Report:Thomson Innovation/Other Features
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This section presents features not discussed elsewhere in this article.
The developers of Thomson Innovation designed the tool to be used across large corporations, to serve the various information needs of different employees. For example, salespeople might need to reference the business data collection from Gale, while researchers might need to access the academic literature on Web of Science, and intellectual property attorneys might need to monitor and download patent information and file histories. To meet these varying needs, the tool provides access to all these data collections.
However, introducing a complex tool means that employees need to be trained to use it effectively. In addition, allowing users access to paid options (such as downloadable file histories) opens up the possibility that some employees could incur charges by mistake. Furthermore, managing login IDs across a large user base can be challenging, especially if there is high personnel turnover. With their 2008 release of Innovation 2.0, Thomson Innovation developers have added some account management functionality to allow the "account administrator" to control and restrict access to certain parts of the tool, and to control default settings. This allows the administrator to "nudge" users in the right direction.
In addition, the release includes a usage tracking tool. As background, some companies actually prefer a pay-per-use search model, as it allows each individual to track their search time and transaction costs, and bill their clients accordingly. Although Thomson Innovation is only available on a flat-fee basis, they have introduced this usage tracking tools to allow individuals to account for their searching activities. These tools allow costs to be passed on to clients based on the amount of actual searching done. They also allow account managers to monitor the tool's use, to determine if the tool is necessary to a certain person or department.
The account management and tracking features include:
- Tracking account use: Activities may be tracked against a specified client reference code. The following activities may be tracked: time spent searching, searches and record views, file history orders, charts and citation maps generated.
- Transaction Access: Allows account managers to control who can purchase transactional offerings such as file histories and PDFs.
- Preference Defaults: Account managers can set account-wide preferences as the default settings for all users in the organization. The idea is that customizing accounts can save frustration caused by product transition, and training time needed to learn the new system.
- Profiles: Allows account managers to create general profiles to represent different user groups within your organization. Using profiles, different default and transaction access settings can be applied to different users groups (see "Preference Defaults," above).
- User ID Maintenance: Old user IDs can be automatically disabled, to allow account managers to easily deal with personnel turnover.
- Migration from PatentWeb/Delphion – Since its introduction, Thomson Innovation has allowed current users of other Thomson Reuters products MicroPatent PatentWeb and Delphion to import their saved work files into it during the migrations from the older services to this newer one. The first time the system is initiated, a dialog window will open inviting users to migrate saved histories from these two services.
As of August 2012, administrators now have the ability to restrict the use of annotations by individual users or groups of users.
As Thomson Innovation was designed to be the "everything to everyone" solution to information needs, the addition of these account management tools was a good idea on Thomson's part. Although some other tools offer usage tracking, the ability to set user defaults and restrict transaction access are not often seen in the industry. Because it is always a challenge to get novice searchers to utilize information tools at their disposal, the addition of these management features will help to promote adoption of Thomson Innovation over an entire company, not just by the dedicated searching staff.
From a prior art searching perspective, these tools do not really offer the ability to enhance the searching experience. In addition, the editors would like to note that account management functionality should not be used to restrict the ability of advanced searchers to set their own preferences. However, as long as the tools are used carefully, they could be a very useful aspect of the Thomson Innovation platform, especially when it is applied in a large corporate or law firm setting.
- ↑ "Tracking." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/tracking.htm. Accessed September 21, 2012.
- ↑ "Thomson Innovation New Features." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/ti/newfeatures/. Accessed January 29, 2009.
- ↑ "Release Notes." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/release_notes.htm. Accessed August 29, 2012.