Priceless Key – An Interview with Craig Stephens, Vice President of Sales at CAS
By Emily Tan (China IP)
Updated: 2015-09-09

Priceless Key – An Interview with Craig Stephens, Vice President of Sales at CAS

Big data has been increasingly talked about in recent years and is used to describe and define massive data generated in an information explosion era. We have entered the big data era unknowingly and while it brings new challenges to humankind’s ability to control, it also offers unprecedented potential for people to acquire deeper and more comprehensive insights. To analyze and epurate massive data so as to maximize data value is the critical factor to develop data value in the big data era.

The database, as a place for storing a large amount of data, plays an important role in driving the development of the entire industry and changing humanity. Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) builds the world’s largest curated chemical information repositories. When talking about CAS, Robert H. Grubbs, a Nobel Prize winner and a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, said: “When the inspiration comes and you can have a quick retrieval of important chemical information, the value is immeasurable. CAS improves the efficiency of the process of research, which can help you retrieve fast before your inspiration disappears.” CAS is considered the key to the world of chemistry and chemical references. In order to better understand this priceless key, China IP interviewed Craig Stephens, Vice President of Sales at CAS during his visit in China.

Key to Global Chemistry References

CAS is a division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a congressionally chartered independent membership organization which represents professionals at all levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences which involve chemistry. Founded in 1907, CAS helps scientists get valuable information from literature published by others by procuring, summarizing and indexing chemistry-related literature from around the world. For more than 100 years, CAS has been covering the world’s disclosed chemistry and related research and is recognized as providing the most important and broadly used retrieval solutions for chemistry and related sciences. Thousands of universities, Fortune 500 companies and the world’s leading patent offices are using CAS solutions to acquire comprehensive, timely and reliable information for their scientific research.

When choosing a research solution, users mainly consider two factors: reliability and usability. This is how Craig Stephens explained the CAS approach. He said, “CAS has developed and utilized stringent guidelines to ensure that reputable research is included in the CAS databases. A team of global scientists apply guidelines in collecting, organizing and analyzing information to ensure CAS delivers the most complete and effective digital information environment for scientific research and discovery.

CAS provides leading retrieval and analysis tools (SciFinder® and STN®) with access to the world’s most reliable and largest collection of substances, reactions, and journal and patent references. We are continuously enhancing our services to assure they integrate effectively into researchers’ workflows for ease of use and increased effectiveness.”

Complete, Accurate, Reliable

Besides the comprehensive content provided by CAS, ACS also provides membership services, ACS Publications, and a host of educational and outreach offerings. ACS offers exceptional benefits for its members to further researchers’ careers and enhance scientific discoveries. Among its benefits, members receive special personal access to key ACS resources and many other exciting professional development and networking benefits.

Craig Stephens said ACS Publications manages the scholarly publishing program of the world’s largest and most influential scientific society. Every year over 100,000 authors and their research teams from the community of scientists worldwide submit their work for consideration, review, and publication to ACS Publications. Noted for their high quality, rapid time to publication, seminal and high impact, and prevalent citation in future research, ACS journals are available at more than 5,000 academic, business, and corporate institutions worldwide. In addition, over 158,000 ACS members have access to some articles from ACS journals as a membership benefit. ACS editors are all independent and active scientific researchers, highly published in their respective fields of inquiry. Publications support more than 400 editorial offices at leading research universities and government-funded laboratories throughout the world to ensure the integrity, global reach and expertise of its peer-review process.

In addition, CAS also provides strategic support for information professionals who trust STN® for unique content, powerful and precision searching, and proven reliability trusted and relied upon by patent offices, including SIPO and IP professionals worldwide, STN is the premier single source for the world’s disclosed scientific and technical research. It is the only platform with the complete CAS content, Derwent World Patents Index® (DWPISM) and INPADOC family of databases. The STN family of products combines industry-leading search and retrieval with unique and comprehensive content. Whether it is the creation or the application of intellectual property, decisions must be based upon the usage of reliable patent information. Only STN offers accurate, precise searching to ensure your intellectual property search is comprehensive and reliable.

CAS in China

China’s rapid growth in all areas is obvious, including chemistry information. Craig Stephens said CAS recognizes the increasing significance of China as a source of reliable chemistry information that has been collected in the CAS databases. Chinese scientists have made great contributions to global chemistry developments, especially in terms of patent activity, and CAS is honored to partner with so many organizations in China to help advance this important research. This is one of the major reasons why CAS joined with other divisions of the ACS to establish an ACSI office in Beijing.

On August 4, 2014, CAS announced the establishment of the ACSI Beijing office, under the leadership of Ms. Caroline Ma, to enhance support for customers. With China’s increasing commitment to technology development, having this dedicated representation positions CAS to better satisfy the needs of Chinese technologists and patent searchers by providing them with the highest quality chemistry and related scientific information. Compared to rapidly emerging Chinese databases, CAS has unrivaled benefits including native language publication. According to Craig Stephens, coverage of research in the originally published language is a CAS strength, because its scientists analyze published research literature from 50 native languages to ensure the accurate capturing of information that is vital to the work of researchers. Considering some of the key global markets including China and Japan, CAS collaborates with professional local teams to better serve customers in areas such as training and support, as well as to provide local language websites where customers can download useful training materials and product information.

CAS is the only organization in the world whose objective is to find, collect and organize all publicly disclosed chemical substance information for chemistry and related sciences, including biomedical sciences, engineering, materials science, agricultural science and many other fields. Important research discoveries are disclosed all around the world every day, so a researcher needs to have global coverage to maximize his or her efficiency. The CAS databases include worldwide coverage of thousands of active scientific journals, patents from 63 patent authorities plus patent families, citations and more. This information is accessed using advanced technologies that help scientists quickly find critical information that accelerates their research.

With SciFinder® and STN® scientists and information professionals can perform research by searching substances, reactions, structures, references, find chemical suppliers, assure intellectual property needs, and synthesize research pathways so that these can be shared with colleagues. On the other hand, CAS editorial scientists provide added value: highlighting key scientific concepts and adding detailed indexing terminology covering all areas of science; extracting comprehensive information on newly disclosed substances; and building connections between related documents, substances, reactions, citations and Markush representations.

Craig Stephens said CAS offers tailored solutions and the high quality service to Chinese customers based on their reality and issues. It is important for customers in China to have access to the same content and services that the rest of the world relies on for chemistry and related research, so that any Chinese organization can benefit from global research and can develop their own competitive edge. “If an organization has a unique need,” he said, “we encourage you to contact our representatives to discuss ways CAS can help. CAS widely cooperates with local Chinese organizations and universities through such initiatives, and provides extensive information and competitive insight to advance innovation. CAS also brings cutting edge ideas from scientists and professors around the world to assure organizations in China are competitive.”

The CAS products and services have been recognized by a broad range of Chinese customers. In recent years, China has increased its input in scientific research, meanwhile Chinese scientists’ need for information has grown rapidly. Many Chinese and multinational corporations in China employ SciFinder® and STN® to advance their research and development initiatives. CAS has provided superior service for Chinese universities and research institutions. Also, it provides students and researchers with tools to drive their innovation and studies. The Chinese National Intellectual Property Bureau is just one example.

In 2015, CAS introduced innovative new solutions both within SciFinder® and to assist companies in meeting regulatory requirements. PatentPak is a robust, new patent workflow solution available in SciFinder®. Designed to radically reduce time spent acquiring and searching through multiple patents to find vital chemistry, PatentPak saves users up to half the time they spend researching patents by providing instant access to hard-to-find chemistry in patents and patent families in languages users know. NCI Global provides regulatory information to manufacture, import, export or transport chemicals. With inventories and regulatory lists organized by country and updated weekly, regulatory professionals can get the most timely and accurate information to make compliance reporting easier.

“CAS has long been working with organizations throughout China, including chemical and pharmaceutical companies, universities, government organizations and patent offices,” said Mr. Stephens, “The cooperation model is based on mutual benefits, and CAS is planning to work with more top domestic research institutions in China, delivering new solutions for researchers well into the future.”

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