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Searching SciFinder Scholar with CAS Registry Numbers

:: We are new to SciFinder Scholar at the University of Alberta. of the Millikan Library at CalTech, in Pasadena CA, has been using it for some time, and shares his thoughts on a specific type of search using the product:

    While SciFinder Scholar is an enormous convenience, it can be a little misleading.

    I had a user who was looking for analytical techniques for the determination of Aurintricarboxylic Acid or any of its salts, and he had a registry number 569-58-4 (which turned out to be for the tri-ammonium salt).

    Retrieving the REG File record for 569-58-4, listed a variety of synonyms including: Aurintricarboxylic acid triammonium salt and Triammonium aurintricarboxylate

    Searching for 'Aurintricarboxylic', as a substance identifier which retrieves three compounds with references (the Barium and ammonium salts, and the free acid)

Searching for 'Aurintricarboxylate', retrieves 8 compounds (5 rare earth coordination complexes (e.g. 75010-07-0) and the Beryllium, ethylenediamine and ammonium salts).

Seeing this discrepancy, suggested that I check the CA Chemical Substance Index (in print), where I found the Sodium salt ... The Sodium salt didn't show up in the previous searches because the only REG File synonyms are: C.I. Mordant Violet 39, trisodium salt (8CI); C.I. 43810; C.I. Mordant Violet 39; Chrome Violet G; Mordant Violet 39.

Copying the structure of the Ammonium salt into the 'structure editor' and deleting the 'ammonium ions' and, doing an exact search, only retrieves the polymer and the Acid. If you go back and include 'component of a larger system', you will retrieve the substances mentioned above (plus some more) but not the coordination compounds.

Searching with the structure copied from a coordination compound: 75010-07-0 and changing the metal to 'any metal' retrieves 28 substances (with many having synonyms named as a metal complex (e.g. Benzoic acid, 5-[(3-carboxy-4-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl)(3-carboxy-4-oxo-2,5-cyclohexadien-1- ylidene)methyl]-2-hydroxy-3-methyl-, holmium complex) instead of the form used for the 5 retrieved above (e.g., Gadolinium aurintricarboxylate).

It is results like these that make me hesitant to send the CA Collective Chemical Substance Indexes to storage, since all of the compounds mentioned above could be found listed under the CSI (CA Index Name) heading for Aurintricarboxylic Acid.

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