Image Search Makes Debut on Science.gov

The 5.0 Version of Science.gov has been updated to include a keyword searchable image database. This development is in its nascent stages, but gives users access to three initial databases. Science.gov is a U.S. government-run website and search system that queries more than 42 separate databases and over 2000 selected websites, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information, including research and development results. This treasure trove could be important to you as part of a non-patent prior art search, so stick around and find more about the image searching capabilities of Science.gov and more!


At the inception of the image searching feature, Science.gov provides access to the following three databases:

  • The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) Library of Images from the Environment (LIFE) – serving well-documented images of nature contributed by individuals and organizations.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA ) Image eXchange (NIX) – The NASA Image eXchange (NIX) is a web-based search engine for searching one or more of NASA’s online multimedia collections.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Photo Library -Includes weather and space images, images of shore and coastal seas and of thousands of marine species.

These databases feature a non-traditional host of prior art that can be used in a search, since many of the images are dated. For example, here’s a image of a solar collector from 1973. Finding these bits and pieces of prior art are needle-in-the-haystack type requests based on keyword searching, but exhausting sources such as this are key to the Scour The Earth™ searches conducted by the providing company of Intellogist®, Landon IP.

Of additional interest to researchers, Science.gov is the U.S. contribution to WorldWideScience.org, the federated search portal that features a multilingual search interface and over 70 databases and portals from over 60 countries.

Have you tried out Science.gov? What do you think of the new image search? With additional sources, could this be another powerful prior art search tool? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.

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3 Responses

  1. [...] Blog have highlighted a crop of new non-patent literature searching tools such as NEEDLE and Image Search on Science.gov. This year I’ll keep my eyes peeled and make sure to test out what comes my way. These tools [...]

  2. [...] Image Search feature (described in more detail in a previous blog post) seems to be a unique tool on Science.gov, which allows users to search by [...]

  3. [...] and 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information through a single query. Back in 2010, image search made a debut on the Science.gov platform. A recent NewsBreak from Information Today [...]

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