MAKING THE MOST OUT OF CAS ONLINE


        
        1.  DO YOU REALLY NEED AN ONLINE SEARCH?
              The  most  obvious way to save money for  your  CAS  ONLINE 
            allocation  is  to find the information you seek  in  another 
            way.   The Chemistry Library Handbook describes some  of  the 
            more  important printed reference sources.  Online  searching 
            should  not be viewed as the best way to get answers  to  all 
            questions  which  chemists have.  You may want to talk  to  a 
            librarian   (Gary  Wiggins  or  Roger  Beckman)  to   discuss 
            alternative ways of solving your problem.  Everything  you do  
            under the CAS ONLINE program costs money, even though we have
            a substantial discount.  STUDY THE  PRICE  LIST CAREFULLY! 
        
        2.  HAVE YOU PREPARED YOUR SEARCH STRATEGY CAREFULLY BEFORE
            GOING ONLINE?
            a.  Look  for the most appropriate search terms  and  utilize 
                the controlled vocabulary terms effectively.  You  should 
                use  the the Chemical Abstracts Index Guide and may  want 
                to  use  some  of the following which  are  kept  on  the 
                Computer Reference Shelves in our work area.
        
                CA Headings Lists
                           "General Subject Headings"
                           "Plant and Animal Headings"
                The  CA Headings Lists contain all of the  terms  (except 
                chemical  names) used in the 9th - 11th Collective  Index 
                periods  (1972-86).  Terms change from one five  year  CI 
                period  to another.  The Index Guide and these lists  can 
                help you find out what terms to use.
        
                Registry Handbook-Common Names
        
                This microfiche set is kept near the microform reader. By   
                using the set, you can often find the registry number for 
                a compound if you know a name.
        
                "Standard  Abbreviations, Acronyms,  Special  Characters, 
                and   Symbols   in  CAS   Computer-Readable   Files   and 
                Publications"
        
                This  small publication can show you which  abbreviations 
                should be used.  For example, not only should you use the 
                term  "analysis",  but  also  ANAL.   Effective  use   of 
                abbreviations can really help your searching.
        
        3.  BEFORE USING CAS  ONLINE.   
        
            a.  There are CBT guides for searching the CA and Reg files.
                The STN Mentor Laboratory series may be accessed on the
                IBM computers in 006.  These simulate many features of 
                the CAS ONLINE system.
         
            b.  Write  down your search strategy and the commands  needed 
                to  accomplish  your search before going  online.   Think 
                about   the  limitations  you  want  to  impose   (years, 
                language,  document types, etc.) and make sure  you  know 
                how  to  limit  your  answer sets to  just  the  kind  of 
                information  you want.  Do not wait to look this up  when 
                you are online.  However, if the computer does not accept 
                the  command structure you try, use the HELP  command  to 
                find out where you went wrong.
            
            c.  Printing  out  a few references in the SAMPLE format  may 
                help  you select better terms if your  original  strategy 
                does  not  seem to be working as well  as  you  expected. 
                Use of the "DISPLAY SCAN" option can also help.
                EVERY UNNECESSARY SECOND YOU SPEND ONLINE WASTES MONEY!
        
            d.  If at some point during your search you need to  look  up      
                some information to help you, you can use the LOGOFF HOLD       
                command.  This command saves your search strategy for  20   
                minutes  and  actually disconnects  you  from  CAS ONLINE.     
                When you log back on within the 20 minute period, you can   
                resume your search at the point where you entered  LOGOFF    
                HOLD.
        
        
        4.  WHAT  IS THE BEST WAY FOR YOU TO GET A PRINTED COPY OF  YOUR 
            ANSWERS?     
            A  quick glance at the Price List shows that you are  charged 
            more  for  the  more  information  you  actually  print  out.  
            Offline  prints  cost  an additional $0.10 per  item  at  the 
            normal rates.
        
            a.  Printing  an  answer set while online using  the  DISPLAY 
                command  is probably all right if the answer set  is  not 
                more than 100 items.  For any large answer set (more than 
                twenty  answers) in the CA File, you should probably  use 
                the:
        
                                     DISPLAY TI 1-n
        
                command  to be sure that your strategy has  worked.   You 
                can  then select the answer numbers for which you  really 
                want fuller references.
           
            b.  You might  want to consider downloading the answer 
                set  and  printing it later on your  printer.   You  will 
                still generate a cost per item which is dependent on  the 
                format  chosen, but the connect hour fee may be  somewhat 
                reduced.
        
            c.  You may want to use the offline print option  (the  PRINT 
                command).   Under  the  Academic  Program,  the  discount 
                applies  to  offline prints as well as to  online  costs.  
                Therefore, if you can afford to delay (usually no greater 
                than  one week), this is a viable option for answer  sets 
                larger  than 100.  Be aware that if you use the PRINT        
                command while connected through Infogate, the offline 
                prints are sent to the Chemistry Library.
        
        
        5.  IF YOU ARE DOING A REGISTRY FILE SEARCH:
        
            a.  It  is possible to start with the structure  of  a  known 
                compound  for  which you have a  registry  number.   Just 
                enter the registry number at the point where you see:
        
                     ENTER NAME OR STRUCTURE TO BE RECALLED (NONE):
        
            b.  It  is  possible  to start with any of 42 pre-drawn  ring 
                structures,  including  those for  larger  rings,  common 
                fused ring systems, coordination compound fragments,  and 
                boron  cages.  See a librarian for the list of pre-drawn
                structures.
        
            c.  You should always do a sample structure  or  substructure 
                search first.  It's FREE.  Only be doing a sample  search 
                can  you be sure that your full file search will  run  to 
                completion.
        
            d.  As  well as a structure or substructure search, many terms
                can be searched in  the Registry   file.  
                These include  compound  names,   molecular 
                formulas,  element  counts  (may  include  ranges),   and 
                periodic  groups.  These terms may be combined  with  the 
                results  of  a structure search.  
        
            e.  Displaying  the  answers in a "Display Scan"  in  the 
                Registry  File  is  FREE.  You do not  get  the  registry 
                number  in  this format, but you can see retrieved 
                structures.
        
            f.  An  easy  way to search in the CA File for information on 
                the preparation of a compound, on general derivatives  of 
                it,  or on the preparation of derivatives is to  use  /P, 
                /D,  or  /DP after a set number created in  the  Registry 
                File.  For example, Search L5/p.

       
        6.  MISCELLANEOUS
        
            a.  You  may  want  to use a DISPLAY COST command at  several 
                points  during  your  search if you  feel  that  you  are 
                burning  up a lot of money.  Remember when you first  get 
                on to use the commands:
        
                                 FILE CA  Cost=lastname
        
                         or:     FILE REG Cost=lastname
        
                where  lastname  is the first eight  characters  of  your 
                last name.
        
        
            b.  If  you  have  used  the  printed  volume  or  collective 
                indexes  to  Chemical Abstracts to identify a  number  of 
                abstracts,  you  can display them online in  any  format.  
                The  command  takes the form: D ACC 102:12345 .   If  you 
                have  done a manual search on recent  Chemical  Abstracts 
                issues  which are at the bindery, this is an  option  the 
                librarians  can  do for you during the day  on  the  CARS 
                password at no charge to you.
        
            c.  It  is  illegal  for you to keep downloaded records  from 
                the  CAS ONLINE files unless you get a  separate  license 
                agreement  from the Chemical Abstracts Service.  See  one 
                of the librarians for details.
        
            d.  If  you  have any problems with online searching, contact 
                Gary Wiggins or Roger Beckman in the Chemistry Library
                (5-9452).

CCIIM: 31-25.990

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