arrange information from disparate searches
into a reference area pertaining to the major
So, already we have access to 118 articles
that contain “Synthesis of Laminin” and
2574 articles that have “Laminin” and
“Synthesis” closely associated with one
another. There are many more articles containing the concepts separately, as Laminin
is a very important biological molecule and
extensively used in cell culture as a substratum. Now, if we put a checkmark in the first
box, the listing of the 118 articles containing the core concept “Synthesis of Laminin”
appears (Figure 3).
We then put a check in the box for the
fourth reference “Sonic hedgehog-dependent
synthesis of laminin α1 controls basement
membrane assembly in the myotome,” click
the full text icon, and in a very short time
receive abstracts, summaries, or a full text
of the article. You also will notice in Figure
4 that there is an extremely useful toolbar at
the top which includes a button to activate
alerts of new information on the topic of
interest (not shown).
Under the Reference Section, there
are areas to conduct an advanced search
by narrowing the choices according to a
number of categories (author, CAS registry
number, Journal, Database, Language,
Under the “Get Substances” header, we
can access a remarkably useful dialog box
that lists a host of important information
options for all of the references or any subset of them selected (Figure 5).
With the “Get Reactions” button, we can
extract pertinent chemical reactions from
that vein, I have the following suggestions
for the developers:
; When asking for structural information,
the software will not provide it. The
structure may either be imported or
drawn with a provided drawing tool.
; When asking for properties, they seemingly may only be selected one at a time.
There appears to be no option to get all
at once in a convenient tabular form.
; Phrasing of the search query is very
important. The differences that I got
between “Laminin Synthesis” and “
Synthesis of Laminin” were large.
the selected papers (Figures 6 and 7).
Other buttons assist in the acquisition
of related citations, get the full text of any
selected article, and a Tool option to tag
references and remove any duplicates from
the reference list.
So, it appears that SciFinder is a complete
package to efficiently manage a project
in chemistry/biology by providing exact
details and more than sufficient background
material to perform, compare, validate and
document complex scientific projects. The
software is very easy-to-use, and I never
consulted the help section for problems
(I didn’t trip over any during my cursory
investigations). If help is needed, users may
e-mail the support group, attend free webi-
nars, or register for instructor-led classes.
If I found any shortcomings in the soft-
ware, it may be trivial to a chemist or just
my ignorance of advanced techniques. In
This software is extremely useful for
chemical and biological projects. If your
institution/employer can budget for it,
you will find SciFinder a very efficient and
extraordinarily useful tool.
; $2,600/yr (entry level pricing; call or
email for further information)
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)
P.O. Box 3012
Columbus, OH 43210-0012
1-800-753-4227 (North America)
+1-614-447-3700 (outside North America)
www.cas.org; e-mail: email@example.com
John Wass is a statistician based in
Chicago, IL. He may be reached at