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The following section contains subjective comments about the system that represent our editor's opinions, and should not be viewed as fact. Editor's opinions include positive and negative judgments about the product written in consideration of wider context, including related products and the industry at large.
Whether it is accessed through Imagination, STN Express, or JChem, MMS can only be used by a professional chemistry searcher who has been trained to understand the system’s nuances. The searcher must have also been trained to use the system’s text-input query building feature, or have access to the Markush TOPFRAG or MarvinSketch programs to build the desired chemical structure.
It should be noted that the system is not a complex one merely because of its command line environment or text query building features, but also because of the Markush DARC search software itself. Casual use of the MMS structure-building features that introduce variability, such as free sites, G-groups, and superatoms may result in a massive results set; searchers should be trained to use these features wisely and construct queries as narrowly as they can (while still addressing search objectives), and they should also be trained to conduct sample searches and review their results before the full search takes place. Because the results of an MMS search are Derwent or Pharm bibliographic records, and the user must pay to view each records, large results sets or erroneous queries can get very expensive on this kind of system, very quickly.
Interacting with the system using a command line environment is not always easy – there are many commands to learn and remember. Fortunately, Questel’s Imagination software simplifies this process to some extent when it comes to viewing results on Questel, through “wizards” that allow users to choose to see search results without having to input commands, and a format of interactive expandable/collapsable data fields in the record displays. For more information, see Compound Numbers and View Focus, above.
Users of the JChem platform will have an easier time searching and viewing MMS records through the graphical interface, but users need training to fully understand and utilize the many useful features available through the platform, like Markush enumeration, Markush hit reduction (described in Compound Numbers and View Focus), and filtration of enumerated structures (described in Analyzing Results) .
Successful training on MMS is not the work of a day. Fortunately, the Questel staff can provide support, and in some cases, trial periods, to allow users to gain confidence when using the system. Users can obtain 14-day free evaluation licenses for testing the Markush search add-on for JChem, or users can test the function directly on the ChemAxon website. ChemAxon also offers a wide range of support material, described in Customer Support.