Scientific Edge in Information Age


Information searching skills are essential to locate relevant answers from comprehensive collections of databases such as STN (Scientific & Technical info Network).

We conduct regular STN seminars in major cities in India. Our Seminars are aimed to train participants on efficient and effective searching for Chemistry, Biotech, Engineering and Patent Information on STN.

Both the basic as well as advanced level workshops are conducted for STN users from R&D, patent cells, technical services, technology planning, library and consulting professionals.

Given below is a list of Workshop Modules. Click on the Title for more Information.

Basic search techniques on STN

STN (the Scientific and Technical Information Network ) is an online service which provides access to worldwide literature on Chemistry, Life Sciences, Engineering, Medical and several other scientific areas. STN uses query based commands for preparing precise as well as comprehensive search strategies. In addition, value added STN features helps you to focus on relevant answers.

In this workshop, you will learn :

Key Databases on STN : content and coverage.

Basic Commands for searching information.

Logical operators used in online searching to refine search results.

Wild card or truncation symbols to allow retrieval of various forms of a word.

Refining search results by publication year, document type etc.

Techniques to locate relevant databases and develop search strategies.


Advanced search techniques on STN

This module is designed to enhance basic searching knowledge on STN to a professional level. It emphasizes on cost-effective and comprehensive search techniques using advanced features available on STN.

In this workshop, you will learn :

CLUSTER feature for multifile searching.

INDEX Feature to determine the “best” database(s) for your specific topic under a category.

SELECT Feature to transfer data from one file to another.

ANALYZE command statistical analysis of one or more field codes for e.g. Patent Assignee, Publication year etc. Retrieve unique references using Duplicate Remove/Identify commands.

Special commands like SET, SAVE/ACTIVATE, FOCUS, RANK, FSEARCH etc.

Cost-effective techniques for searching information.

Basic Structure searching

STN offers unique advantage of being able to draw chemical structures and search them in published literature and patents by drawing molecular structures. This ensured retrieval of the compound(s) you are looking for and eliminates possibility of missing them due to variations in systematic nomenclature. STN provides structure searchable chemistry databases such as CAS Registry, MARPAT, Beilstein, Derwant World patent Index, Pharmaceutical Substance, etc.

In this workshop, you will learn :

How to draw structures using structure drawing tools on STN.

Types of structure searching : Exact , Family, Substructure.

How to upload and run the query structure and locate substance(s) of your interest.

How to locate associated references on the substances retrieved.

Advanced Structure Searching

If you are looking for substances which may have some specific attributes like variables at a particular node, repeating groups, isolated/fused ring systems, R groups etc, structure drawing can be tricky. STN Structure drawing tool has many features which can help you to correctly represent the query structure. Also, there are features to limit retrieved structures by criteria such as number of ring systems, certain atoms in ring or number of components etc which helps you to get focused results.

This workshop will focus on:

How to draw Variable Point of Attachment or repeating atoms/groups.

Define Variable Groups, ring isolations/fusion, bond characteristics etc.

Define Fragments and its orientations in structure.

Limit retrieved structures by additional criteria such as class of substances (like polymers), number of components, number of ring systems, exclusion of certain atoms, etc.

Basic MARPAT searching

MARPAT (Markush Patents) database allows you to search generically claimed substances from patents by drawing structures. MARPAT searching becomes essential for ascertaining the novelty and non-obviousness of molecule during patentability process.

This workshop will focus on:

What is MARPAT – content and its coverage.

Tools and features in drawing structures for Markush searching.

Comprehensive structure searching in Registry and MARPAT.

Interpretation of codes and generic definitions of Markush structures to the input query.

Advance MARPAT searching

Searching Markush structures in MARPAT can sometimes generate too few or too large number of answers. However, various tools available in MARPAT file can help you to balance precision in your structure queries. Precision tools available are Match Level (Atom, Class, Any), Generic group attributes, Element Count etc. These tools will decide if query should match to specific atoms/rings or generic groups in MARPAT. (For example, if you have pyridyl ring in query : you can retrieve not only specifically claimed pyridyl but also definitions like “heterocyclic rings with 1 or more N atoms”) .

In this workshop, you will learn :

How Match Level attribute operates.

When to change match levels from Atom to Class to Any and vice versa.

How to limit structure variables within a generic query with Generic group attribute and Element Counts.

Polymer searching

Searching Polymers can be difficult especially due to various types of polymer representations in the published literature and patents. For example, polymers are represented by monomers, structure repeating units, physical and chemical properties etc. You may need to use different search strategies to get comprehensive answers.

This workshop will focus on:

Content and coverage of polymer related databases on STN – Petroleum Abstracts (TULSA), Rubber & Plastics Abstracts (RAPRA), CAS REGISTRY, Chemical Abstracts (CAPLUS) , Derwent World Patents (WPINDEX) etc.

Polymer Representation in Registry : by Monomer(s) and Structural Repeating Unit (SRU). Searching polymers by Class, CAS Registry numbers, Generic names, Monomers, Structures of monomers and resultant structural repeating units.

Using POLYLINK to retrieve related polymers of your interest.

Citation searching

Citation searching is a useful approach to retrieve related articles/patents which further can be used to locate competitive information, trends in research, judge relative importance of invention etc. You can not only see past citations which may form basis for particular publication but also locate how many times a publication is referred by others in future.

This workshop will focus on:

Content and coverage of databases such as Science Citation Index (SCISEARCH), Derwent Patent Citation Index (DPCI), Chemical Abstracts (CAPLUS) etc.

Types of citation searching : Backward Citation, Forward Citation.

Which organizations are working in specific area of research? And are they possibly infringing on the original invention?

Searching for related patent literature based on citation links to ascertain any prior art reference.

Biosequence searching

STN is the largest source for bio-sequences comprising : natural nucleic acid and peptide sequences, chemically modified peptides, fusion proteins, motifs, genetically engineered and synthetic genes, sequences containing uncommon nucleotides and amino acids, etc.

In this workshop, you will learn –

Content and coverage of sequence searchable databases such as CAS REGISTRY, Derwent Genseq (DGENE), PCTGEN, GenBank, USGENE etc.

Types of Sequence searching – Exact , Family , Subsequence.

BLAST (different parameters which affect search results).

Designing search strategies to include variabllity, defining alternate residues, specifying repetition, excluding residues etc in sequence expressions.

Comprehensive search strategy in multiple databases (DGENE, PCTGEN, and REGISTRY).

Reaction searching

STN offers unique feature of being able to draw partial/complete reaction schemes and search for alternate synthetic routes, solvents, catalysts, yields etc. You can also include variability while reaction searching.

In this workshop, you will learn –

Content and coverage of reaction searchable databases such as CASREACT, Pharmaceutical Substance (PS), Cheminformrx etc.

Drawing reaction schemes by chemical structures, variables, functional groups etc.

Precision tools such as reaction site tool, atom mapping tool etc.

Refining reaction results with number of steps, yield, reaction participants such as reactant, solvent, catalyst etc.

Patent Information Searching

STN gives you access to indexed, value-added as well as full-text patent databases. Hence, searching for literature as well as patent information on STN for comprehensive results can be used for prior art, patentability, freedom to operate, infringement analysis, competitive analysis etc. STN has many advance commands and features for conducting a comprehensive search using multifile searching, duplicate removal etc. In addition to the above, you can also search legal status and expiry dates of patents.

In this workshop, you will learn –

Content and coverage of STN databases such as Chemical Abstracts (CAPLUS), Derwent World Patents (WPINDEX) , IMSPATENTS, INPADOC etc.

Searching patents by different field codes such as priority application number, patent assignee, patent country code, patent number, IPC classification etc.

Searching for Chemical, Bio-chemical, Engineering and Design patents. Locating current Legal Status and Patent family as well as patent expiry dates.

Pharmaceutical Information searching

STN offers comprehensive sources of Information for complete life cycle of Drugs development : from Drug Discovery, Clinical Trials, Pharmacology, Drug Launch, Patent Expiry etc Major databases on STN for Pharmaceuticals are Adis R&D Insight (ADISINSIGHT ), Excerpta Medica ( EMBASE), Biological Abstracts (BIOSIS), MEDLINE, IMS LifeCycle- Patent Focus (IMSPATENT ), IMS Drug News (IMSDRUGNEWS), Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industries News ( PHIN ) , Pharmaprojects (PHAR) , Pharmaceutical Substances (PS), Prous Drug Data Report Database (PROUSDDR), Drug Synthesis Database (SYNTHLINE), Chemical Abstracts (CAPLUS), CAS Registry etc.

In this workshop, you will learn :

Content and coverage of major Pharmaceutical databases.

Reaction schemes for synthesis of drugs and preparation methods of industrially significant API’s.

Drugs in pipeline for various therapeutic areas and their highest development stage.

Drugs launched in several countries.

Searching for drug formulation, toxicology, pharmacology information.

Locating pharmaceutical Patents and their expiry dates as well as expiry comments.

Engineering Information searching

STN covers all aspects of engineering (mechanical, chemical, electronics, computers etc) and related disciplines – including journal articles as well as patents. Major engineering databases on STN are COMPENDEX (All Engineering), INSPEC (for Electrical, Electronics, Physics) ,WPINDEX (Patents from Derwent), METADEX (Metals/Alloys), MECHENG (Mechanical Engg), CAPLUS (Chemical Engineering), AEROSPACE (Aeronautics), BIOENG (Biotechnology & Bioengineering) etc.

In this workshop, you will learn :

How engineering information has been organized on STN.

Content and coverage of major Engineering Databases. Comprehensive Multifile searching.

Developing comprehensive search strategies using similar concepts, keywords and unique product classification codes.

STN AnaVist

STN AnaVist is powerful interactive Analysis and Visualization Tool (software) that offers a variety of ways to analyze search results, create more than 50 reports/charts/matrix including unique patent/research landscape. It is easy to use, quick and efficient way to add value to your STN answers for presentations, insight and decision making in your team.

This workshop will focus on :

Analyze the patent landscape – determine who, what, where, when, and why.

Track competitive intelligence – find out what your competitors are doing.

Discover new applications for existing technology.

Determine research trends – find whether a particular area of research is on the rise, steady, or declining.

Support strategic business planning.