Meet the Lens: Integrating ORCID iDs into patents

Alainna Wrigley's picture

ORCID is fortunate in having an active and engaged community who build applications to allow individuals to connect their ORCID iD with their research and innovation activities and affiliations. This month, we interviewed Osmat Jefferson of the Lens, one of our latest integrators. The Lens is a global cyberinfrastructure and a joint initiative between ORCID member institution Queensland University of Technology and Cambia that is building an open platform for mapping innovation.It is an extension of work started by Cambia in 1999 and aims to make the innovation system more efficient and fair, more transparent and inclusive. Recently, under the guidance of the Lens Director Richard Jefferson and with the support of Lens engineers Deniz Koellhofer and Ben Warren, the Lens integrated ORCID into their platform.

Please tell us a bit about the Lens: What is it, and what does it do?

The Lens was created to bridge the gap between diverse types of innovation knowledge, initially patents and scholarship. Since its founding as PatentLens over 16 years ago, the Lens has operated as a free, open, global, private and secure platform to provide transparency in patent systems worldwide and to enable mapping of the innovation landscape. We aspire to see the fruits of innovation cartography become a global public good, just as maps of the physical world are now. These evolving facilities will be used to guide and inform decisions that can help solve critical social problems and lower the risk of innovation.

By serving up nearly all of the patent records in the world as annotatable digital public goods using open persistent identifiers (PIDs), the Lens integrates an extraordinary knowledge corpus of tens of millions of open access teachings with scholarly and technical literature.

Could you tell us more about the Lens ID?

Patents and patent-related documents occur in myriad forms and locations. Generally, patent documents are not copyrighted, so they can be found online in varying degrees of utility – in XML, PDF, or text format, and with or without associated files, such as sequences, chemical structures or equations, or their necessary citations and legal status.

To capture the constellation of knowledge related to a patent, we have created an open, persistent, and unique identifier: the Lens ID persistent identifier. This identifier is a pointer to everything we or others can harvest about that knowledge artefact. For example, the LensID lens.org/129-798-628-504-76X directs to not only the patent’s legal form (an image) but also the entire ecosystem of supporting knowledge, including filing history, inventor attested ID, citations, associated sequence listing files, and legal status. This example also shows how one inventor has attested inventorship, the other has not yet done so.

As with other good persistent identifiers, we have chosen not to use internal business logic (e.g. the patent jurisdiction or number), but a purely numeric field, assigned randomly and using a checksum for quality control. Developed with input from and in collaboration with Crossref, the Lens ID allows open mapping to diverse sources of the patent knowledge artefacts.

Why has the Lens integrated with ORCID, and how?

We build reciprocal linkages with open public good projects, such as ORCID, Crossref, and PubMed, to expand the mapping of science and technology-based innovation fields, and create effective new tools and platforms for researchers, scholars, inventors, investors and policy makers.

The Lens’ ORCID integration connects both scholars and inventors with the ORCID Registry. ORCID iD holders can search the Lens and associate patent inventorship with their Lens profile; they can also connect patent data from the Lens with their ORCID iD and export patent metadata to their ORCID record. This ensures that credit can be given for being an inventor on a published patent, patent application, or plant or design patent, as well as contributing to a global effort to disambiguate inventors.

We recognize that both inventions and discoveries have at their core the generative role of individuals. Many inventors are unknown to academia, as they are often working in the private sector. The Lens explores bridges between these communities by facilitating both inventors and scholars to attest their work products using common identifiers.

Even if a researcher is not a listed inventor on a patent record, there is much to be gained from using Lens and an ORCID iD. We have extracted and linked more than 10 million non-patent citation strings found within patents to DOIs and PubMed IDs (PMIDs). These are often scholarly works cited as important prior art or enabling disclosures. In only a few clicks, ORCID iD holders can find patents that have cited their scholarship as recorded in their ORCID record. This will provide scholars with a list of people, companies and institutions that have been influenced by their work.

How are you collecting iDs? Why did you design iD collection this way?

Lens linked services

When a user registers and logs into the Lens using their ORCID credentials, we request permission to access their ORCID record and use data from the record to generate a Lens profile that is linked to their ORCID iD. The user can search the Lens for their patents and they alone can record their inventorship by associating their patents with their account and thereby associating their ORCID iD with the patent as well.

Publishers typically only associate author identifiers, such as ORCID iDs, with the scholarly works if the authors themselves have contributed them. If the author does not, it can be difficult to associate author identifiers with publication identifiers such as DOIs and PMIDs. The Lens uses the ORCID iD to query the ORCID Registry for associated work identifiers, and then presents patent documents that cite these works. This enables, a better understanding of how the user’s work is influencing industry.

How are you displaying iDs in the Lens, and why?

Once a user has signed in and connected their ORCID iD, it is displayed in their private Linked Services section. (See our help resources for further information.)

When an invention is recorded, the iD is displayed in a tooltip next to the attesting inventor’s name. (See recording inventorship for further information.)

What information is the Lens currently connecting to ORCID records, and why?

The Lens enables an ORCID iD holder to attest their patents and connect them to their ORCID record.

The Lens also enables an ORCID iD holder to connect works on their ORCID record to the Lens. This allows them to search for patents citing their works and learn of links between patented inventions and their activities.

What impact will the ORCID integration have on the Lens for both the project and the inventors who use it?

By integrating ORCID with the Lens, we enable researchers (i.e. ORCID iD holders) to explore the influence of their work on industry and enterprise, and also register and sign into the Lens using their ORCID iD, record their inventorship, and connect their attested patent records with their works in their ORCID record.

What are your future plans for the Lens' integration with ORCID?

In the near future, we will work with ORCID to implement a Search and Link Wizard. Starting from the ORCID record, users will have the option to connect their iD to the Lens, search the Lens, and associate and synchronize their patent records on their ORCID records.

Using our long-standing working relationships with many of the biggest patent offices worldwide, we are championing the use of ORCID iDs during the submission process for patents. This could be a major contribution to creating clarity in global patenting and improve the awareness by scholars of the knowledge contained within the patent corpus.