What are some tips for using a chemical formula search engine?


Quick Answer

Some tips offered by the Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship website on how to accurately search the Chemical Abstracts Service online inorganic compound chemical formula search engine include drawing each component of an inorganic structure as a separate entity and utilizing registry numbers from supplier catalogs. PubChem's tips on how to use its structure search tool to search its database of chemical compounds include suggestions such as using appropriate formula input methods and searching with a saved query.

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Full Answer

ISTL provides six general guidelines and tips on how to properly use CAS's SciFinder inorganic substance search system. Advice posted on its website, at ISTL.org, centers on how to use the correct search terms and methods, and includes information on proper molecular formula naming conventions. One tip offered by the website is to first search for a more well-known, analogous substance when trying to locate an esoteric material.

The Help page for PubChem's Structure Search tool contains several tips on how to more efficiently search for chemicals and offers information on the structural data input methods of the website's chemical formula search engine. PubChem recommends using substructure, superstructure and molecular formula input methods to get the most use out of the search engine. PubChem also reminds users that both 2D and 3D chemical structure information can be used to locate materials.

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