Supporting the value of information in your enterprise

FreePint BlogVisualising Search Results in Thomson Innovation

Tuesday, 21st August 2012 Login to MyFreePint or create an account be able to star items Click for printable version


When researching a full review of Thomson Innovation, David Whelan was most impressed with the innovative data visualisation tools incorporated into the product to help researchers make sense more quickly of large and complex results. This brief article provides a taste of the analysis included in the full FreePint Report: Product Review of Thomson Innovation.


Research can be filled with nuance. Even specialists may find that an expertly crafted search returns an unwieldy results set. Thomson Innovation provides some interesting tools to help visualise search results in ways that you can’t by merely running and re-running queries.  In particular, they offer the opportunity to see connections or terms of art that you may not have considered.

The product is a patent research database that integrates additional commentary from news, business, and journal databases. FreePint Subscribers can download the entire review (PDF), or read the individual chapters online

One of the easiest visual tools to use is the clustering function. If your search returns more than 10 items, you can select to have them clustered and this displays a folder structure beside the results, based on content facets. Selecting a folder updates the result set to display just those results that match the term or phrase indicated by the folder name.

Citation relationships are also important and you can create a map showing relationships among your search results. You can sort search results by citation count, which helps to get the most heavily cited articles to the top. Then you create the literature citation map, which opens a spider web-like image with your selected article in the center and citing articles connected to it. I like the “time and generation” view, which shows the articles that cite the article that cites your primary article! It can also place your article between those it cites and those citing it -- a good way to view relationships.

Themescape is the stand-out visualisation tool. It creates an actual heat map – think a topographical map with mountains and valleys. Each mountain is a concept. You re-centre the map and zoom in to see additional topics related to that central one. As you dip into the valleys, you can connect to the relevant articles in that topical area.

Each one of these tools can give you a different way to look at the results you retrieve in Thomson Innovation and lead to more effective searching and identification of relevant information.


Read other Blog items:

 View the FreePint Blog 


Keep up-to-date with everything at FreePint:

 Sign-up for the FreePint Newsletter 


About this item

Click to visit the FreePint Blog Related Blog items:

Click to view all FreePint Subscription articles Related Subscription articles:


A FreePint Subscription gives access to all Content, Community and Consulting:

Learn more and order

Contact us to discuss your requirements or to
check if your organisation already has a FreePint Subscription

FreePint Topics
Sources: Staying informed and aware Technology: Improving information work with technology Value: Maximising value for information work and investment

Free to register Topic Series:

Making Information Visible
Jan-Mar 2015

Best Practices in Information Skills Development
Apr-Jun 2015

 Explore the Topics 

Latest Subscription Content:

 Explore the Subscription 

FreePint Newsletter

Click for the FreePint Newsletter in new window/tabKeep up-to-date with the latest FreePint articles and tips by email twice-monthly.

Latest: No.419 26th March

 Free Newsletter Sign-up