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SciFinder: access ends on March 31, 2018

27 March 2018

For several years Leiden University has offered access to the chemical databases SciFinder and Reaxys. Due to costs and the limited amount of users of SciFinder, it was decided not to renew our license for this database. At the same time, the license for Reaxys, up till now part of the budget of the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC), will be transferred to the budget of Universitaire Bibliotheken Leiden (UBL).

In practice this means access to SciFinder will be closed after March 31st. It is expected the consequences of this change for searching chemical reactions, compounds and literature will be small. But, even though SciFinder and Reaxys are highly similar, they differ slightly in scope and interface. To ease the transition from SciFinder to Reaxys:

  • SciFinder and Reaxys use different lists of journals to index; SciFinder has a slightly larger index than Reaxys has, but Reaxys too has journals not indexed by SciFinder. This means there is a possibility that an article and structures/syntheses coupled to it that were found in SciFinder, may be missing in Reaxys. As always it remains important not to limit yourselves to just one database while doing your literature searches. Other sources you may want to check are PubMed, Google Scholar and Web of Science.
  • Reaxys uses Scopus, also owned by Elsevier, for references and citations. As UBL does not have a subscription to the Scopus database, Reaxys only shows limited citation information for articles. If you need to know more about recent citations, you have to look up the article in a citation database such as Web of Science, Google Scholar or Dimensions.
  • SciFinder has a special way of searching with simple queries:  from a natural language sentence it extracts concepts and figures how they are related to one another (are they, for example, meant to appear next to each other in the text). Reaxys is more of a traditional search engine, comparable to Web of Science. This means you have to think of Boolean operators, proximity operators (NEAR, NEXT, PROXIMITY), different ways of spelling and synonyms. The advantage of Reaxys Query Builder is that it can be fine-tuned to very specific searches, however it may take some time to convert your alerts from SciFinder (Keep Me Posted) to Reaxys. 
  • Reaxys offers chemical and physical properties for compounds, just like SciFinder. However, if Reaxys does not give the answer needed, you may also want to try some freely accessible databases, with API, such as ChemSpider,  PubChem and ChemBL 

If you have any questions regarding the transfer to or the use of Reaxys, please contact your subject librarian Rutger de Jong, r.m.de.jong@library.leidenuniv.nl.