SciFinder Mobile Now Available

Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS) has launched a new mobile version of SciFinder.


  • Good for quick, on-the-fly searches. For example:
    • You’re in the lab and you need to get a substance name or registry number.
    • You’re at a conference or a lecture, and you want to do a quick lookup of a chemist’s recent articles.
  • It works on the various mobile devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, Android, Blackberry–but not iPad).
  • Just go to and your device should detect the mobile version.


  • Login with your SciFinder username/password. If you have not yet created a SciFinder Web account, start here to register (UCSD faculty, students, staff only).
  • No IP authentication, so you don’t have to worry about campus wifi or remote/VPN access issues.
  • You don’t have to worry about “turnaways” because there are no simultaneous user limits.
  • (On iPads, SciFinder will redirect to the full version, which does fall within IP authentication and simultaneous user limits.)


  • Search by substance identifier.
  • Explore by research topic, author or company name.
  • View abbreviated records. For substances you’ll get the basic identification information and the beginning of the property data. For citations, you’ll get full citations and abstracts, but none of the additional indexing.
  • View results from existing saved answer sets or Keep Me Posted alerts.


  • Draw structures.
  • See the complete Registry records or CAS references.
  • Link out to article text.
  • Create new answer sets or KMPs.
  • Limit, analyze or refine searches, see cited/citing references, etc.
  • Mark, email or otherwise save any references of interest, or any other “synching” between the mobile and regular web versions.
  • * though I expect that some of these may become available in future updates, depending on user feedback and interest.

If you have questions about SciFinder (Web or Mobile) or suggestions for future updates, please contact me at And remember, THE CLIENT VERSION OF SCIFINDER WILL BE DISCONTINUED ON JUNE 30!!

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Cambridge Structural Database 2011

Cambridge Structural Database 2011 is now available for download at the UC-CSD page. You must be on campus or using proxy/VPN from off-campus to access this page, and use of CSD is restricted to UCSD faculty, staff and students for academic research only.

The files are available as a ZIP file for Windows, or as ISOs for Windows, Macs and Linux.  With the ISO you’ll need a blank DVD and a program like Imgburn, as you’ll be creating your own installation disk.  If you prefer to install directly from our set of DVDs please contact Teri Vogel ( about borrowing them.

The web version of Cambridge Structural Database (WebCSD) is also available at

CSD is a database of crystallographic, chemical and bibliographic information for 500,000+ organic molecules and metal-organic compounds.

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New Knovel Ebooks: Nanotechnology, Transportation Engineering

This year we acquired 2 new collections in Knovel:

There are more than 90 e-books available in the Nanotechnology collection, with 14 titles offering tools like interactive tables and graph digitizers. Titles in this collection include:

  • Handbook of Nanofabrication
  • Intro to Nanophotonics
  • Nanocatalysis
  • Nanoscience – Nanobiotechnology and Nanobiology
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Advances in Nanoporous Materials
  • Physics of Carbon Nanotube Devices
  • Nanotechnology – Toxicological Issues and Environmental Safety

The Transportation Engineering collection (120 titles, 11 with interactive tools) includes such titles as:

  • Bridge Management
  • Highway Safety Manual
  • Handbook of Transportation Engineering
  • Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete Structures
  • Extreme Ocean Waves
  • Structural Health Monitoring of Civil Infrastructure Systems
  • Transportation Security
  • Environmentally Conscious Transportation

Knovel is a core collection of more than 2,500 science and engineering encyclopedias, handbooks, texts and databases that you can search by full-text as well as by data. Many of the titles go beyond the PDFs to include interactive tables and graphs.

Categories: Books and Encyclopedias, Database News Comments: 0

REAXYS (new platform for Beilstein and Gmelin)

As of January 2011, Reaxys has replaced CrossFire as the portal to access Beilstein and Gmelin databases. Reaxys is an entirely web-based application that combines the content of Beilstein, Gmelin and the Patent Chemistry databases. It works on PCs and Macs, and you only need a plugin if you want to use a structure editor other than the one built into Reaxys (MarvinSketch).  Reaxys works on IE, Firefox and Safari, and it requires Java Runtime Environment 5.0 or later.

Helpful user guides are at Elsevier’s Reaxys Training Center including Reaxys – Content at a Glance and Reaxys Quick Reference Guide.  The S&E Reaxys guide will be in early January, and the Library will offer some training sessions over the next few months.

CrossFire was retired on December 31 and will no longer work. You will need to uninstall the CrossFire Commander client from your computer.

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INSPIRE (SPIRES Replacement) Now in Beta

CERN, DESY, Fermilab and SLAC have announced that SPIRES (, the venerable and long-serving information system for High-Energy-Physics, is being replaced by INSPIRE (

INSPIRE is jointly developed by CERN, DESY, Fermilab and SLAC, and builds on four decades of hand-curated SPIRES content and Invenio Digital Library software. It offers faster and smarter searches, detailed results, direct access to figures, co-cited articles and full-text searches. Many more features will be released in the next few months, in partnership with arXiv, ADS and leading publishers in the field.

You can preview the beta version of INSPIRE at

More details on INSPIRE are available

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UCSD Libraries New Mobile Website

The UCSD Libraries now have a new mobile-friendly website that works on most smartphone browsers!  Just point your browser to

The mobile site features the information you  need on the go – our hours, contact info, directions, as well as several ways to ask us questions and finally a list of research tools from our collections that we’ve tested out on mobile devices.   There is also a link back to the “regular” website, which does work on phone browsers but is more difficult to navigate on the small screen.

Among the research tools: links to mobile-friendly databases IEEE Xplore and PubMed, and links to publisher apps from ACS, AIP, IOP and Nature.

Please note, some of the research tools might not work optimally from all smartphone browsers, and some of them require you to be connected to the UCSD network–especially if you want to access full-text or PDFs of articles.

Please let us know what you think about this new site and if there is additional information you’d like to see from the libraries when you’re using your mobile device.

Categories: Database News, Journals, Tech Tools Comments: 0

Knovel University Challenge

The Knovel University Challenge has begun!

  • Use Knovel to answer engineering questions.
  • Get at least 3 answers correct, and your entry will be placed in a random drawing on December 1 for
    • An iPad:
    • $500 US cash prize
    • One of eight $50 Amazon gift cards

One of our graduate students won a Nintendo Wii last year, so let’s see if we can go two in a row!

Categories: Database News, Library Services Comments: 0

SciFinder Update: Markush searching and more

UCSD SciFinder Guide – includes information on accessing SciFinder (web and client versions) and links to SciFinder guides and tutorials.

CAS has launched a new release of SciFinder Web. New features include:

  • CAS has added Markush searching, to retrieve patent documents containing generic Markush structures relevant to the query structure. You’ll see the Markush option now when you go to Explore Substances, and it’s complementary to the structure searching in the CAS Registry. (see more about this below the list)
  • Under Explore References, you can now search by Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) if you have them.
  • There’s a new preference setting where you can automatically remove duplicate MEDLINE/PubMed references from your answer sets. Otherwise you can remove them manually after each search.
  • When you use the Similar Reactions feature, reaction centers in your answer sets will be highlighted:
    • Broad similarity: reaction centers highlighted
    • Medium similarity: reaction centers and adjacent atoms/bonds highlighted
    • Narrow similarity: reaction centers and extended atoms/bonds highlighted
  • Substance answer sets can now be sorted by molecular weight or molecular formula as well as by CAS Registry Number or number of references (ascending or descending order).
  • Keep Me Posted updating can be set for weekly or monthly alerting. Some additional customization features have been added.

More about the Markush searching: from Ben Wagner, Univ at Buffalo

1. When you select the Markush option, you are searching only the structures in the Marpat database, NOT the main REGISTRY file itself (54+ million structures). IMPACT: To do a complete novelty search, you must search a query structure with both options: substructure/exact structure & Markush.

2. The Markush search does not return a set of structure records, but rather returns the [Chemical Abstracts] CAPlus patent literature records EQUIVALENT to the corresponding Marpat patent literature record. IMPACT: You never see the actual Marpat record or the actual target Markush structures that are searched.

3. No “hit” registry numbers are highlighted in the detailed CAPlus records retrieved by a Markush query. in 55% of the time, the CAplus patent record contains an embedded structure drawing in the abstract. This embedded graphic (which used to appear in the printed Chemical Abstracts as well) often is expressed in Markush conventions. IMPACT: In 55% of the time, you will get a fair to very good indication of why your query structure retrieved the patent reference based on the graphic embedded in the abstract. In about 45% of the time, you will have a poor-fair chance of figuring out why the patent was retrieved and may need to refer to the full-text of the patent. You have a poor chance because no registry numbers are highlighted and you will be dependent on the title, abstract, and keyword indexing to determine relevance.

4. Markush searching follows the default settings for a STN Marpat search in novice mode. To provide one example, ring atoms and ring groups (Hy, Cy, Cb) in query are matched only to real atoms in the Markush structures. For example, a query pyridine may match only a result pyridine, not a generic Hy. IMPACT: An STN Marpat search in expert mode would likely retrieve more (perhaps many more) hit patents than running the exact same structure in SciFinder Markush mode. If you do Markush searching, try playing around with real atoms/explicit structures vs. generic atoms at critical positions in your query structure.  Markush structures are a simple concept for chemists, but the conventions for the actual computer algorithms that map between a query structure and stored target Markush connection tables with a mix of generic and real atoms in both the query and the target structures is extremely complex.

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WebCSD (Cambridge Structural Database)

WebCSD, the web-based portal to the Cambridge Structural Database, is now available to UCSD faculty, staff and students at The FAQ page includes information on new features like the similarity search, as well as browser and other requirements to run WebCSD on your computer (Java Runtime Environment, popups allowed for the site, Javascript enabled, etc.).

It has a built-in editor for structure/similarity searching, plus JMol and AstexViewer.  Because this is a Java application, it may run slow at the beginning of your session while JRE initializes.  If you continue to have problems with WebCSD running too slowly, please refer to the FAQ page for possible solutions.

WebCSD is not a complete substitute for the Cambridge Structural Database DVD that you can download from the CSD page at UCLA. Power users should download and install CSD on their own computer as well.

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SciFinder Enhancements, Improvements for Spring 2010

CAS is rolling out some the following enhancements (major and minor) for SciFinder Web this month.  You can get an overview of these enhancements (What’s New in SciFinder and How to Use the New Features in SciFinder) or sign up for a “Exploring What’s New in SciFinder” e-seminar. Check the SciFinder Training calendar for dates and registration.

  • Copy and paste ChemDraw structures into the SciFinder structure/reaction editor; more keyboard shortcuts have also been added to the editor.
  • New “find additional reactions” option that will locate additional preparations and literature references in Chemical Abstracts.
  • Limit/refine reaction searches by non-participating functional groups.
  • The “commercially available” icon appears next to all applicable structures in the reaction results display.
  • Identify preferred and non-preferred commercial suppliers; all suppliers will still display, but you can now control the sorting order.
  • Combine a saved answer set with an active answer set, instead of having to combine 2 saved sets.
  • Export references using the .ris format, which will allow you to directly export your references into EndNote if it’s installed on your computer (instead of saving as a tagged text file and then importing into EndNote).
  • Improved PDF views of saved citations for printing.
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