scifinder scholar 2007: finally online

January 7, 2008 at 3:36 pm | | everyday science, literature, software, wild web

Here at Stanford Chemistry, we just got access to Scifinder Scholar 2007 … the online version. Cool! Finally, web-access to CAS searching. I decided to try it out and give a little review.

First, I’ll say that I actually like the little stand-alone SFS program: I find it quite user friendly and versatile. But a version accessible via the web is nice (and inevitable). The online version has kept most of the same interface and function, with a web style.

Other databases, notably ISI Web of Science, are really great at finding H-index values or citation trends. But, when I really want to do a lit search on a topic or reaction, SFS is always my first choice (maybe after just typing it into Google). CAS has a nice Flash demonstration and screen shots here. Here are some on my own screen shots (click on them for full images).

A fruitless search:

And the result. Or a reaction search:


Another cool new feature in SFS (web or software version), is the “keep me posted” button: You can follow up on searches or results. Currently, I have alerts from ISI sent to my RSS reader; I’ll have to explore this new SFS feature to see if it’s better.

A couple bad things about the new web version of SFS. It can be a little slow loading the Java and Javascript pages. More importantly, it does not include the ever-so-helpful “remove duplicates” feature. (UPDATE.) I hope this latter problem can be corrected, because I hate seeing the same paper listed millions of times!

I think I’ll use SFS web, especially when I’m using a computer that doesn’t have the software installed. Overall rating: super rad cool.


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  1. I’ll be more impressed with Beilstein once we get THAT service online (don’t remember what it’s called, but it looks wonderful). Someday… someday…

    Comment by excimer — January 7, 2008 #

  2. I’m a p-chemist, I hardly know what Beilstein is.

    Comment by sam — January 7, 2008 #

  3. That sounds REALLY handy. Wonder if I could use it through a proxy server?

    Comment by psi*psi — January 7, 2008 #

  4. Yeah. I would like to use SFS from home.

    I would also like to ban all undergrads from using SFS because we can only have ~5 open sessions at my school. Us professionals gotto take care of business, eh?

    Comment by Axicon — January 7, 2008 #

  5. that “eh” was the Minnesota variety— like the Mackenzie brothers

    Comment by Axicon — January 7, 2008 #

  6. Ever since i started programming in actionscript, I cannot do *any* xhtml. Let me try this again:

    Mckenzie Brothers

    Comment by Axicon — January 7, 2008 #

  7. Ummm…the McKenzie brothers were supposed to be Canadian, weren’t they?

    Comment by Bunsen Honeydew — January 8, 2008 #

  8. Yes. They are supposed to be norwegians.

    And the Kurds are Iraqis and Turks.

    Comment by Axicon — January 8, 2008 #

  9. Hi,

    web version of SciFinder – Remove duplicates feature will be offered in the future. It is possible to restrict results to the CAS database by Analyzing by Database. Most reference managers have duplicate detection too so you can eliminate dups that way too.

    Beilstein via the web – both Beilstein and Gmelin are already available on the web via DiscoveryGate. DG is a subscription-based service that contains a suite of databases via a company called Symyx. Stanford also has web access to the Crossfire client via a web browser and citrix plugin.



    Comment by Grace Baysinger — January 14, 2008 #

  10. Thanks, Grace.

    Comment by sam — January 14, 2008 #

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