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SciFinder Tips

Major print and online resources for chemistry

SciFinder-N is now here at Boston College

SciFinder-N, the next-gen version of the Scifinder database you've been using for years, is now here at Boston College. You can continue using the earlier SciFinder, if you prefer. Use the same login information for either. Login on the BC Libraries Databases page (search for SciFinder) or click here. Contact Enid Karr, Chemistry Librarian, if you have any questions. SciFinder and SciFinder-N are limited to members of the Boston College community, for non-commercial use.

SciFinder-N Tips

Some of the new features you'll find in SciFinder-N:

  • SciFinder-N supports the use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), giving you much greater control in your searching.  In short,
    • AND  -- Narrows (use it when you require that both terms be present in your search results)
    • OR -- Broaden (use it to indicate that "Term A" or "Term B" must be present in your search results)
    • NOT -- Limits (use it to remove any record that contains the "not-ed out" term) -- use with caution
  • Check out the What's New link under your account icon in the upper, right-hand corner.  SciFinder-N is rapidly adding new features.
  • Use Advanced Search for Author, Journal, or Organization.
  • Specify "preferred suppliers" by clicking the "thumbs-up" icon next to a supplier listing once you've run a search.  After that, each time you search for suppliers this supplier will appear at the top of your list.

Looking for References in SciFinder Web (Classic)?

Under the Explore tab, choose <Research Topic> 

  • Search for “conceptual” questions (in other words:  for pretty much any search other than specific compound searching, which you search under "Explore Substances").
  • Input your search statement just as you would say it – for example, "oxidation of benzaldehyde".  Boolean operators (And, Or, Not) do not work in the usual way here.
  • Try varying your search terms (specific and general) in sequential searches since SF indexes at the most specific level of the content of the article, i.e.  in searching for literature on synthesizing nanoparticles for shape control, you might search on: Shape (morphology) of colloidal nanoparticles (colloidal nanocrystals)... but, you might also want to try searching on terms such as synthesis (preparation) of nanocrystals for geometry
  • Additional details:
    • Wildcard searching is automatic, so your search on “nanocrystal” should automatically retrieve:  nanocrystals, nanocrystalline
    • Synonyms:  you don’t normally need to worry about these (they have been added for the most part), but to make sure, you can add a synonym within parentheses.
    • Keep phrases joined -- notice that "colloidal" is shown with both "nanoparticles" and "nanocrystals", above.

(The examples, above, show the use of two synonyms (enter the second one in parentheses);  SciFinder does best, however, with a no more than a single synonym in a search statement.)