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CHM 2110L/CHM 2120L: Articles/SciFinder

More Information Resources for...

Having trouble with your searches?

Having trouble finding something?

  1. Read the tips in the box in the center column called,  "How do I decide where I should search?"
  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.

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. WSU Libraries pays for you to have access to many of the fee-based articles that you find in Google Scholar.


If you have never used SciFinder before, you must first register for an account.  To register, right click the "one-time registration form" link on the SciFinder connect page and open it in a new tab. Then, create a new account.

After you have created your account (registered), go back to the SciFinder tab, and click the "Search SciFinder" button to begin a search.   If you are on campus, you will only need to use the login and password you chose when you registered for an account.  If you are off campus, you will first be prompted to authenticate with your w number and password.  After you authenticate, you will be taken to a login screen in SciFinder where you will enter the login and password you chose when you registered.

Useful Features of SciFinder

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

How do I decide where I should search?

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-see link on the left).
  • 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 at the left or on the libraries databases list to ensure you will have access to WSU subscription resources without being prompted to pay.

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