SciFinder provides several ways to locate substance records. From this record you can quickly find literature in which the substance appears, often in specific Roles such as Preparation or Analytical Study.
Content from this page is from Auburn University's SciFinder LibGuide, by Bob Buchanan, who kindly gave us his permission to re-use it.
Check the box called "Precision Analysis" when you do substructure searches. This is extremely valuable for inorganic substances substructure searches.
SciFinder has a generous view of what might constitute a bond, especially in inorganic substances. SciFinder substructure searches often imagine a bond between atoms in different components of a multi-component substance (which frequently make little sense chemically). Precision Analysis allows you to restrict the search to "Conventional Structure" which will give you what was drawn in the structure search. Note that you need to check the box for Precision Analysis before starting a structure search.
Why does SciFinder include "Non-conventional Structures" in substructure searches?SciFinder prefers to find "false hits" and have you remove them from an answer set rather than to miss results that might be helpful to you.
SciFinder substructure searches of organic substances also sometimes find substances in which the a ketone migrates into enol and then into a double bond. Choosing "Conventional Structures" in Precision Analysis will focus on structures that more closely match what was drawn.
|Three Ways to Search for Preparations|
|Explore Reactions||Use the reaction drawing window|
|Explore Substances||Choose references for Preparation. This is the best.|
|Explore References||Type in "preparation of [insert the CAS Registry Number]. This is just as good.|
Since 1966 ... but all years for the Preparation Role.
SciFinder applies Roles to the substances it finds in the chemical literature. This helps researchers find articles in which the substance played a particular "role" such as Preparation, Uses, or Analytical Study.
Limiting a substance to the references in which it plays a particular Role can be a powerful way to focus a search. Preparation, Uses, and Analytical Study are the most useful Roles, but there are other Roles that can be helpful.
SciFinder places substances in six general categories:
1. Single-Component Substances
2. Multi-Component Substances
3. Metal Complexes
4. Incompletely Defined Substances
Use SciFinder's Analyze Tool to learn more about the search results. Use the Refine Tool to limit the search.
Substance role (the default sort)
Chemical structure -- probably the most useful Refine Tool
Property availability -- Property data is incomplete and inconsistent
Property value -- Property data is incomplete and inconsistent
Atom attachment -- Neat tool. Click on an atom in the structure to see what elements are attached.
Image source: Theresa Knott. Wikimedia Commons. GNU Free.