Skip to Main Content
Go to Penn Libraries homepage   Go to Guides homepage

Searching SciFinder

SciFinder: A CAS Solution

Accessing SciFinder and SciFinder-n at Penn

In recognition of Dr. Amos B. Smith, III for his many contributions to advancing science and innovation as a member of the American Chemical Society Governing Board for Publishing, CAS is honored to donate SciFinder-n access to all students and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.  SciFinder-n is powered by a novel, advanced chemistry search engine and provides researchers with access to one of the most comprehensive suites of chemical information available from a single source.  You may access to SciFinder-n using your existing SciFinder login ID.


Registering for a SciFinder-n Account

In order to search SciFinder-n, you are required to register for a SciFinder account.  Access is provided to you by Penn Libraries and CAS, so, this will not cost you anything.  Your account allows you to establish session preferences, create preferred lists of chemical vendors and suppliers, and establish and maintain search alerts.  It also helps CAS to ensure that only Penn affiliates are using Penn's SciFinder and SciFinder-n subscription.  If you had previously created an account while affiliated with another institution, you will need to create a new account using your Penn e-mail address.

About SciFinder-n

SciFinder-n allows current Penn affiliates to search a complete, integrated set of Chemical Abstracts Service databases, including:

  • References to the literature of chemistry, including journal articles, patents, dissertations, reports, reviews, books and book chapters, and more.  Patent references from 31 of the 63 authorities indexed by CAS link to annotated full text available in the PatentPak database.
  • Substance information, including structures, chemical names, formulae, Registry Numbers, and physical properties.
  • Commercial availability and regulatory information for certain substances.
  • Reaction information for organic and organometallic reactions dating back to the mid 1800s.  Some synthetic reactions link to complete reaction procedures offered through CAS's MethodsNow database.

In addition, searches in SciFinder perform simultaneous searching of the NLM's complete MEDLINE database, as well as the legacy Chemisches Zentralblatt (ChemZent) database.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I need to obtain a SciFinder account?

A: You will need to register for an account using your first name, last name, and Penn e-mail address.  When you begin the registration process, you will be asked to create a user name and password, as well as a security question and answer.  Once you have registered, you will receive an automated e-mail containing a confirmation link.  Click the link to confirm your account, and then you are ready to search!

Q: I never use my Penn e-mail account.  Can I use a different e-mail address instead?

A: No.  E-mail domain is one of the ways that CAS controls who is using Penn's SciFinder subscription, so, you must use your Penn e-mail address.

Q: I already have a SciFinder account associated with my last institution.  Can I just use that one?

A: No.  CAS wants the e-mail domain associated with your account to match the domain of the IP address from which you are searching.  Therefore, you will need to establish a new account here at Penn. 

Q: I just tried to register, but the system tells me that there's already a user associated with my e-mail.  Help!

A: You probably already registered for an account.  Please visit, enter your e-mail address in the form, and answer your security question.  You can proceed to request your user name.

Q: I can't remember my password!

A: Penn does not have access to account passwords.  Please visit, enter your user name or e-mail address in the form, and answer your security question.  Your password will be reset, and you will receive instructions on how to proceed in an e-mail.

Q: The answer to my security question doesn't work.  NOW what do I do?

A: The lovely individuals at the CAS Help Desk will be delighted to assist you.  Please visit for telephone and e-mail contact information.

Setting Preferences in Your SciFinder Account

(The information provided here is specific to SciFinder and will be updated to include SciFinder-n instructions at a later date.  We apologize for the delay.)

Open the set preferences page by choosing preferences   in the upper right hand corner

This will open a new page where you can edit your username, password, Keep me posted information, preferred commercial sources, set automatic removal of duplicates, and change the default starting page.

List of account preference options 

Screen shots throughout this guide are taken from SciFinder and are used with permission from CAS. Copyright 2020 American Chemical Society, all rights reserved.

For More Assistance

Profile Photo
Judith Currano
1973 Wing, Chemistry Laboratories
Penn Libraries Home Franklin Home
(215) 898-7555