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Organic Chemistry: SciFinder-n

SciFindern is a collection of chemical databases, including: 

  • CAS Registry - Database of 165 million organic and inorganic substances, with structures, names, synonyms, CAS Registry numbers, calculated and experimental properties, and spectra.
  • CAPLUS - Comprehensive index of the chemical literature, from 1907 to date with some selective earlier coverage. More than 52 million records, including journal articles, patents, conference proceedings, meeting abstracts, technical reports, and more.
  • CASREACT - Millions of single- and multi-step reactions, including synthetic preparations, from 1840 to present. Now with a retrosynthetic planner.
  • CHEMCATS - Access to chemical supplier catalogs, including pricing and availability.

You can search SciFinder by research topic, as well as by substance or reaction. For best results, search Reaxys and SciFinder.

SciFinder-n- is restricted to current UC San Diego faculty, staff, postdocs, and students. You must have an individual login to access either one. If you don't have one, go to the SciFinder-n at UC page and follow the instructions to register. VPN must be enabled for you to get to the registration information. Use your email address. Off campus, you must be logged in on the VPN client (not the WebVPN) before logging into your SciFinder-n account. 

Use of SciFinder must be for educational and academic research purposes only.

There is no visitor access for SciFinder-n in the Library.


Release notes for SciFinder-n.

New Features (click the icon for an example)

                            Retrosynthesis Planner: Generate a full retrosynthetic analysis of all known synthetic routes for a given molecule; organize into easy to navigate synthetic plans; and access commercial source availability and pricing.

                            PatentPak: Full-text searching of 18 million patents, with chemical substances marked so they can be easily found within the patent.


                            MethodsNow: Step by step procedures and protocols from journal articles and patents, found in the "Experimental Protocols" section for the reaction.

                            ChemDoodle: Touch-friendly structure editor for drawing on phones and tablets. Structures drawn in ChemDoodle will be the same in CAS Draw, and vice versa.


Additional Enhancements

  • “Search All” to search across the substance, reaction, and references databases.
  • Familiar searching options: booleans, truncation/wildcards, parentheses, e.g. (flavor OR odor) AND menthol.
  • Combined keyword and structure searching.
  • An option to exclude particular results from searches.
  • Autosuggesting search terms.
  • Relevancy-based sorting of results now the default.
  • Reaction search results grouped by scheme (same reactants and products).
  • Live History – edit and rerun past searches.
  • Additional filter functionality in the results: setting publication date ranges, searching within the filter categories along with frequency and natural order, substance role filter if chemical included in reference searches.
  • Clearer labeling to connect you to full-text articles, now with UC-eLinks included in the options.
  • Citation mapping to quickly see cited and citing articles.
  • Improvements in combined search functionality: two authors, author(s)/journal, author(s)/organization, two substance property data points.
  • Easy to keep up with new releases of SciFinder-n and get help from the account page.
  • Automatic deduping of CAS/Medline records (coming later this summer).
  • Ability to have multiple tabs running without getting kicked out of sessions.

From the SciFinder-n record, whether from the full record or results list, click the Full Text button under the abstract.

The DOI will take you to the publisher's website where the article is available, and in most cases this is all you need to do to get the article (but make sure that VPN is running if you're off campus).  

You can also use the Get It At UC option as well to go to the full text. The advantages of using Get It At UC: 

  • Links to the full text article if we have access from somewhere other than the original publisher, like the pre-1997 Science articles on JSTOR
  • Connect you to interlibrary loan to request article through interlibrary loan if we don't have it.


You can search for substances in SciFinder by

  • Name and/or CAS Registry Number, using the Substances search
  • Molecular Formula
  • Structure or Substructure. SciFinder has its own structure editor, but you import .mol files or draw your structure in ChemDraw and launch SciFinder from there..


From the CAS Registry record, view:

  • Other names and identifiers
  • Data
    • Experimental property data, with associated article references in SciFinder.
    • Experimental spectra, either actual spectra from companies like Bio-Rad, or references to articles.
    • Predicted properties and spectra
  • Regulatory information


And get links to retrieve:

  • References to journal articles, patents and other documents, limited by subcategories (crystal structure, preparation, analytical study, etc).
  • Commercial suppliers for the substance.
  • Reactions, limited by one or more roles (product, reagent, etc.)



Reaction searching can be done in SciFinder by:

  • From a substance record, go to Reactions, and select which role(s) for your substance from the filters to the left.
  • Use the structure editor to draw the reaction, import the reaction structures from ChemDraw, or launch the SciFinder search from ChemDraw. You can run the search on the structures exactly as drawn or broaden to a substructure search.

Reactions can also be searched as a research topic, which will give you references as results, rather than reactions.


Reaction results can be filtered by reaction details (reagent, solvent, catalyst, yield, steps, reaction classification, non-participating functional groups) or publication details like journal title and publication year.


Each reaction includes reaction details (reagents, solvents, steps/stages, etc.) and a link to the associated reference to a journal article, patent, or other source. Click on View Reaction Detail for more information about the reaction from MethodsNow. For drawn reactions, you may be able to filter by similarity.


With the Retrosynthesis Planer, generate a full retrosynthetic analysis of all known synthetic routes for a given molecule; organize into easy to navigate synthetic plans; and access commercial source availability and pricing.


Along with the built-in help menu within SciFindern, CAS also provides a set of training materials on their SciFindern support page. You can also view previous webinars and register for upcoming webinars.

Contact Teri Vogel ( if you have questions about using SciFinder, or want to set up a training consultation.