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Searching is easy and may be done by substance name, structure, substructure, CAS Registry Number, molecular formula, organization, as well as the traditional research topic, and author searching. A specific citation and abstract can be found using "Explore References/Journal".
This database is especially useful for finding out if a substance exists (via a structure search), finding articles on preparation or biological activity of a substance, finding "review" articles or finding articles by an author on a particular subject. The database is known for its broad substance coverage, and its intuitive searching. For example, when searching author names, spelling alternatives are offered for last names. Hill Order is not required for molecular formula searching. Functional groups may be searched and stereochemistry may be specified in reaction searching. When substructure searching, a simililarity search may be performed to help identify most relevant results.
Additional advantages for this database are that patent family information is available to determine related and equivalent patents. Records may be exported to EndNote, RefWorks or another reference manager. Substance records often include calculated and sometimes experimental property data and spectra. Citation searching is available and may retrieve different results than Science Citation Index (SCI) searching. Chemical catalogs and related regulatory information is helpful and easy to access. Molecules can be viewed in 3D.
There are a few drawbacks, mainly that in this database you can't search for substance names using name fragments. Structure and substructure searches often produce large results sets that require "analyzing" for precision. Only "novel" reactions are indexed.
SciFinder searches several files. For more info see Content at a Glance