SCIFINDER WEB FAQ

Why we need to switch to this new interface.

(With thanks to Ben Wagner, SUNY Buffalo)

SciFinder is now a web-based database. From 2000 to 2009, access to SciFinder [Scholar] was via a custom, downloaded client program.

Q1. How do I access the web version of SciFinder?



All patrons must register for an individual user i.d. and password. The database producers do not give us (or anyone else) any choice about this matter. To register, go to our CAS SciFinder Registration site. Once you have registered, simply go to the SciFinder web login page. (https://scifinder.cas.org)

Q2. Why did CAS abandon the client and move to SciFinder Web?



There are a number of compelling reasons!

• Security is greatly enhanced, which helps prevent hackers from outside our university tying up our very limited number of seats.

• Eliminating special client software will solve many installation and support headaches and free up space on your hard drive.

• Display of information and navigation features are generally greatly enhanced.

• Web version has a number of new, high value enhancements not available in the old client version, including:

  • Ability to save searches and automatically run them against all new records added to the database (Keep me posted/current awareness)
  • Similarity search on reactions, not just substances.
  • New sort features including sorting substance records by number of literature references.
  • Export physical property data to Microsoft® Excel®.
  • Tag references with helpful descriptive user-defined and searchable terms.
  • Add comments to specific references for sharing information and insights with colleagues.
  • Link to other SciFinder users within your research site to share both research comments and tagged references.
  • Retains search history for previous 10 search sessions.

Q3. Can the web version do everything the client version did?



99% of the features of the client version have migrated over to the web. CAS continues to improve the web version every 9-12 months. Only a few obscure client features are not yet available in the web version:

• Analyzing substance records by ring skeletons, stereo configuration, variable group composition, and R-group composition.

• Listing of other databases on CAS’ multi-vendor database platform (STN) that contain information on a given substance.

This short list pales in comparison to all the new features available only on the web version.

Q4. What about downloading references to EndNote?



The process is essentially identical to the client version. The name of the link to save references locally has changed from ‘Save As’ to ‘Export’. One still chooses the ‘Tagged Format’, saves the file to one’s computer, and then imports into EndNote as a second step.

Q5. Who should I contact if I have questions or problems?



Please contact Tina Chrzastowski, chrz@illinois.edu, or in the Chemistry Library, 333-3737.