Report:Espacenet/Customer Support/Online Help Features
|Report||Patent Coverage Map||Ratings||Comments|
|This search system report was created by the Intellogist Team and is available for viewing only. If you'd like to share your knowledge on Intellogist, please visit the Best Practices, Glossary, or Community Reports pages. Registered users may be notified of any substantial changes to this report by placing a "watch" on the Revisions page, which is the last page listed in the table of contents. To learn more about using the Intellogist "watchlist," see the Watchlist Help page.|| |
Online Help Features
A number of help topics are present on the Espacenet website. These are divided into two parts: the Quick Help and Help Index pages, which contain written information about the system, and the “Espacenet assistant,” which is an interactive tutorial that provides 28 courses on 8 topics related to searching on the old version of Espacenet.
The Help Index webpages provide useful information about the data structure in Espacenet, as well as how to construct effective search queries. The Quick Help topics, located in a sidebar on every page of Espacenet, give specific advice about using certain Espacenet features and search forms. Both the Help Index and Quick Help are up to date after the latest upgrade to Espacenet version 5. In addition to these HTML page resources, users can also consult an interactive Flash tutorial called the "assistant." The assistant has not yet been updated to reflect the latest changes to the Espacenet interface, so some sections of the tutorial may be incomplete or outdated.
The content of the interactive assistant tutorial encompasses the following topics:
- Getting Started - a review of basic search techniques, with topics like “Using Keywords Correctly” and “Logical Combination of Search Terms”
- The Results List - contains a section on interpreting the search results.
- Searching & Criteria - includes more advanced topics such as “Extending your Search with Wildcards” and “Using Parenthesis and NOT in Search Fields.”
- Classification - contains a review of the IPC and ECLA classification systems.
- Search Strategies - navigates the user through several case studies to demonstrate proper search techniques.
- Patent Documents - a review of the information contained in a patent document
- Tips & Tricks - a review of the Espacenet workflow, including its limitations and restrictions, and a tutorial on its functionality.
- New in Espacenet - a guided tutorial of any new additions or improvements to the system.
For each of these topics, the system requires user participation: users are required to answer a short quiz at the end of every section. These quizzes sometimes require users to answer multiple choice questions or to identify certain features or pieces of information as they are displayed in a typical Espacenet record view. The tutorials are directed to those with little or no knowledge of patent search basics. The interactive assistant is available in English, and also became available in the Japanese language in early 2008.
Overall, the "Espacenet assistant" tutorials probably represent the most in-depth and user friendly free resources for patent searching novices, despite the outdated contents. Hopefully, the tutorials will soon be updated to reflect the new version of Espacenet.
Any additional questions not addressed by these resources can be directed to the Espacenet help desk, at Espacenet@epo.org. Specific questions about INPADOC data can be directed to the separate INPADOC helpdesk, at INPADOC@epo.org.