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Google Scholar, as touted in several of our Best Practices articles over on Intellogist, is an excellent and easy to use tool for searching academic and research literature. Searching these areas can really bolster a prior art search. Thanks to the Google Scholar Blog (via 3 Geeks and a Law Blog) we’ve been made aware of a new feature: the ability to search directly within the citations of a specific document. Read on to find out how this works and what it means for prior art searching.
Starting off, I looked for an article with the search query “thermal packaging.” I found an article with 46 citations, suggesting that the article might be important in the field.
By clicking on the citation number in the lower left corner of the search result, I was able to have Google Scholar bring up all of the citations of this thermal packaging related article. By selecting the option below the search bar (“Search within articles citing…”) and searching for “insulation” I was able to isolate all articles which cited my original article and contained a mention of insulation.
This whole process was simple and easy to use, and better yet, yielded relevant results to my research topic. Using this in the context of a prior art search allows users to take advantage of the built in citation data that Google Scholar features without having to manually look through all of the citations when only a specific subject is required. Users can therefore identify articles with influence due to citation count and extract information from these citation links without being overwhelmed. It’s a welcome (and as Google noted, well requested) feature that can add subtle depth to your prior art searching.
This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla.