Engineering Village Searching Best Practices
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Relevant non-patent literature (NPL) prior art is just as valuable as relevant patent publication prior art. There are numerous tools to help the searcher locate NPL. One of those tools is Engineering Village (EV). Using certain strategies can help a searcher more quickly find relevant prior art using EV. These search strategies can be useful regardless of the technology being searched. For more detailed information on EV itself (as opposed to the searching best practices in this article), please see Intellogist's Engineering Village Report.
What is Engineering Village?
Engineering Village (EV) is a web-based information service that offers a wide range of quality resources for information specialists, professionals, and researchers working in the applied science and engineering fields. EV offers access to publications from Inspec, Compendex and several other sources related to numerous fields including physics, electrical and electronic engineering, communications, computer science, and geology.
The basics of searching with Engineering Village
There are three modes of searching in EV:
- Easy Search, the simplest way to search with a single field text box.
- Quick Search, an easy-to-use form featuring pull-down menus and links to contextual help screens to help searchers use AND/OR logic.
- Expert Search, a powerful and flexible interface that supports Boolean searching on multiple fields.
Specific Search Strategies
These search strategies are examples of specific best practices that can be applied during the course of a non-patent literature (NPL) search using Engineering Village (EV). These are steps in addition to accepted general search practices that apply to all searches.
- When investigating a particular patent, search all the listed inventors under the author field in EV.
- When investigating a particular patent, search the inventor’s company as an author affiliation in EV.
- Search patent publications first using tools such as PatBase or MicroPatent then use the leading assignees as author affiliations to search using EV.
- Note NPL references on relevant patents then search the authors and their affiliations using EV to find other relevant NPL.
- Use EV’s Refine Results option to hone in on the results that really matter by targeting certain databases, authors, author affiliations, controlled vocabulary terms, countries of publication, document types, publication years, and/or classification codes.
- When finding relevant NPL from other sources, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Automotive Engineers, etc., search the authors of those documents in Engineering Village.
- Search the Internet using tools such as Google via keyword search, then search any resulting names or companies using EV’s author or author affiliation categories.
- When locating a reference using EV, search other sources to see if the article is available free of charge.
- When searching using author’s names, use the last names to get more results and avoid missing data due to use of initials, alternate first names, etc. If needed, use other search terms, classification codes, etc. to knock down the number of hits to a reasonable number.
- When searching using author affiliations, leave out inc., AG, corp., etc of the company names to get more results. If needed, use other search terms, classification codes, etc. to knock down the number of hits to a reasonable number.
For further reading, searchers should reference the best practices articles covering Patentability Searching and Validity Searching. Due to some overlap in the fields, the best practices and sources disclosed in those articles may also be applicable to non-patent literature (NPL) searches.