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The unique command language necessary for searching in STN Express and STN On the Web carries a rather steep learning curve. This fact combined with the time-based online fees means that searching on STN requires a unique searching strategy that may be quite different from what even experienced patent searchers are accustomed to. Users often adopt a strategy of “get in and get out”: sign on to STN, conduct the search quickly (or import a search strategy), save the results, and sign off. This type of strategy is designed to minimize costs while still providing quality results.
Because of the complexity and learning curve associated with the STN command language, the addition of the STN Easy interface is important. Through STN Easy, searchers can access most of the same databases as in STN Express and STN on the Web, but in a much simpler and easier-to-use interface. The new STN interface planned to be released late in 2012 will hopefully greatly improve the usability of the product, with planned improvements like:
- Project-oriented workflow.
- Combined text and structure queries.
- Simultaneous query and results interaction.
- Real-time analysis of results.
- Virtually no system limits.
Refer to the Customer Support section for more information on STN training materials and webinars that are available for users wishing to learn more about searching using the STN family of products. Due to the complexity and somewhat non-intuitive nature of the STN command language environment, training is especially encouraged for those users wishing to become more versed in the features and methods available to the STN user.
- ↑ "New STN® Revolutionizes Patent Searching for Professionals." FIZ Karlsruhe press release. Published October 24, 2011, received via email. Accessed October 24, 2011.