STN Pocket Guide

STN LogoSTN Pocket Guide

 

 

Welcome to STN®!

With your STN login ID and password, you can use all the STN interfaces: 

Interface

Type of Searching

STN Express®

Command-line searching with desktop software

STN® on the WebSM

Command-line searching over the web

STN® AnaVist™

Analysis and visualization with desktop software

STN Easy®

Point-and-click web searching of a subset of STN databases

STN® Viewer™

Patent management and evaluation tool

 

This guide highlights the basic features for STN command-line searching. The information is arranged in the order that you may encounter questions, beginning with logging on to STN and ending with logoff. 


Table of Contents

Logging on to STN

Boolean Operators

System Limits

Entering Databases

Numeric Operators

Online Help

Basic Commands

Proximity Operators

Additional Commands

Stacking Commands

Order of Application of Operators

Logging Off

Truncation and Character Masking Symbols

Displaying Costs

 

 

Logging on to STN 

Follow these instructions to log on to STN.

Interface

To Log On

STN Express

Install and launch the software.  The STN Setup Wizard starts automatically.

For additional information on connecting, visit STN Express Support.

STN on the Web

Visit STN on the Web. Enter your STN login ID and password.

 

For the most up-to-date information on connecting, visit STN Support.


Entering Databases

At an arrow prompt (=>), use the FILE command to specify databases or clusters:

  • For a list of STN databases, enter HELP FILE NAMES.
  • For a list of STN database clusters, enter HELP CLUSTER NAMES.

To Enter

Follow FILE With

Example

Single database

Database name

FILE BIOSIS

Multiple databases

Database names separated by spaces or commas

FILE BIOSIS MEDLINE EMBASE

Predefined database cluster

Cluster name

  • To add a database, include it after the cluster name.
  • To remove a database, use the minus sign (-).

FILE POLYMERS
FILE PATENTS HCA -CA

 

Basic Commands

STN has two versions of command language:

  • NOVICE (at least the first four letters of the command) you are prompted for all information necessary to process the command.
  • EXPERT (the first three letters of the command, and in some cases just the first letter) you are not prompted for additional information, so you should supply all information that is not a default option.

Command 

Function

Example

FILE
FIL 

Enter a database or cluster to search or display records. 

FILE REGISTRY
FIL TOXICOLOGY 

EXPAND
E
EXPAND BACK
E BACK

Look at the index around a term; 12 terms are shown by default. To continue down the same index, enter E at the next arrow prompt. To expand in the reverse direction, enter E BACK followed by a term.

E YATES C/AU
E YATES, C/AU
E BACK METHYL 

SEARCH

Perform a search. If AUTOSEARCH is set to ON, the SEARCH command is assumed.

S MOTORIST 
ACID RAIN

DISPLAY
D

Display answers. Nonconsecutive answer numbers must be separated by commas or spaces. 

D1-10,15,21
D L6 1 TI AB 

PRINT 

Print answers by delivering them to an email address. You are prompted for all information. 

PRINT 

LOGOFF
LOG Y  

End the session.  

LOGOFF
LOG Y 

LOGOFF HOLD
LOG H   

End the session and hold your entire search session for 120 minutes at no charge.

LOGOFF HOLD
LOG H
 

 

Stacking Commands

To enter multiple commands at once, separate the commands with semicolons.

=> S GRAVITY OR GRAVITATION; D TI; FILE INSPEC


Truncation and Character Masking Symbols

Use the symbols below to allow for variability in your search terms.

Symbol

Definition

Example

Retrieves

  ?

  • Any number of characters to the right of the term
  • Used only once in a term, usually at the end

ALUM?  

ALUM
ALUMINA
ALUMINUM, etc. 

  !

  • Exactly one character at the designated position
  • Can be used multiple times in a term
  • Used anywhere except at the beginning of a term 

THERMOLYS!S  

THERMOLYSIS 
THERMOLYSES

  #

  • One or zero characters at the designated position
  • Can be used multiple times in a term
  • Used at the end of the term only

CASEIN### 

CASEIN 
CASEINS
CASEINATE, etc. 

 

Left truncation or simultaneous left-and-right truncation is available in some fields in some databases. See the STN Database Summary Sheets for more information.


Boolean Operators

Use Boolean operators to combine search terms.

Operator

Function

Example

AND

Answers must include both terms

S ACID AND RAIN

NOT

Answers must include the first term
and may not include the second term

S BLOOD NOT PLASMA

OR

Answers must include at least one term

S (FIBER or FIBRE)
S (L1, L3, L5)
S (E1-3, E7)

 

Notes:

  • Spacing around the Boolean operators is required.
  • Always place parentheses around an expression of terms that is combined by the OR operator.
  • A comma (,) or hyphen (-) can be used in place of an OR operator with L-number or E-number search terms. No spaces are allowed around the comma or hyphen.

Numeric Operators

Use the operators below to specify values and ranges.

Operator

Function

Example

/ or =

Search for a single value.

S 20060400/UP 

-

Search for a range of values.

S 3-5/FE 

<

Search for values less than a specific value.

S PY<1967  

>

Search for values greater than a specific value.

S ED>20060211 

>= or =>

Search for values greater than a specific value.

S FW>=600

<= or =<

Search for values less than or equal to a specific value.

S PD<=19980100

 

Notes:

  • Numeric operators can be used only in fields that contain numeric data.
  • Spaces can be included around numeric operators if desired.

Proximity Operators

Use the operators below to specify proximity between or among search terms.

Operator

Function

Example

(W) or space

Terms must be adjacent and in the order specified.

S NUCLEAR(W)REACTOR
S ACID RAIN

(nW)

Terms must be adjacent and in the order specified with n or fewer intervening terms.

S OIL(1W)WATER

(xW)

Terms must appear in the order specified with any number of intervening terms.

S NITRO(XW)PHENYL  

(A)  

Terms must be adjacent but in any order.

S SHALE(A)OIL

(nA)  

Terms must be adjacent but in any order with n or fewer intervening terms.

S TOXICITY(2A)FISH

(xA)  

Terms may appear in any order with any number of intervening terms.

S CHLORO(XA)METHYL

(S)

Terms must occur within the same "sentence" or subfield.

S PLANET(S)DISTANCE 

(nS)

Terms must occur n or fewer "sentences" or subfields apart.

S NITROGEN(3S)PUMP

(P)

Terms must occur within the same "paragraph".

S ANION(P)CHROMATOG? 

(nP)

Terms must occur within the same "paragraph".

S ELECTRICAL(1P)WIRE 

(L)

Terms must occur in same information unit.

S 10024-97-2(L)DENTAL 

 

Notes:

  • Both the letter for the operator and the parentheses are required for all proximity operators.
  • Spaces can be included around proximity operators if desired.
  • A space can be used in place of (W) in the Basic Index and sometimes other fields that have individually indexed terms, e.g., S ACID RAIN.  
  • For information about how an operator works in a specific database, enter HELP followed by the operator in parentheses, e.g., HELP (X), within the database.

Order of Application of Operators

Each search statement is processed left to right, in the following order based on the operators that combine the search terms.

1. Terms in parentheses

2. Terms combined with a numeric operator (=, <, >, >=, <=, -)

3. Terms combined with (W) or (A)

4. Terms combined with (S)

5. Terms combined with (P)

6. Terms combined with (L)

7. Terms combined with AND or NOT

8. Terms combined with OR (not in parentheses)

 

Displaying Costs

Use the commands below to view cost information.

Command

Function

Notes

FILE and LOGOFF

Display the full estimated cost of your current session.

Cost displays automatically after these commands are entered. To turn off the automatic display, enter SET COST OFF.

D COST

View the breakdown of costs for the current session.

Enter HELP SET COST for information on options for the cost display: ON, BRIEF, and FULL.

SET ACCOUNT*

Control how your costs are listed on your monthly invoice.

Enter HELP SET ACCOUNT for more information.

 

*Example:
=> SET ACCOUNT
ENTER COST CENTER (NONE):RESEARCH LAB
COST CENTER SETTING WILL TAKE EFFECT WITH THE NEXT SUCCESSFUL FILE COMMAND
SET COMMAND COMPLETED
 

System Limits

Enter HELP LIMITS for the most current information on system limits. For help after receiving an error or system limit message, enter HELP (or ?) at the next arrow prompt.

Type

Limit

What To Do 

Number of L-numbers in an online session 

999

Save queries and/or answer sets. Use DELETE HISTORY to delete any or all L-numbers.

Total number of answers per database per online session 

8,000,000 

Save queries and/or answer sets if desired. Enter DELETE HISTORY to delete L-numbers. 

Total number of characters in a search statement 

20,000 

Divide search into smaller search statements. 

Total number of answers in saved answer sets 

400,000 

Delete any unwanted saved answer sets.
 

Total number of saved answer sets 

200 

Delete any unwanted saved answer sets.
 

Total number of saved queries 

800 

Delete any unwanted saved queries.

Total number of saved L-number lists 

100 

Delete any unwanted saved lists. 

 

Online Help

Use HELP (or ?) commands to view system and database-specific information.

Command

Topic

Use

HELP MESSAGES

How to use the various commands and features available on STN

At any arrow prompt

HELP FILE NAMES

Databases available on STN

At any arrow prompt

NEWS FILE

Information about when a particular database was last updated

In a specific database

HELP DIRECTORY

Database-specific help messages

In a specific database

HELP CONTENT

Coverage and content of a database

In a specific database

HELP COST

Cost of searching a database

In a specific database

HELP SFIELDS 

Search fields in a database

In a specific database

HELP DFIELDS 

Display fields in a database

In a specific database

HELP FORMAT 

Fixed display formats in a database

In a specific database 

HELP PRINT

Explanation of a command, e.g., the PRINT command 

At any arrow prompt

HELP COMMANDS 

List of commands available within a database  

In a specific database

 

In addition, you can enter a ? at a prompt to receive further clarification whenever you receive a message from STN.


Additional Commands

Use these commands for additional functionality.

Command 

Function

Example

ACTIVATE
ACT
 

Recall saved queries (/Q), saved answer sets (/A), and saved L-number lists (/L) for use in the current sessions.  

ACT CONTRACT/Q

ACT NMR/A

ANALYZE
ANA

Extract terms from display fields in an answer set for statistical analysis.  For a list of fields that may be used, enter HELP EFIELDS in the database.

ANA L1 PA 1- 

ARCHIVE

Purchase the right to store STN search results for up to n users within your worldwide organization.

ARCHIVE 100 10

ARC 100 10

DELETE
DEL  

Delete saved items or items in the current session. To delete all L-numbers in an online session, enter DELETE HISTORY. 

ANA L1 PA 1- 

DISPLAY BROWSE

Browse through an answer set. You can view consecutive answers, nonconsecutive answers, change formats, and view additional answers without reentering the DISPLAY command.

DISPLAY BROWSE L4

D BRO

DISPLAY COST

D COST 

Display the estimated cost of your session. Options are ON, BRIEF, and FULL.  

D COST
D COST FULL

 

DISPLAY HISTORY

D HISTORY 

Display the session history: summary of the databases entered, commands that have been used, and the information associated with them. 

D HISTORY
D HIS L1-L10
D HIS L#
 

DISPLAY SAVED
D SAVED 

Display the session history: summary of the databases entered, commands that have been used, and the information associated with them. 

D SAVED
D SAVED/A

DUPLICATE

Remove or identify duplicate records from one or more answer sets.

DUPLICATE REM L5

DUP IDE L1 L2

FOCUS
FOC

Sort answers in relevance order.  

FOCUS L1 

HELP
?

Request online help. Enter HELP and a command name for information about how to use a specific command. Enter HELP MESSAGES for a list of all online help messages available.  

HELP PRINT
HELP MESSAGE
 

INDEX
IND  

Access STNindex and identify the databases to be searched. 

INDEX ALLBIBIND CA SCISEARCH 

NEWS
NEW  

Display current news headlines on STN. To see one of the news items, enter NEWS followed by the number or name of the news item. 

NEWS 
NEWS 10
NEWS FILE

ORDER 

Order an original document or copy from a Document Delivery Service. Prompts guide you through the process. 

ORDER 

REDISTRIBUTE

Purchase the right to redistribute STN search results for up to n users within your worldwide organization.

REDISTRIBUTE 250 5

RED 250 5

SAVE
SAV
SAVE ALL 

Save an L-numbered query, answer set, or L-number list in your long-term storage. A monthly fee is charged for saved items. You must enter an L-number and a name ending in /Q for a query, /A for an answer set, or /L for an L-number list.  

SAVE L15 COMPUTER/Q
SAV L1 TOX/A
SAVE ALL C13/L 

SAVE TEMP
SAV TEMP 

Save an L-numbered query, answer set, or L-number list on a temporary basis. You must assign a name that ends with /Q for query, /A for an answer set, or /L for an L-number list. 

SAV TEMP L5 NMR/A

SCREEN
SCR

Define a screen number for searching. This command is available only in some structure-searchable databases. 

SCREEN 2043 

ALERT or SDI

Request that searches be run automatically by STN at database updates. In databases that have SDI service, additional prompts appear.

ALERT

SDI 

SELECT

Extract terms from display fields that can then be used as search terms. For a list of fields that may be used, enter HELP EFIELDS in the database.

SELECT L1 1-5 RN

SELECT L1 1-5 RN

SET

Set various terminal parameters and options. Enter HELP SET for a list of all the SET options.

SET STEPS ON
SET COST OFF PERM

SORT
SOR 

Sort answers by field codes.
 

SORT L2 CS AU 

TABULATE

TAB

Correlate analyzed terms from two fields.

TAB L2 CS PY 

TRANSFER
TRA 

Extract terms from display fields in an answer set for searching.

TRA L1 PN 1- 

 

For more information:

  • Enter HELP, followed by the name of the command, e.g., HELP ANALYZE.
  • See the following Quick Reference Cards:

Command

Quick Reference Card

ANALYZE and TABULATE

ANALYZE and TABULATE for Statistical Analysis

ARCHIVE and REDISTRIBUTE

The STN Information Keep & Share ProgramSM

ALERT (SDI)

  • Current-awareness Alerts in a Single Database
  • Current-awareness Alerts  (SDIs) in Multiple Databases
  • Current-Awareness Alerts (SMARTracker) in CAS REGISTRYSM and CAplusSM

INDEX

INDEX for Evaluating Databases and Searches

TRANSFER

TRANSFER for Crossfile Searching

 

Logging off

Use one of these commands to log off from STN.

Command

Function

Example

LOGOFF

End a session and be prompted whether to delete all queries and answer sets.

=> LOGOFF

ALL L# QUERIES AND ANSWER SETS ARE DELETED AT LOGOFF

LOGOFF? (Y)/N/HOLD:Y

STN INTERNATIONAL LOGOFF AT 15:32:50 ON 03 APR 2006

LOG Y

End a session. All queries and answer sets are automatically deleted.

=> LOG Y

STN INTERNATIONAL LOGOFF AT 15:32:50 ON 03 APR 2006

LOGOFF HOLD
LOG H

Hold your entire session for up to 120 minutes at no charge. To restart your session, log on as you normally would.

=> LOG H

SESSION WILL BE HELD FOR 120 MINUTES

STN INTERNATIONAL SESSION SUSPENDED AT 15:31:53 ON 03 APR 2010

 

If you do not log off, you will continue to be charged connect-hour fees. You will be automatically disconnected after 40 minutes of inactivity.

Contact Us

E-mail   Phone & Fax
help@cas.org   800-753-4227 (North America)
    614-447-3700 (Worldwide)
    614-447-3751 (Fax)