Q. Chemistry Resources: What is the difference between Reaxys and SciFinder?
For chemistry and other related disciplines, SciFinder and Reaxys are complementary resources. Although both are ultimately based on the primary literature, they are quite different in the ways they scan and index the literature, the ways they register compounds and index reactions, and in the time periods they cover.
Reaxys is recommended for obtaining checked physico-chemical data and preparation/reaction methods for pure compounds, and especially for its near-comprehensive coverage of pre-1960 organic literature. Literature references in Beilstein Handbook and Gmelin Handbook (indexed in Reaxys) go back to the 18th century. Reaxys is updated monthly.
SciFinder excels with its more thorough coverage of literature and patents from 1967 forward, its comprehensive registration of all types of chemical compounds, polymers, and mixtures, and coverage of organic reactions after 1985. CAS also scans far more source journals than either Beilstein or Gmelin, indexes new material more rapidly, and is updated daily. You will be surprised by the SciFinder coverage depth, even in related disciplines such as chemical or civil engineering, materials science, or physics.
Note: This response is slightly modified from David Flaxbart's webpage about Reaxys at UT-Austin