Annual Report 2012
Program Highlights

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)

CAS ― the World's Authority for Chemical Information

As the only organization in the world solely dedicated to finding, collecting and organizing all publicly disclosed chemical information, CAS serves chemical, pharmaceutical and bio-medical companies as well as universities, government organizations and patent offices around the world with the most comprehensive and authoritative sources of curated and quality controlled chemical and related information. By combining its databases with advanced search and analysis technologies (e.g., SciFinder® and STN®), CAS delivers the most current, complete, secure, and interlinked digital information environment for scientific discovery.

In 2012, CAS continued extraordinary database growth, analyzing more than 1.4 million patents, journal articles and other disclosed research sources, for a new total of more than 36 million records. Updated daily, the CAS reaction database saw even greater gains, with growth exceeding 9.1 million new reactions. Because of the work of the more than 1,000 scientists around the world who assemble, curate, and assure the quality of the CAS databases, researchers can also explore the largest collection of disclosed chemical synthesis information, including more than 47 million single- and multi-step reactions from 1840 to the present.  CAS added thousands of experimental procedures from three high-impact Taylor & Francis journals and also updated SciFinder® with nearly 200,000 additional experimental NMR spectra to help scientists better characterize and identify substances.  Front page graphics from USPTO and structure graphic additions for the CAS Markush database provide additional structure data.  CAS now provides access to more than 4 million experimental procedures for reactions from prestigious publishers including all ACS Publications journals, Taylor and Francis top synthetic titles, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry journals, and patents from the USPTO, European Patent Office, World Intellectual Property Organization, the Japanese Patent Office and the German Patent Office.

The CAS REGISTRY℠ is the world’s largest collection of small molecules.  In December 2012, CAS celebrated registration of the 70 millionth substance in the CAS REGISTRY℠, just 18 months after registering the 60 millionth substance. This potential T-type calcium channel blocker, disclosed in the patent application published by KIPO in Korea, may be useful in the treatment of epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, dementia, and other conditions. CAS REGISTRY℠ also contains more than 64 million sequences. The continual growth and updating of organic and inorganic substances in the CAS REGISTRY℠ database is reported with the REGISTRY counter on the newly-designed CAS website home page. This growth has been complemented by CAS’s expanding coverage of predicted and experimental property values, spectra, and data tags, to more than 3.8 billion by year-end.

CAS patent authority coverage expanded to include Eurasia in 2012. CAS now covers 63 patent authorities worldwide to ensure comprehensive patent information within its databases.  In addition, multiple basics coverage was extended to include patents from all covered authorities.  Scientists can now also uncover more disclosed chemistry in SciFinder® thanks to the backfile addition of Markush structure-containing patents from 1987 to the present.

Enhancements to SciFinder® Improve Researchers’ Workflow, Convenience, and Productivity

Major updates to the web version of SciFinder® during 2012 provided scientists with new capabilities to further their research. 

  • New commercial sourcing features enable researchers to quickly link to, analyze and sort chemical sources by pricing and availability.
  • CAS expanded its collection of synthetic chemistry and reactions information in SciFinder® with the addition of experimental procedures from Japanese and German patents (2008–present) as well as from Taylor & Francis journals (1998–present).
  • SciFinder® users can now search substances by individual experimental or predicted property, and chemists can target results more efficiently by locating compounds with specific property characteristics.
  • Substance searchers now benefit from the convenience of inputting a CAS Registry Number to the structure editor in SciFinder®.  Instead of relying solely on their drawing ability, users can rely on the most widely recognized substance identifier to accurately produce a model for structure-based searching.
  • From multiple points within SciFinder®, users can quickly view details related to a select substance or reference using Quick View. This view makes scanning large answer sets easier.
  • A new default role (reactant) assigned to the substance or fragment to the left of the reaction arrow improves the precision of reaction searches (the former reactant/reagent role is still an option).
  • Researchers can quickly evaluate synthesis options and preferred pathways by grouping reaction answers by transformation type.
  • New SciPlanner™ import and export options let researchers share synthesis plans with other SciFinder® users.
  • The “Remember me” feature at login allows users to remain signed in to SciFinder® for more convenient access.

A new tagline was established for SciFinder®, the choice for chemistry research™.  This reflects the fact that customers rely on SciFinder® for their chemistry research and builds on the value of chemistry as the central science.  An ad campaign using this tagline was developed to position SciFinder® as the most important tool for chemistry research, with access to the most comprehensive and trustworthy chemistry-related content from CAS. 

Organizations around the globe rely on SciFinder® for accurate, timely chemistry and related information.  In 2012, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library collaborated with CAS to provide enterprise-wide access to SciFinder® so scientists across NIH can now have on-demand access to the most complete and authoritative chemistry content in the world.  In addition, academic institutions around the world continued converting to the SciFinder® Unlimited Access Plan, including the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), which comprises 39 academic institutions in Australia, including the University of Melbourne, Australian National University and the University of Sydney.  

ACS Publications and CAS Jointly Introduce Reference QuickView

Reference QuickView is a dynamic new feature powered by SciFinder® that enables readers of web content to view directly the text of abstracts linked to bibliographic citations within an ACS Publications journal article or book chapter. Readers viewing the full-text HTML version of an ACS article can scan abstracts from the broader literature, across millions of citations drawn from a broad array of scientific disciplines covered by CAS. Navigational features facilitate quick review of an article’s references and corresponding abstracts. Links to the Reference QuickView display are placed conveniently in-line within footnotes found in the article text.

Outstanding Ph.D. Students Representing 12 Countries Participate in the SciFinder® Future Leaders in Chemistry Program

CAS selected 15 Ph.D. students in the chemical sciences for the 2012 SciFinder® Future Leaders in Chemistry program. Each of these students demonstrated academic excellence, a commitment to research and an appreciation of chemical information, as evidenced through their exceptional essays and impressive letters of recommendation, distinguishing them among the hundreds of students who applied. Since 2010, the SciFinder® Future Leaders in Chemistry program, formerly the SciFinder® Academic Exchange Program, has served as an intensive mini-university where graduate students from around the world exchange ideas and experiences in chemistry and informatics. Participants in the program have the unique opportunity to share their insights on chemical information and learn from their peers.

CAS and its STN® Partner, FIZ Karlsruhe, are Revolutionizing Patent Searching with a New STN®, The Choice of Patent Experts

In December, CAS and FIZ-Karlsruhe announced that Version One of the new STN® platform was made available in beta for fixed fee customers. This was the first major milestone in a multi-year initiative to create the next generation of STN®--The Choice of Patent Experts™.

The focus of this first version was on developing the core search and retrieval system for the new STN®. This release combines the complete CAS REGISTRY℠ and Chemical Abstracts content along with Thomson Reuters’ Derwent World Patents Index® and powerful new search features to support preliminary searches in these key areas:

  • Chemistry and general technology research
  • Intellectual property, such as basic novelty and prior art
  • Due diligence
  • First pass freedom to operate

A new approach for STN® is to allow organization of work in projects for easy management of search queries and results. New technologies are designed to process broad and complex searches with industry-leading performance.
A new ad campaign was also launched to reinforce STN®’s role as the professional search tool.  The theme of the campaign is It’s hard to get professional results with amateur tools.  The STN® marketing campaign is targeted to professional searchers and appears in print and digital media in North America, Europe, Asia, and China.