A Whole New Look for Engineering Village

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Engineering Village is a subscription platform created by Elsevier that allows users to search a variety of important patent and non-patent literature (NPL) databases, including Compendex and Inspec.   Engineering Village is updated on a fairly regular basis to incorporate new features onto the platform, and according to the Major Recent Updates section on its System Report, Engineering Village was last updated in June 2011.  The June 2011 update added new features like Author Detail links from from Compendex and Inspec articles to the SciVerse Scopus Author Profile/Preview page for each author and IPC codes added to Inspec records.  The addition of IPC codes to Inspec records is a particularly useful new search option for patent searchers, who can now search for NPL records corresponding to a specific IPC code assigned to a target patent.  The link to author profile pages on Scopus adds more interoperability between the Engineering Village and SciVerse hub platforms, which are both created by Elsevier.

Another update to Engineering Village is slated to occur near the end of July, and this update seems to focus on making the homepage and search results page more user-friendly and customizable.  The update also adds small but important new features like search terms highlighted in an article and the option to add additional search fields on the Quick Search page.  Read on to  learn about the planned improvements to the Engineering Village interface, and how these updates may affect your non-patent literature searches!

July 2012 Update

According to the Engineering Information (EI) website, a new user interface for Engineering Village will be released on the target date of July 18, 2012.  Features of the new interface include:

  • Search results page is easier to scan, making it faster to find an article
  • “Add search field” feature has been added to Quick Search
  • More facets are visible on search results page without having to scroll down a page
  • Access to Search History is quicker
  • Results display options include 25, 50 and 100
  • Search terms in an article are highlighted for easier viewing
The EI website goes on to describe the updated homepage for the Engineering Village platform:
The focus was on improving the visual/structural design. All existing core functionality was retained, with the exception of Easy Search, which was removed from the site. The Easy Search volume represented less than 1% of all searches. One NEW feature was the Add search field on the Quick Search form. Also, Search history is now available directly below all search forms. Logged-in users can save searches and/or create alerts directly from this feature.

The new home page on Engineering Village (screenshot from EI website).

The search results page will also be updated for easier, faster use and will be enhanced with some additional features:

Using data from many years of product testing, we designed the results page into an easier-to-scan page. All important actionable items were placed in a more relative place on the page, and the Refine Results box was designed to show only the top 2 facets open by default while still revealing the other facet options with minimal page scrolling. Additionally, facets can now be reordered using drag-and-drop.

Additional features include an easier-to-use “Run a new search with selected facets,” which allows the user to select terms from the facets, add an additional term, and then run a new search. Also, users can choose the number of results to display on the page (25, 50, or 100).

The new results page on Engineering Village (screenshot from EI website)

For a full description of all planned updates for the July 2012 release, see the Releases page on the Engineering Information website.

Conclusion

Engineering Village is an easy-to-use platform that offers some advanced search features, such as a command line interface (under Expert Search) and the option to combine past queries for iterative searching.  The system allows professional patent searchers to access a trove of obscure non-patent literature, especially NPL related to engineering topics.  The July 2012 updates seem to streamline the homepage, search options, and results page, so users can more quickly access highly relevant features (like the search history option), while some redundant features (like the Easy Search) are removed. The update also adds some much-needed smaller features, like highlighting of search terms in articles and the option to add an additional field under the Quick Search.  Although these are minor improvements that are already available on most other subscription search platforms, the fact that Engineering Village is still being improved on a regular basis with updates that provide faster, easier search and viewing options demonstrates that Elsevier is still invested in the product.  Although Engineering Village is an older search system that was first launched in 1995, it still provides access to both patent and NPL resources through a search interface that is slowly but continually improving.

Do you use Engineering Village to search for prior art?  Tell us about your experience with the product in the comments section!

Technical Translations from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.

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