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Information Retrieval: SciFinder, 2nd Edition

Information Retrieval: SciFinder, 2nd Edition

Damon D. Ridley

ISBN: 978-0-470-74941-8

Oct 2009

226 pages


SciFinder® is rapidly becoming a preferred means to access scientific information in industry and universities worldwide. It accesses databases which span the chemical, engineering, life, medical, and physical sciences, including five Chemical Abstract Service databases and the National Library of Medicine bibliographic database Medline®. No other single information access tool has such breadth of coverage for scientific journal and patent documents.

Information Retrieval: SciFinder®, 2nd Edition is an essential guide explaining how to get the best out of SciFinder. It discusses the 50+ options in SciFinder® including topic, bibliographic, and chemical substance explore options, and post-processing options Analyze, Refine, and Categorize. The book:

  • Summarises the databases and explains how to take advantage of the unique search and analysis options
  • Explains selected algorithms behind the operation of SciFinder® and why it helps to understand them
  • Discusses why it is important, and how to apply scientific method to information retrieval
  • Describes how to search for chemical structures and chemical reactions

This second edition of Information Retrieval: SciFinder® has been fully revised and updated to incorporate the latest functionality and content of SciFinder®. Written by a scientist for scientists,  this book will increase your research creativity and productivity and is an essential resource for anyone needing scientific information in academia or industry.


1 SciFinder®: Setting the Scene.

1.1 “I just want to Do a Quick and Simple search on…”

1.2 The SciFinder Way.

1.3 Looking Ahead.

2 Databases in SciFinder.

2.1 CAS Bibliographic Database (CAPLUS).

2.2 NLM Bibliographic Database (MEDLINE).

2.3 CAS Substance Database (REGISTRY).

2.4 CAS Chemical Reaction Database (CASREACT®).

2.5 CAS Chemical Catalog Database (CHEMCATS®).

2.6 CAS Regulatory Information Database (CHEMLIST®).

2.7 Summary of Key Points.

3 Explore by Research Topic.

3.1 Introduction.   

3.2 How SciFinder Converts the Query to a List of Candidates.

3.3 How is a Concept Derived?

3.4 Choosing Candidates.

3.5 Working from the Reference Screen.

3.6 Working from the Record Screen.

3.7 Applying Scientific Method to Information Retrieval.

3.8 Summary of Key Points.

4 Explore by Chemical Substance.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Registration of Substances.

4.3 Searching for Substances: The Alternatives.

4.4 Explore Substances: Chemical Structure.

4.5 Explore Substances: Substance Identifier.

4.6 Explore Substances: Molecular Formula.

4.7 Explore References: Research Topic.

4.8 Summary of Key Points.

5 Substructure and Similarity Searching.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Searching Structures: Substructure.

5.3 Searching Structures: Working from the Initial Substance Answer Set.

5.4 Similarity Search.

5.5 Further Examples of Show Precision Analysis.

5.6 Additional Structure Query Options.

5.7 Getting References.

5.8 Combining Explore Substances and Explore References.

5.9 Summary of Key Points.

6 Additional Search and Display Options.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Explore: Author Name.

6.3 Explore: Company Name.

6.4 Explore: Document Identifier.

6.5 Explore: Journal and Explore: Patent.

6.6 Getting Information from Bibliographic Records.

6.7 Further Issues with Finding Information on Substances.

6.8 Opportunities for MEDLINE Searchers.

6.9 Searching for Substances in the Biological Sciences.

6.10 Searching for Information on Polymers.

6.11 Summary of Key Points.

7 Searching for Information on Chemical Reactions.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Specific Search Options in CASREACT.

7.3 Reaction Search Strategies.

7.4 Searching for Reactions through Explore References: Research Topic.

7.5 Combining Structure, Reaction, Functional Group and Keyword Terms.

7.6 Summary of Key Points.

Appendix 1. Some SciFinder Resources.

Appendix 2. CAS Roles in CAPLUS.

Appendix 3. Some Basic Principles Used by SciFinder in the Interpretation of a Research Topic Query. 

Appendix 4. Registration of Substances.

A4.1 Single Component Substances.

A4.2 Multicomponent Substances.

A4.3 Metal Complexes.

A4.4 Macromolecules.

A4.5 Other Cases.

Appendix 5. Understanding Structure Searches.

A5.1 The Resonance Issue.

A5.2 The Tautomerism Issue.

A5.3 Chain Lock Tool.

A5.4 Ring Lock Tool.

Appendix 6. Original Publication Discussed in Chapter 7, Section 7.1.


"Overall this is a valuable resource and reference volume on using SciFinder to its full potential, while allowing the more casual user to dip into the key points and tips without delving into the complexities of the underlying algorithms used by SciFinder and the book therefore serves both the occasional use and expert alike." (Chemistry World, December 2010)

A state-of-the art SciFinder, offering comprehensive databases both bibliographic and factual. A great majority of resources in SciFinder are produced by CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service), a division of the American Chemical Society. This platform also offers advanced tools for working more comfortably with the system. Damon D. Ridley in his book focuses in detail on every option offered by SciFinder.  His work can be considered a comprehensive guide of every part of SciFinder." (International Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization, August 2010)
  • Sophisticated information retrieval has become an integral part of the skill set required of professional chemists
  • The only companion guide to SciFinder
  • Gives practical advice on maximising your effectiveness with SciFinder
  • Contains problems and their solutions (on an accompanying website)