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Bibliography - Top Publications by Stephen Adams

1. "Certification of the patent searching profession--a personal view"
Stephen Adams
World Patent Information 26 (2004) 79-82.

This paper is my own vision of how the searching community could change over the next few years, with increasing emphasis on a proper structure for continuing professional development and recognition of the searchers' skills.

2. "Patent Searching Without Words - Why do it, How to do it?"
Stephen Adams
Freepint Newsletter No. 130, 7-8 (6th February 2003).

A short article aimed at beginners in patent information, trying to explain why full text is not a solution to every problem, and some of the advantages of classification use in patentability searching.

3. "Patents: Exploitation and Protection"
Stephen Adams
Staying Legal - A Guide to Issues and Practice Affecting the Library, Information and Publishing Sectors,
2nd edn. (Eds. C.J. Armstrong; L.W. Bebbington) (Chapter 5, pp. 77-97)
London: Facet Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-85604-438-6.

A recently published book chapter in the context of helping library and information staff to understand how intellectual property can affect their daily work. Provides short guidelines for staff in non-specialist libraries on how to handle enquiries from inventors.

4. "Design Searching - The Forgotten Corner of Intellectual Property"
Stephen Adams
Online, May/June 2001, Vol. 25(3), pp. 54-58.

This article was inspired by conversations with a US design patent examiner, and addresses the issue of the overlap - even in the 'non-aesthetic' areas - between utility patents and designs, both in the US and elsewhere.

5. "Using Technical Databases with Minority Patent Coverage to Enhance Retrieval"
Stephen Adams
World Patent Information, 2001,Vol. 23(2), pp. 137-148.

In my opinion, many searchers could improve their technique by becoming aware of niche products, containing some patents but not devoted to them. This article was an attempt to raise the profile of the many bibliographic databases which contain small numbers of patents, and how to deal with them.

6. "Skills for Patent Searching - A Personal View"
Stephen Adams
E-Content, October/November 2000, Vol. 23(5), pp. 39-43.

I regard this as being one of my best summaries concerning the skillset which a putative patent searcher needs. It concentrates on the reasons why we need certain attributes, rather than the specific techniques of searching.

7. "Patent information"
Stephen Adams
The Business and Economy Internet Resource Handbook (ed. P. Bradley).
(Chapter 11, pp.200-224) London: Library Association Publishing, 2000. ISBN 1-85604-351-7.

This book chapter was written at a time when Internet-based sources were still in a rapid development phase. The topic of searching is approached from the point of view of the readership of the entire book, namely business and finance information rather than technical, and hence attempts to remove some of the mystique of the field.

8. "Using the International Patent Classification in an Online Environment"
Stephen Adams
World Patent Information, 2000, Vol. 22(4), pp. 291-300.

An article which grew out of a presentation at the 1999 PIUG meeting, which at the time served as an overview to the question of whether the IPC was a relevant search tool for the professional searcher. Much has changed since then, but some of the same principles still apply.

9. "The Beilstein Handbook as a Source of Pre-1960 Chemical Patent Literature"
Stephen Adams
World Patent Information, 1999, Vol. 21(2), pp. 75-81.

Another example of an attempt to raise the profile of an under-utilised resource. Prior to the expansion of Chemical Abstracts, Beilstein was one of the few places where it was possible to directly locate older chemical patent literature, and it still has considerable value.

10. "Developments in Patents Documentation in Europe During the Last Decade"
Stephen Adams
Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences, 1999, Vol. 39(3), pp. 423-431.

One of my earliest articles prepared for an ACS meeting, at the end of a turbulent political decade in Europe which brought with it many changes in the patent systems and the corresponding databases.

This page was originally created on the PIUG in ca. 2008. It has been edited subsequently by Tom Wolff. Further suggestions for improvement are welcome by the PIUG webmaster, webmaster @

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