the world. This global inventory of information is updated daily
by a network of scientists and editors, who, in addition, analyze
content to include important scientific concepts such as diseases,
processes, and techniques.
Students and researchers can access these resources for reference and study by using keywords pertaining to their interests,
whether those might be related to artificial skin or other topics,
such as organometallic, catalyst, global warming, or just about
any other chemistry-related term you can name. By setting search
parameters, users can refine and narrow search results by author,
journal, and year of publication.
SciFinder users can also search the CAS REGISTRY database,
which contains more than 71 million unique organic and inorganic chemical substances, such as alloys, coordination compounds, minerals, mixtures, polymers, and salts. CAS REGISTRY
is the largest of its kind, and is updated daily with 15,000 new
substances. By using CAS REGISTRY, researchers can unequivocally
identify their substance of interest by its CAS Registry Number®, a
universally accepted registration code used as a unique identifier
for chemical substances.
In addition, searchers can find information on a compound by
using a molecular formula, such as C6H12O6 (glucose) — although
the CAS Registry Number is a more precise chemical identification. Researchers can also draw and search chemical structures to
find the exact structure or similar structures.
SciFinder gives researchers access to extensive substance information, such as physical properties. Both experimental and predicted property data are available, with more than 4 billion property values (for more than 73 million substances), as well as data
tags and spectra. Properties include solubility, Gibbs free energy,
dielectric constant, crystal structure, and NMR and IR spectra.
For added convenience, icons provide one-click access related
to the structure and substance being explored, including full-text references, synthetic pathways, commercial availability,
Synthetic chemists can use SciFinder’s interactive SciPlanner feature to design, develop,
and organize their work. It provides access
to more than 68 million single and multistep chemical reactions from journals and
patents. These reactions come with related
information, such as experimental procedures, reaction conditions (such as temperature, pressure, time, catalysis, and solvent),
and commercial availability from more
than 1,000 chemical catalogs. On average,
150,000 new single and multistep reactions
are added weekly. Users can adjust chemical
structures and reaction pathways and compare alternative synthetic routes to create
a research plan that fits their own budget,
time, and chemical resources.
SciFinder is a very versatile tool in research projects. Jong I. Lee,
an assistant professor at York College, CUNY, explains, “My area
of research concerns organic photochemistry. I use SciFinder for
research on planning reactions, obtaining background knowledge
on the research project, searching for better reaction schemes,
finding theoretical papers regarding experimental data, looking
for experimental data and calculated data, and updating back-
Users can save their work online in their SciFinder accounts, or
download it to prepare reports in the form of PDF files to share
with research team members and to use when preparing manu-
scripts for publication.
Students can also use SciFinder to further their chemical education. SciPlanner enables you to study and visualize chemical
reactions from your organic chemistry courses, such as the Diels–
Alder cycloaddition. SciPlanner can be used in conjunction with
general or physical chemistry courses to search physical properties of molecules, such as melting and boiling points and ultraviolet absorption.
Professor Lee further explains, “For students, SciFinder is not
only a research tool, but a study tool as well. For example, students can find the original paper on the SN2 reaction, read its
history and details, and see lots of examples. They will find vivid
examples with many practical lab aspects in it.”
Daryl Ramai is a research assistant and
science writer. His research focuses on the
application of biological mass spectrometry
to the study of cellular activity.
John K. Borchardt was a chemical consultant,
science writer, and devoted ACS career
consultant for more than 15 years, until his sudden passing in January 2013.
As an industrial chemist, he held 30 U.S. and more than 125 international
patents and was the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed papers.