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Chemical Engineering Library Guide: SciFinder

A library guide for chemical engineering students.

Accessing SciFinder

SciFinder is available on the web and can be accessed both on campus and off campus.  To access it from off campus, you need to log in via EZProxy (Click on the Off-campus access tab of this guide for more information.) 

Accessing SciFinder  

You will need to register:

To gain access to the web version of SciFinder, you need to register a personal account with CAS.  To obtain the web address where you can register, please contact Gcobisa Xalabile

SciFinder Learning Resources

CAS provides a number of online tutorials, guides, and recorded WebEx sessions to help you learn to search SciFinder and get the most out of this wonderful resource. 

To get started, work through the SciFinder Resources on Demand tutorials on the SciFinder Training page.  These tutorials explain the basic searching techniques in SciFinder, such as searching for references, substances, or reactions. 

For more detailed instruction, register your account in CAS Learning Solutions—there's a link on the SciFinder Training pageto get access to the complete range of training options available.

About SciFinder


SciFinder is one of the major databases for chemical engineering.  Made available by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)--a division of the American Chemical Society--SciFinder is a research & discovery tool that allows you to explore the CAS databases, covering the literature from the field of chemistry and its many applications, including biomedical sciences, chemical engineering, materials science, agricultural science, environmental science, pharmaceuticals and more.  SciFinder consists of:

  • CAplus:  is the online version of Chemical Abstracts from 1907 to the present--a comprehensive international chemistry database of scientific literature and patents.  It covers more than 10,000 scientific journals, and patents from more than 60 patent-granting authorities worldwide.
  • CAS Registry:  is a vast databank of chemical substance information.  It covers organic, inorganic, and biosequence substances and includes both experimental and predicted physical and chemical property data.  The Registry contains chemical information for more than 54 million organic and inorganic substances and over 61 million biological sequences.
  • CASREACT: is a chemical reaction database providing information and references for more than 26 million single and multi-step reactions, plus more than 13.6 million additional synthetic preparations.
  • CHEMCATS and CHEMLIST:  provide information about chemical suppliers and regulated chemicals respectively.
  •  Medline: is the premier bibliographic database of the United States' National Library of Medicine.  It covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences.  Some 5,400 medical and biomedical journals are indexed, and coverage is from 1958 to the present.


SciFinder provides user-friendly search software that enables users to search the database in a variety of ways : using author names, research topics, chemical substance names or molecular formulae, chemical structures, chemical reactions, and organisation names.  A structure-drawing package allows users to draw structures on screen and search for them either as complete structures or as substructures of larger molecules.  

Note that when searching by topic in SciFinder, you don't need to use Boolean searching. Just enter your search requirements in a sentence or phrase.  SciFinder then performs a number of different Boolean searches and you are presented with a list of "candidate" results sets to choose from.