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SciFinder @ UCSD: What Is SciFinder?

SciFinder, produced by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), is the most comprehensive database for the chemical literature, indexing journal articles and patent records (and other document types), as well as chemical substances and reactions. You can search by topic, author, and substances by name or CAS Registry Number, OR use the editor to draw chemical structures, substructures, or reactions.

It's a core research tool for chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, nanotechnology, physics, environmental science and other science and engineering disciplines. Depending on your research, SciFinder's is complementary to other databases like Reaxys, Web of Science, PubMed, Compendex and INSPEC.

SciFinder Databases

SciFinder is a collection of 6 CAS databases, plus Medline:

  • Chemical Abstracts (CAplus)
    • More than 45 million references (citations and abstracts) to journal articles and patents, as well as conference proceedings, technical reports, books, dissertations, and meeting abstracts.
    • Substances and reactions indexed with links to the corresponding CAS Registry and CASREACT records.
    • Currently indexes 10,000+ journals (1,500 journals indexed cover-to-cover) and patents from 63 patent authorities.
    • Mostly 1907 to present, with some pre-1907 content: including ACS (1879-1906) and RSC (1841-1906) journals, Chemisches Zentralblatt 1897-1906 (machine translations), and 38,000 US patents (1808-1906).
  • CAS Registry
    • Records for more than 132 million organic and inorganic substances (including alloys, coordination compounds, minerals, mixtures, polymers and salts) and 66 million DNA and protein sequences. Substance information includes: synonyms, molecular formulas, structure diagrams and experimental & calculated property data. 15,000 new substances are added daily.
      • 4.5 million experimental properties for 3 million substances, and 7.4 billion predicted properties for 111 million substances.
      • 1.4 million experimental spectra (MS, IR, 1H-NMR) for 983,000 substances and 109 million predicted spectra (13C-NMR and 1H-NMR spectra).
    • Complete coverage from 1957 to date, with additional substances going back to early 1900's.
    • CAS Registry records link to the other SciFinder databases: CAplus, CASREACT, CHEMCATS and CHEMLIST
    • 98 million single and multi-step reactions, and 14 million synthetic preparations, with additional information about the reactions.
    • Indexed from journal articles, patents and evaluated reference sources, 1840 to date.
    • Reactions link to CAplus and CAS Registry.
    • 27 million references to articles from more than 5,600 biomedical and related health sciences journals (including chemistry and biochemistry), 1946 to date.
    • Medline is searched alongside CAplus in reference searching, and you can remove the duplicate Medline references. If you want to search Medline only, use PubMed.
    • Catalog database of commercially available products from chemical suppliers, often with information about pricing and availability. You can customize the view to prioritize preferred vendors.
    • Database of 348,000 substances that are regulated by state, federal and international agencies, including EINECS (European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances) and TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. 
    • Covers inventories and lists from 1980 to date.
    • More than 1 million searchable Markush structures from 481,000 patents covered by CAS from 1988 to date (with structures derived from INPI records from 1961-1987).
    • Markush structures use R groups to identify a set of molecules with common features. More about Markush and its limitations from these presentations: Cresset, ACS and RSC.