Hunting the literature: effective use of classification and indexing


Ian Pearce

With increased standardisation of classification schemes on the cards, software that makes accessibility for all users easier is a useful tool, as Ian Pearce explains.

The effective use of classification or indexing schemes as part of any patent or literature search can be problematic for inexperienced searchers who may be unfamiliar with the peculiarities of a particular classification scheme or, indeed, with the theory of classification in general. In fact, even seasoned searchers may struggle if the technology they are trying to research is outside their normal area of work.

Searchers can sometimes be presented with an overwhelming choice of classification schemes which need to be considered, depending on their search requirements.

A search within patent documents, for example, may currently need to incorporate the International Patent Classification (IPC), European Classification (ECLA), and US Patent Classification (USPC) as well as Japanese FI and F-terms, while specialised subject-specific scientific literature databases will make use of their own individual classification schemes. Yet, despite these difficulties, such schemes are often the best way to achieve high quality results, quickly and efficiently.

Classification, Indexing, IPC, ProQuest Dialog