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

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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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LibGuides: Search Resources Recommended by the Experts

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false] Resource guides and link directories are an excellent way for patent searchers to locate the best databases for conducting patent and non-patent literature prior art searches on a specific subject.  These resource guides are often manually compiled by librarians and professional researchers who have years of experience searching within specific fields, so they already know which resources will provide the most high-quality results.  The Resource Finder on Intellogist is one example of a resource guide covering multiple topics relevant to the patent search field, with lists of resources manually curated by the Intellogist staff, who have many years of combined patent search experience.  The USPTO search templates are another example of topic-specific search guides manually compiled by experts in the field.

commenter on a recent blog post mentioned a type of resource guide that I’ve often used for past research projects: the LibGuide.  Read on to learn why LibGuides are a fantastic way for researchers and prior art searchers to find resources recommended by experts on a specific topic!
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