Year End Wrap: Research Tool SciFinder Enhanced

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Before the year wraps up I want to touch on some prior art search tool updates we haven’t quite fit in to the Intellogist® Blog yet. First on the docket is the Fall 2010 update for the Web Version of SciFinder. SciFinder is one of the premier chemical data prior art search systems, with access to 61 patent authorities and over 10,000 currently published journals. Since SciFinder is produced by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), it contains access to the influential CAS databases and ACS journals. SciFinder (especially the Web Version) serves as an easier and more user friendly entry point to these databases than its CAS search system cousin, the command line based STN . Additional value add comes via access to CAS Registry Numbers and other special metadata.

Are you involved in chemical or pharmaceutical intellectual property protection or research? Do you use SciFinder (or another chemical search tool) to help defend your intellectual property or conduct your research? If so, I think you’ll want to read on to find out what improvements to SciFinder you may be missing.


One of the biggest improvements for the Web Version of SciFinder in the Fall 2010 update was the ability to view experimental procedures from ACS journals and patents (US, EP, and WO/PCT) in context with a reaction. These procedures can then be examined, sorted, and analyzed for applicability to their synthetic research needs. According to CAS, this will allow users to “more efficiently determine lab preparations and plan synthetic pathways.” From a searching perspective, it’s more user friendly to view experimental procedure data from patents in the chemical data-tailored SciFinder than in a more general purpose patent search system such as PatBase, Thomson Innovation, or TotalPatent. The additional sorting and analyzing features can help you drill further down into this experimental data.

Additional useful features you may have missed include:

  • SMILES and InChl string searching – The support of these standards make searching between chemical data search systems easier. Insert the string and have the compound drawn out for you!
  • Result sorting by relevance – Relevance sorting is a plus in any system, and may cut down the time you need to leaf through results if you’re merely looking for the best and brightest.
  • Enhanced reaction displays – Drawings help users, especially those who are visually oriented, quickly identify interesting results.

Do you use SciFinder? Do you use another chemical data search system such as Reaxys? We’d love to hear your thoughts on these systems in the comments!

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This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.

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