Patent Searching for Librarians
Instructor: Michael White
Dates: November 7 - December 2, 2016
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
The corpus of patents constitutes one of the largest organized repositories of technical information in the world. The value of searching for these documents is not limited to inventors; information from patents is also used by historians, genealogists, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and engineers. Whether serving public or academic communities, patent searching is a skill to include in any librarian’s repertoire. As a primer for librarians, students in this course will learn the anatomy of a patent and how patents are organized. A variety of search strategies will be discussed, and several freely available databases will be consulted. Guidelines for avoiding "unauthorized practice of law," a concern often inhibiting librarians from providing effective services to their users, will also be provided.
Michael White is the librarian for research services in the Engineering & Science Library at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He has worked with patent information since 1991. He was the engineering, patents and trademarks librarian at the University of Maine from 1995-1998 and a librarian in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from 1998-2005. During his career he has conducted dozens of workshops on patent searching for inventors, attorneys, librarians and paralegals. He is an active member of the Patent Information Users Group (PIUG), Patent and Trademark Resource Center Association, SLA and ASEE.
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
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