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Exploring a New Research Solution

Posted on May 19th, 2017 by in Chemical R&D

Chem Gmbh

It’s not unusual to get access to a research solution that you’ve never used before. Moving to a new company or academic institution might involve switching to new solutions. A company might take part in a trial of a product. Trade fair attendees sometimes get to play around with products during workshops or at providers’ stands.

Sometimes a familiar product can even become “new” to users—when an information services provider makes a major upgrade to a research solution, it can feel like a completely new product, especially if the user interface has been redesigned.

Therefore, it’s interesting to consider how you might explore a research solution to see if it meets your needs. What searches would you perform? What would you be looking for in the hit set? Volume of hits? Relevance?

Dr. Carsten Schauerte, managing director of “chemical sleuthing” company solid-chem GmbH, recently had to ask himself those questions. He had the opportunity to trial New Reaxys for two weeks to see if it meets his company’s need for high-quality property data that are ready for analytics.

He explains: “Getting information about polymorphic states of crystals can be difficult and takes a long time. I resort to several sources but most are very specific or require very specific input to get an answer. The Cambridge Structural Database, for example, has over 875,000 entries from X-ray and neutron diffraction analyses. It is a very powerful system, but it builds on single-crystal X-ray diffraction, and I don’t always have that information nor can I easily perform the analysis.

“So, to get a feel for the content of Reaxys, I explored the property data for carbamazepine to see what I could find about its polymorphic states. Its Substance Record includes a broad range of property information. The amount of data probably exceeds what I have found for other polymorphic systems, and because the collated data were determined using multiple techniques, Reaxys eliminates restrictions I have experienced with other platforms.

“Second, further down the list of physical properties we find specific crystal properties and there is a set of references categorized under the description Polymorphism. Clearly, carbamazepine has polymorphs and now I have a manageable set of references that I can examine to learn more. Finally, the property field Crystal System also provides proof of polymorphism since the listed references report different system forms!”

What would be your go-to search to test whether a research solution might be right for you? Would you take a challenging search or a set of simpler, more familiar searches to get the best comparison with the research solutions you know? It’s not just an academic question! You might have the opportunity to try something new at your next trade fair or in your next job!

Dr. Schauerte gave a full interview about his experiences with New Reaxys, including more details about how he explored it and why he believes it’s the right solution for his company. Read the interview


All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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