Expand search can be used to build a more encompassing or broader query based upon an extract of text. When patent searching, it is good practice to start with a broad search and then refine the results from that point. This approach significantly reduces the risk of missing important technologies. However, building broad searches can be problematic due to the wide variety of language used to define a specific technology.
To overcome this, Expand search can be used. It works by reviewing an extract of text and then, driven by the keywords contained within that text, a series of associated word clouds are created based upon three factors:
- Synonyms (words with the same or nearly the same meaning)
- Hypernyms (a word broader in scope, but that includes the original meaning within the word. For example, "bird" is a hypernym of "sparrow" or "crow")
- Hyponyms (a word which is more specific. For example, "grill" and "bake" are hyponyms of "cook")
Using these suggestions, you will be able to construct a search string that captures the full scope of innovations within a field - and avoid missing important alternative references to a certain technology.