Support

STN Pocket Guide

Welcome to STN®!

This page 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.

    STNext

    Visit STNext. Enter your STN login ID and password.

     


    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.

    Command

    Resource

    ANALYZE and TABULATE

    ANALYZE and TABULATE for Statistical Analysis

    ARCHIVE and REDISTRIBUTE

    The STN Information Keep & Share ProgramSM

    ALERT (SDI)

    Current Awareness User Guide

    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.

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    Let us know how we can best serve you.