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CHEM 5800: SciFinder: Literature Search

Created especially for Professor Jason Burke's CHEM 5800 class, this Library Guide addresses conducting literature searches in two chemistry databases and more.


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     The default search in SciFinder is References - Research Topic.  This is what SciFinder calls its search for scholarly journal articles.


     The video tutorial below demonstrates three types of SciFinder searches: Research Topic (scholarly journal search), Substance Identifier, Molecular Formula.  The Research Topic search comes first and that section is just a few seconds over 17 minutes long.



nanoparticles for drug delivery to cancer tumors

SciFinder is currently the only database we have that searches for concepts instead of just words.  The sample search shown above, nanoparticles for drug delivery to cancer tumors, will retrieve everything related to those concepts even if it is spelled differently.

Search results list

Your groups of search results will be ranked by how many of the concepts appear and how closely they are associated with one another.  The first group (all of the concepts...closely associated with one another) will always be the most relevant.  Click in the box for the first group, then scroll down and click the Get References button.

Get References button



Here's what each item in a list of results is showing you.  Search concepts are highlighted in pink.  The checkbox in the left hand corner lets you select this one article.

One article in the result list.

1. The title of the article.  Click to see the most detailed information about an article, but not the full text.

2. The Quick View link will show you some detail on the article, but not as much as clicking on the title.

3. Click the Other Sources link to activate a search for the full text of the article.

4. The citation: the list of authors, the title of the journal (ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces), the volume number (issue number), and the pages.

5. Graphics (if any) from the article, and the abstract or summary.

6. The icons that appear on the right hand side have these meanings:

Icon that looks like a model of a molecule.

     Model of a molecule: one or more chemical substances are discussed in the article.

     Click on this icon to begin looking at details of those substances.



Icon that looks like a green erlenmeyer flask.

     Erlenmeyer flask: one or more chemical reactions are discussed in the article.

     Click on this icon to see the steps for all the reactions.



Icon that looks like a document with an arrow.

     Document: shows the number of other articles that have cited (used in their research)

     the article you are looking at and will always be accompanied by numbers.  None ~0,

     one ~1, two ~2, and so on.  Click this icon to see the citing articles.

     HINT: this is a good way to find additional articles on the same topic.



The Refine menu gives you many options for limiting your search results.  The most commonly used limits are Document Type, Language, and Publication Year.  Multiple limits must be done individually; click the Refine button each time.

You can easily see in the Document Type(s) box shown below that there are many different types of documents available in SciFinder.  For a literature search, always chose Document Type, then Journal which is SciFinder's term for scholarly journal articles.

The Refine menu.    List of document types that can be found in SciFinder.



Be aware that the link for finding the full text of an article CHANGES APPEARANCE depending on whether you are looking at the screen shown above (#3: Other Sources) or the one you see when you click on the title of the article.  Here's what it changes to:

Link to Other Sources

Either way you activate the search for the full text, if it is found, you will see something like this example.  Here, the full text was found in the database called American Chemical Society Journals and the name of the database is the link to the full text.

Available online at link to full text.

If the full text is not available at this library, we can order it for you through our Interlibrary Loan service.

At any time, you can click on the SciFinder logo in the upper left hand corner to begin a new search.

The SciFinder logo.

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