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Getting Started with SciFinder

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Access from Off Campus:  Proxy vs VPN

To get to all our licensed resources while outside the campus network, you must use our Proxy Server to establish a session that carries a recognized UT Austin IP address.  Two methods:

  • Follow a link from any Library web page, catalog record or database directory, and enter your UT EID and password when prompted.  Multifactor authentication with Duo is then required.
  • Bookmark this link in your browser: 

VPN will not work for this purpose, and will interfere with a proxy connection.  Exit VPN and proceed through your local network to establish a proxied connection via links on the Libraries' pages. 

Coming from another institution?

If you're new to UT but used SciFinder at a previous institution, your old account won't work here.  Create a new one by registering above with your email address.  TIP:  If your web browser "remembers" and automatically enters your old SciFinder login ID and password, you'll have to clear that out and update it with your new one.

Who can use SciFinder?

Individuals affiliated with UT-Austin may register for a personal SciFinder account and use it from any computer that is connected to or proxied through the campus network, including library workstations.  Authorized persons include:

  • Currently enrolled students
  • Currently appointed faculty and staff
  • Retired and emeritus faculty and staff (with official retiree status)
  • Currently appointed postdocs
  • Official visiting scholars (with valid faculty/staff UT EID and email address)

These types of individuals are not allowed to register for or use SciFinder:

  • Alumni and former students (1 semester after departure)
  • Former faculty, staff; former postdocs
  • Unofficial visitors (without faculty/staff UT EID or utexas email address)
  • Library Courtesy Borrowers
  • General Public

Terms of Use

Use of SciFinder must be for educational and academic research purposes only. Commercial use - including patentability searching - on behalf of any profit-making entity, regardless of one's personal status at UT, is not permitted. Users must agree to these terms when connecting to the resource. CAS actively monitors and reports suspect activity, and violation of the terms of use may result in loss of access.

scifinder small logoImportant Differences in SciFindern

The new interface is VERY different from the "classic" version, especially in how it searches for references using keyword terms, and how it sorts results.  Be sure to consult the Help pages to improve your chances for a successful search.

  • The main References Search box supports Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), nesting with parentheses, and wildcards.  None of these were available in the old version.  But:  Boolean operators are not functional within the ADVANCED search fields or the "Search within Results" filter. 
  • Multiple terms entered in the main Search Box are connected with an implied OR operator.  This is not intuitive (most other familiar databases and search engines use an implied AND).  If you want all the terms present in your results, use the AND operator or enclose phrases within quotes.  Example:
    • ionic liquids  -- (finds all records with either ionic or liquids -- not helpful!)
    • ionic AND liquids -- (finds records with both words somewhere in the record -- better, but still imprecise)
    • "ionic liquids" -- (finds the bound phrase as entered, including "liquid" in the singular -- best approach for this topic)
  • Relevance ranking of reference results is now the default.  (The classic version sorted by reverse date, and relevance was based on a proximity histogram of results the user could choose from.)  Re-sorting by reverse date may be advisable.
  • Author name searching is more complex and less intuitive than before, particularly when trying to include alternate forms of a name.
  • Searching by publication information for a known reference (using journal, year, volume, etc.) is still possible but different.


Sources of Help and Training

What's in SciFinder?

SciFinder is the best place to start your search for research-level chemical information. It provides integrated access to these Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) databases, plus Medline:


An added feature within SciFinder-n that provides contextual access to full text patent documents.  More information here.

SciFinder vs Reaxys

SciFinder and Reaxys are complementary resources, and although there is some overlap the two are quite different in their respective literature coverage, and the ways they register compounds and index reactions. It's advisable to consult both databases for the most complete coverage of compounds, reactions, and properties.

SciFindern at UT

SciFinder account holders at UT Austin have access to both the "classic" and new versions of SciFinder.  The new interface is called SciFindern (yes, that's a superscript "n").  Both versions provide bibliographic, substance and reaction data that are fully up to date.  The classic version is slated to be retired at the end of 2022.

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