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One of my favorite parts of our recent full update and revision of the Thomson Innovation Intellogist Report is the extensive detail on allowed operators. Operators are the specialized search conjunctions, wildcard/truncation features, and general syntax that make search systems go. Traditional Boolean Operators you may be familiar with include AND, OR, and NOT. More advanced operators in any given system may include proximity and keyword weighting varieties (click on the links to see earlier posts on these subjects). Today I’ll highlight some of the more interesting operators that Thomson Innovation offers, which may open your eyes to the possibilities of a more refined and precise search.
The two operators sections in the Intellogist Report are Boolean and Proximity Operators and Truncation or Wildcard Operators.
Looking at Boolean and Proximity Operators, we see that all normal Boolean operators are supported (an industry standard) as well as support for order and non-order specific proximity operators. The support for proximity operators allows a high precision search–finding relevant documents by increasing specificity. Additionally, the SAME operator can be used in Thomson Innovation to specify that two terms be in the same paragraph. Used in conjunction with proximity operators, SAME can be used to eliminate false hits wherein terms are within, say, 5 terms of each other but in different paragraphs (and therefore less likely to be related).
Moving over to Truncation or Wildcard Operators, we see a much larger amount of information about some of the detailed operators Thomson Innovation offers. Notably and laudably, Thomson Innovation features keyword weighting, the ability to tailor search results to certain terms within the overall query. For more information on keyword weighting and all of the benefits associated, see our previous post on the topic.
Digging further into the nitty gritty, individual character wildcards are available in a multitude of flavors. Users can specify single, multiple (choosing number of characters), or unlimited wildcard/truncation operators to account for the spelling and word variations possible. This level of detail encompasses what kind of character the wildcard stands for…right down to if the letter is a vowel or consonant. Most users won’t care to get into this level of depth with their search queries, but to offer this level of preference is welcome for advanced users.
All of these operators, plus many more detailed in the Intellogist Report, lead to advanced search strategies that can lead to greater recall and precision in your patent search queries. What’s your opinion on the offerings available in Thomson Innovation?
This post was edited by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla.