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Boatwright Memorial Library

Resource Tips

Below are some tips on which databases can be used for different circumstances.

Do you want to? Try this:
Search for references (keyword, author names, title, abstract, journal, etc.)
  • Start with SciFindern
  • Then try Web of Science. Note that this database doesn't really include patents and 'gray' literature the way SciFinder does, and lacks chemistry-specific search features like systematic names, structures, and RNs. 
Search for substances by drawing a structure or substructure.
  • SciFindern. Huge database of indexed substances, but is heavily sources from patents.
  • Reaxys. Preferred by some for its structure editor.
Search for reactions.
  • Reaxys. Preferred for precision and drawing options.
  • SciFindern. Greater recall of organic reactions since 1986.
  • To be thorough, you should lean towards searching both databases. 
Search by citations to older literature.
  • Start with Web of Science. It's science citation index goes back to 1900.
  • SciFindern. This database does have citation indexing as well, it does not go back as far as Web of Science though.
Search for chemical spectra.
  • SciFindern. It's registry record for specific substances can provide many NMR and IR graphical spectra. You can also preform systematic literature searches for published spectral data.
  • Reaxys. While Reaxys does not contain graphical spectra, its substance records contain many spectral data fields. 
Search for crystallographic data.
  • Cambridge Structural Database. This is where you should start as it is a repository for organic crystal data. 
  • Reaxys. Many organic and inorganic substances in this database have searchable crystallographic data fields.
  • SciFindern. If you are looking for information published in journals, you can find it here. Try the substance search. 
Search for physical and thermodynamic properties.
  • CRC Handbook (Print Option). contains basic property information about well known compounds. Different editions available in the Reference section of the library, and the stacks in B2.  
  • Reaxys. Larger number of property data fields for substances than SciFindern
  • SciFindern. Best place for a literature search for reported properties using Registry Numbers and keywords.

Adapted from University of Texas Libraries

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