" for Wright State under the Google Scholar settings.  This will ensure you will have access to Wright State subscription resources without being prompted to pay.

2. Check your spelling.  Most library databases do not suggest spelling corrections.

3. Ask for help. Your instructor or your librarian can give you some additional suggestions.


Database Description for SciFinder-n


Limited Use: Wright State University faculty, staff, and students only

SciFinder-n provides access to chemical literature and patents through the following databases: Chemical Abstracts PLUS, the CAS Registry File, CASREACT and MEDLINE. Besides providing comprehensive coverage of chemical literature, the database also includes the literature of related fields such as biochemistry, geochemistry, environmental science, and toxicology. The SciFinder-n interface allows searching by several chemistry-specific parameters, including retrosynthesis planning, structure (with ChemDoodle integration), chemical substance, chemical reaction, CAS registry number, and functional groups.

CAS requires all SciFinder-n users to abide by special terms and conditions.  Please review these requirements carefully when creating a SciFinder-n account.

Complete a one-time registration form to create your own user name and password. You will then be able to use SciFinder-n both on and off campus.

Search SciFinder-n


Need help?

Useful Features of SciFinder-n

  • Searchable index of the chemical literature back to 1907.
  • Covers authoritative sources (respected, well-established journals are included).
  • Indexing done by subject experts.

CAS REGISTRY and CAS Registry Number FAQs

Using Google Wisely

Google can be a great place to start your search for free information. Google Scholar helps you find scholarly information that may or may not be free. Wright State University Libraries pays for you to have access to many of the fee-based articles that you find in Google Scholar.

Evaluating Information Sources

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Questions? Ask your librarian!

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Phil Flynn
Dunbar Library 120
(937) 775-2533

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