Searching Within Your Search Results
Once you have created an initial search, you may wish to refine the search by further narrowing it. This article shows you several ways to refine your search.
Refine Using Filters
On the left of the Search Results window you will see the Refine Search panel which contains tools for filtering your search results. If you make a change anywhere in the Refine Search panel the Update Search button (5) will activate (no longer dimmed).
- The Query field (1) echos back your original query. You can refine the search by using additional keywords, or Advanced Query Syntax by typing in the Query Field and updating your search.
- The Collections option (2) lets you add or remove various data collections. To add EP documents, for example, just use the drop down and select the EP collection from the list. This is a multi-select combo box, meaning you can choose more than one option.
- The Search Options field also allows you to broaden or narrow your search in various other ways. For example, Word Stemming (3) broadens your keyword searches. With word stemming on, if you search for "stabilizer" the search engine will return documents containing "stabilize" and "stabilizing" as well as "stabilizer." One note on stemming: the relevance algorithm which determines the sort order will favor "stabilizer" and return patents with the indicated term variant higher in the default sort. Another example of a way to broaden or narrow your search from the Search Options field is Family Dedupe. Turning on this filter will remove the patent family members, except for a single representative document. This can help to make your search more managable.
- The Filter Results fields are divided into sets by their color. For example, the yellow filters (4) allow you to filter by the various ways we carve up the Assignee names in the patent record, whereas the blue filters allow you to filter by various class codes, such as CPC codes.
We'll often use the terms filter and facet interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference.
Filters and Facets in Detail
Clicking any of the filter buttons gives you a faceted list to choose from. In this case, I clicked on the Assignee (Original) filter. The facets are the names and counts for each assignee that match the query. So really, a filter is made up of a number of facets.
To view just the General Mills patents that match the query in the image above:
- Click the Assignee (Original) filter to view the facets.
- Check the facet you want to filter on (here we decided we want to just look at the "General Mills Inc" patents).
- Click away from the facet list to close it (or on the X in the top right).
Once you have done the steps above (the General Mills filter), do the following steps to apply them to your search results.
- Notice the Update Search button (1) is now active.
- Your Refine Search window has been updated to show the filers you have chosen (2). Note that the criteria is in place but has not been applied, because the Update Search button is still active and the system shows a message next to Filters telling you that you need to "Update Search to Apply" (2) the filters you have chosen.
- Click the Update Search button (1).
Apply the Filter
The Filter has been applied.
- The Update Search button (1) is now dimmed (deactivated).
- The criteria of Assignee (Original) General Mills Inc (2) has been applied.
- The patent grid now lists only patents where the Assignee (Original) column (3) is General Mills Inc (note that while all of the Assignee (Current) column listed here are also General Mills Inc, that will not always be the case).
Now Chart It
Once you have determined you like your query and the results are precise without being overly broad, you may want to analyze it in chart form. Pick a chart from the charting menu and customize the output so that it is clear to the reader and can be easily interpreted by the reader. Charts can be customized in various ways, depending on the chart type, by using the Refine Chart panel (to the left of the chart itself).