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CHEM 3280

This guide will cover material from the library session in CHEM BC 3280 on February 2, 2021


Getting Started

Structure searching

  • Click on Chemical Structure on left to draw a structure.
  • You can import a structure from ChemDraw - the Import symbol is at the top left.
  • To find information about the structure, click on Exact search or Substructure search on right.
  • Then you can select one of the structures found, and click on Get References to find articles about it.
  • You can also look at Experimental Properties and Experimental Spectra.

Research Topic Searching

  • Example: oxidation of olefins with hydrogen peroxide
  • SciFinder automatically searches related terms and substance names.  It also considers alternate spellings and word endings.  Boolean operators are not used and there are no truncation symbols, or proximity operators.
  • When looking at item record, click on Link to Other Sources to find the full text.
  • You can also find properties and spectra of chemicals mentioned in the article.


Hands-On Exercises

1. Draw this structure in Scifinder:

  • Do an Exact Structure search and find its CAS number.
  • Find the references for that substance; how many articles are there that have info about its preparation?
  • Find the NMR and optical rotation data for this substance.


2. Searching for a research topic in Scifinder and exporting references to EndNote:

  • Open EndNote, if not already open.
  • In Scifinder, search for iodobenzene diacetate
  • Click on Get references and sort by Citing References
  • Export the two most highly cited references to EndNote.


Google Scholar

Pros of

  • You can copy and paste the title of an article and quickly get to the full text.
  • You can enable e-Link so that you can access the Columbia subscriptions to full-text materials, even when you're off-campus (go to Settings - Library links).
  • You can import directly into EndNote

Cons of

  • No subject headings or other added metadata
  • You have to search full text or allintitle:
  • You can only sort by relevance or date


Web of Science

  • Use CLIO to access Web of Science – all databases
  • Example: oxidation of olefins with hydrogen peroxide
  • Sort results by times cited
  • Generate a Citation report.


WebCSD: Cambridge Structural Database

  • Use CLIO to access the Cambridge Structural Database, from the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre
  • You can search for structures and articles in various ways, e.g. compound name, DOI, author, etc.
  • 3D view of structures is available when you do a search
  • Example: octadecadiene
  • Example: c.m. rojas as author