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Database quick guides: SciFinder

Quick references of the most central databases in the University of Oulu


SciFinder quick guide


Conducting a reference search

Research Topic











Enter the research topic in plain English with concepts separated by prepositions and other normal parts of speech.

Use at least 2-3 consepts, maximum 40 words. 

Place synonyms in parentheses next to the topic you entered.

You may describe a research topic using negative terms such as NOT or EXCEPT

Coating of packing (fiber) by antibacterial (antimicrobial) Silver Nanoparticles



 ringed planets but NOT Saturn


SciFinder automatically truncates the terms in your query and searches for plural forms, past tense verbs, and other word forms. Do not include truncation or wildcard symbols!

Example:  effects of age on calcium absorption in women

Result:  SciFinder automatically expands your query to include terms such as aged or aging.

Explore substances

You can search substances by drawing chemical structures or entering molecular formulas, physical property values or a substance identifier (CAS Registry Number or chemical name)


Research Topic Candidates


The different candidates consist of references that contain those concepts:

1. as entered (in a single phrase),

2. closely associated (typically within the same sentence or title),

3. all concepts anywhere (possibly widely separated) within the reference,

4. one of the concepts anywhere

Choose the set(s) in which SciFinder has correctly interpreted your concepts. If the candidates are not satisfactory, click Explore References to return to the query and modify it.

Refine Research Topic

Narrow answer set by adding search criteria. You can use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) for combining the terms.




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