DOCUMENTATION NOTE. ABSTRACT JOURNALS: A SURVEY OF PATENT COVERAGE

Pages159-165
Published date01 February 1988
Date01 February 1988
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb026823
AuthorBRENDA M. RIMMER
Subject MatterInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
DOCUMENTATION NOTE
ABSTRACT
JOURNALS:
A
SURVEY
OF
PATENT COVERAGE
BRENDA
M.
RIMMER
Industrial Property
Section,
SRIS,
The British
Library,
London
WC2A
1A W
Many abstract journals include patent specifications in their coverage thereby
providing references to the most up-to-date sources of information which
might otherwise be ignored by technicians in smaller enterprises and by
students. A survey of some of these journals shows that while many do provide
good coverage and indexing, the selection criteria for the patent specifications
are sometimes questionable and bibliographic details are inaccurate or mislead-
ing. Standards for the identification of patent documents have been developed
by the World Intellectual Property Organization and are in world-wide use by
patent offices. Their adoption by abstract journals is strongly recommended.
INTRODUCTION
ONE MILLION of the four million publications with a scientific or technical
content produced each year are provided by patent offices [1] but because of
their sheer volume and cost they cannot be as readily available as technical
books, periodicals and reports.
Access to patent specifications
is
not a problem for large
firms
and research
organisations particularly those with multinational connections. They are
themselves major contributors to the patent literature of the world and up-to-
date information on new developments and the activities of their competitors
is
essential.
They have their own patent departments and specialised staff and
provide the required training for new recruits.
The technical staff of small and medium enterprises frequently do not
appreciate the value of patent specifications as a source of technical
information. They lack searching expertise and the subject is often not dealt
with in depth in educational establishments.
Various surveys over
the
past ten
years have
found that
less
than ten per cent
of the information contained in patent specifications is ever published in
technical reports and journals and then
only
with a substantial
delay.
Abstract
journals, more readily available in libraries, with familiar indexing and
classifying systems in a narrow subject field provide an invaluable intro-
duction to the systematic use of patent specifications.
Only
Chemical Abstracts
(CA) has made a long-term effort to exploit this
information gap and has prepared and published abstracts of patent
Journal
of
Documentation,
Vol. 44, No. 2, June
1988,
pp. 159-165
159

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