Search Tool Tidbits: Scholrly, Clustify, and HQ Books

In the last few posts on the Intellogist Blog, we’ve focused on major updates to large patent search tools, such as Google Patents and TotalPatent.  Today I’ll take a step back from the big players and highlight some obscure search tools that may give you that extra boost you need to locate that one relevant piece of non-patent literature (NPL) prior art which you’d have otherwise overlooked. Scholrly is free search engine for academic papers (currently in closed beta-testing phase) that may one day rival Google Scholar, and HQ Books is a free PDF search tool which can help you locate product manuals and user guides from all over the world.  For those patent analysts who want their daily dose of obscure resources: don’t worry, I have one for you, too!  We’ll take a quick look at Clustify, document clustering software that identifies important keywords, representative documents, and a hierarchy of customized tags for almost any dataset.

Continue reading for a round-up of little-known tools for prior art searchers and data analysts!

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5 Features to Always Look for on Search System and Database Websites


Professional patent searchers utilize  many different types of search resources, including both free and subscription patent and non-patent literature databases.  These databases may be accessible through a search platform built specifically for that dataset, or the database may be accessible on a larger subscription-based platform that hosts numerous databases (like EBSCOhost, Dialog, STN, etc).  It can be difficult to decide which databases or search platforms to utilize (and subscribe to), but a good database or search system website should provide you with the information you need to make your decision, all without spending a dime.  I often need to look at database and search system websites when compiling updates for the System Reports and Community Reports on Intellogist, so I’ve seen my fair share of both excellent and not-so-stellar search system websites.  There are five features I always look for on a database or search system website that provide me with the coverage, updates, features, and pricing information that I need to write a detailed report on the product.

After the jump, learn the five main features to look for on a search system website that can help you decide whether this system or database is relevant to your user needs!
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A Central Search Portal for European Library Materials

Patent searchers  may need to scour the earth for prior art when a case is very important and the traditional channels haven’t turned up the desired results. In these case, the searcher often tries to locate a central portal that searches a wide range of non-patent literature of all publication types and languages.  WorldCat searches the holdings of over 10,000 libraries and can often return an overload of search results that takes hours to sift through.  The Library of Congress (LOC) website allows users to specifically search the library catalogs and digital holding of the LOC, but what if the user wants to search for non-US materials not included in LOC holdings?  Is there a federated search platform dedicated to a non-US region that searches across the holdings of multiple libraries? Yes, there is!

Information Today recently reported on the European Library website, the library aggregator for Europeana (which was “developed in partnership among the Conference of European National Libraries (CENL), the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), and the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)”).   The article describes the broad coverage and useful features of the portal:

The European Library is a new discovery service that provides access to the collections of the national libraries of 46 European countries, plus a growing number of research libraries. Content accessible from the new service includes rare books, manuscripts, images, and video. The service allows users to cross-search 200 million records, covering more than 24 million pages of full-text information and more than 7 million digital objects. Users can export records to reference management services such as Mendeley.

Continue reading to hear about all the search and display features available through European Library, and how you can register for the site for free!
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Free Scientific Journals from Latin America on SciELO


Patent searchers can locate a wide variety of international non-patent literature during global prior art searches by using open-access (OA) resources. Both DOAJ and OpenDOAR provide access to international open-access journals and repositories.  Another example of an international OA resource is SciELO, an open-access network of Latin American and Caribbean-based scientific journals.  SciELO provides users free access to Spanish and Portuguese-language journal articles that cover a broad range of scientific topics, and the contents of SciELO can be searched through an English-language interface.

Continue reading to learn the search and viewing options available on SciELO!
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EDGAR: The SEC’s Financial Data Goldmine

What is the best way to find detailed financial data on a particular company? You can use a subscription database, such as Factiva, to view a “snapshot” of the current financial status of a company, or you can go directly to the source and view the actual documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Patent analysts will often need background information on the financial activity of a target company or multiple companies within a particular sector, and EDGAR is an excellent resource for quickly locating financial documents filed directly by both US and non-US companies.

EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) is a free database created by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and “all companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR” (according to the EDGAR homepage). The SEC website describes how the main purpose of EDGAR is to “increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, dissemination, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency.”

After the jump, learn what types of financial documents are available on EDGAR, and we’ll also do a sample search for financial documents related to a popular company!
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Locate German Technical Literature on TEMA

Gray literature, such as technical reports, theses, and conference proceedings, may disclose technology relevant to a particular patent that makes this literature valuable prior art.  During exhaustive prior art searches, professional patent searchers will try to locate this type of obscure non-patent literature (NPL) prior art through any means necessary, including on-site or catalog searches of libraries and using various document identifier numbers to track down the paper versions of these documents within the libraries. First, though, the patent searcher needs to search for and locate bibliographic data on relevant gray literature, which they can then locate in print format.   It can be especially difficult to locate international gray literature published in a variety of languages.

Luckily for patent searchers, there are databases available like TEMA.  TEMA® – Technology and Management is a bibliographic database focused on engineering and technology created by WTI-Frankfurt eG, which covers a variety of international non-patent literature documents. TEMA allows searchers to quickly search for and locate the bibliographic data on obscure NPL prior art, which can then be located in full-text print format.

After the jump, learn more about TEMA and how you can access the database!

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Search Swedish Non-Patent Literature for Free on DiVA

Last week we looked at NDLTD, a central online catalog of electronic theses and dissertations.  Professional patent searchers often need to locate obscure non-patent literature (NPL) prior art that mentions technology relevant to the target patent during exhaustive prior art searches, and central search portals for a particular type of NPL can come in handy in these situations.  It can be particularly useful if the portal focuses on non-English resources, which are often difficult for English-speaking prior art searchers to locate through an English interface.  Like NDLTD, DiVA Portal is another example of a central online catalog resource, since it allows users to search for publications and theses from 30 universities through an English-language interface, and the documents are often in Swedish or Norwegian.

Continue reading to learn more about the DiVA Portal, including how to locate full text documents directly through the portal!
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Multiple Ways to Search An Online Catalog of Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Free catalogs of non-patent literature (NPL) that cover the collections of multiple academic institutions can provide a valuable central search portal when a user is searching for a particular type of NPL.  For example, the OCLC WorldCat system allows users to search for print and media resources in thousands of library catalogs simultaneously. If you want to search for electronic resources, specifically electronically published theses and dissertations, then the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) is an excellent central portal where you can begin your search.  Through two different search options provided by NDLTD, users can search an expansive catalog of electronic theses and dissertations submitted by a wide variety of academic and research institutions.

Technology may be discussed in theses and dissertations that isn’t patented, but it is still available in the public domain and therefore qualifies as relevant prior art.  During validity searches when professional patent searchers scour the earth for all available prior art, searching a central portal that accesses many websites simultaneously which host a particular type of NPL is a very useful search strategy.

After the jump, we’ll take a closer look at the purpose of the NDLTD website and options for searching its Union Catalog of electronic theses and dissertations.
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Searching Chinese Patent and Non-Patent Literature on WanfangData.com

 Search Chinese journals, dissertations, conference proceedings, information on Chinese companies and products, data from Chinese scientific institutes, policies and laws of China, Chinese patents, and national/industrial standards all through one portal: WanfangData.com.  The search portal is available in both English and Chinese.  According to the About section of the website, “Wanfang Data has been a task force of the Institute of Scientific & Technological Information of China (ISTIC), the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology, since 1950s.”  The site is subscription-based, but free limited search options are available on the Chinese version of the website.  Users can also request a trial for the English version of Wanfang Data portal.

After the jump, learn about the Chinese patent and non-patent literature available through both the English and Chinese-language versions of Wanfang Data!

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Mendeley: Free Reference Manager, Collaboration Tool, & Online Catalog of Millions of Documents

What do you get when you combine reference manager software, PDF viewing and organization tools, a platform for collaborative research, and an online catalog of millions of documents?  You get Mendeley.

Mendeley (which I heard about through the CHMINF listserv) combines free reference manager software with “the world’s largest crowd-sourced research catalog with over 34 million papers.” Users can sign up for a free account and download the Mendeley Desktop software.  You can also access your document library directly on the Mendeley website, or you can search through a database that includes millions of document citations and some full-text, which can be automatically added to your reference library.  Mendeley may not be the ideal location for patent searchers to store and organize their prior art references, due to security concerns, but the site is an ideal reference management tool for students and researchers.  Prior art searchers can utilize the Mendeley catalog as another source for searching non-patent literature prior art.

After the jump, learn about the reference manager, document viewing and organization features, collaboration tools, and online catalog available through Mendeley!

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