Release 7.3

22 February 2021 by Cambia Staff in Release Notes

Release 7.3
Launching Lens for Institutions, enhancements to collections including customisable collection avatar images, permission controls for displaying saved queries on dynamic collections, Collection history and more!

In this release, The Lens extends its offerings from individual use to institutional use with Lens for Institutions. Moreover, new UX improvements have been added to collections, the Lens' primary management tool, including the ability to display a custom avatar image on each collection, display linked saved queries on dynamic collections, and track collection history in a new tab.

Username changes? you can now change your username from your Account Settings.
Linking your ORCID account? See the support page.

Lens Institutional Toolkit

By compiling a collection of tools designed for the needs of an institution - an Institutional Toolkit - and making it available for licensing to interested institutions, The Lens seeks to enable institutions to discover, analyze and manage their work on the platform, increase the visibility of their capabilities to collaborators and partners, and build new connections and partnerships with other institutions based on transparency in evidence.

Many institutions are currently paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for subscriptions to toll-based discovery and analytics services for scholarly works with terms and conditions that impose limits on data sharing, and on disclosure of terms to third parties. They are all for-profit companies. Some are also opaque about their practice of monetizing user journeys.

The Lens, the flagship project of social enterprise Cambia, aspires to create a sustainable community-funded resource built on FAIR and open data, but which can transcend closed proprietary knowledge corpora and enable institutions to advance their missions. Lens Institutional Toolkits are available for licensing to both public and commercial institutions. Public institutions, including government agencies, research and teaching institutions, foundations, civil society and non-profits can access the tools at a cost that will only help defray the costs of keeping the Lens as a trans-disciplinary, trans-domain open platform.

Isn’t it time for a lower cost non-profit alternative that uses open shareable data and guarantees privacy and confidentiality? Talk to your librarian or your university research office about institutional tools or book a time to discuss your needs with us at

Collections Enhancements

Customise your Collection:

Two new features are now available to customise your collection; the ability to customise the image displayed on your collection header, and the ability to control the display of your saved queries on dynamic collections.

When creating a collection, or editing the settings of a collection, there is now an option to Display Collection Avatar. If you select this, by default, your Lens account profile avatar will be displayed in the collection header, but you can also upload another image that is more relevant to the subject of your collection. Unselecting the Display Collection Avatar option will remove the avatar image from the collection header altogether and your collection will not show an image. In addition, The Lens enables you to build your own Media Library, accessible from the collection settings or from the collection image, to store and manage your collection images.

Customising the collection image.

Also in this release, you can now control the display of your saved queries on Dynamic Collections. Saved queries now include permissions for public or restricted access which can be controlled from the edit form in your Saved Queries tab in the work area. For saved queries that have been linked to a Dynamic Collection, setting the query access to "Public" will make it visible to all users on the linked Dynamic Collection. Linked queries are always visible on the collection if the user is the collection owner, however only the collection owner will see saved queries that have permissions set to "Restricted".

Dynamic Collections with Linked Queries.

Collection History:

Building on the new collection functionality, with this release we’ve also added a History tab to collections to enable you to track changes in your collections and provide transparency to others. The History tab will be visible to the owner of the collection and any other user who has access to view a collection.

History event types include Add and Remove events which can either be triggered manually or automatically. A "manual" trigger is when the user specifies the items to add or remove from a collection. This includes:

  • Importing items into a collection by uploading a list of identifiers
  • Selecting one or more results in a search results list
  • Adding to collection from an individual patent / scholarly work page

The types of Add and Remove events include:

  • Added Manually: Add event for items added manually to a collection.
  • Added via Search: Add event for items manually added to a collection from a search and includes the originating search query details for the add event.
  • Added via Linked Query: Add event for dynamic collections when new items are added to the collection from a linked saved query and includes the saved query details for the add event.
  • Removed Manually: Remove event for items manually removed from a collection.
  • Removed via Search: Remove event for items manually removed from a collection via a search and includes the originating search query details for the remove event.

Add events include a link to view the added works in the collection by filtering the collection to the items that were added from the specific history event. All events include an additional link to view all the patents or scholarly works that were either added or removed by viewing them in a search results list. This enables you to view all works that were added or removed, regardless of whether they are still in the collection or not. Additionally, the Query details in history events also provide a direct link to the query that was used in the event.

N.B. We started recording additions to collections late last year with the upgrade to alert notifications for dynamic collections. As such, collection history will include Add events from October 2020, while Remove events will start accruing in the collection history from this release.

Collection History tab.

Other changes and improvements

  • Cited Works and Citing patent join query limits have been increased to 100,000 cited patents/scholarly works
  • You can now change your username from your Account Settings
  • Added partial date formatting for scholarly works publication dates
  • Added print and electronic publication dates to individual scholarly works pages
  • Open access links to Semantic Scholar are now labelled in the open access box of individual scholarly works
  • Combined multiple arXiv open access links to display only one arXiv link in the open access box of individual scholarly works
  • Improved the author search autosuggest using a prefix search on the author surname, which now picks up additional results when the user has not entered the full last name
  • Reduced the amount of data fetched by individual scholarly works pages by only requesting citation data when the users clicks on the tab
  • Include default avatar image for dashboard presentations by guest users
  • Data exports from scatter plots now include labels for all fields
  • Renamed ORCID Plus Profiles to Lens Profiles
  • Cleaned the display of publication information on individual scholarly works summary pages
  • Updated Lens Labs page; added SARS-CoV-2 and CRISPR reports, added community-contributed GitHub code repositories
  • Updated the About pages content
  • When returning to the search results from an individual patent or scholarly work, the viewport now scrolls back to the previous document you opened
  • Exporting a collection now defaults the export file name to the name of the collection
  • The form for removing items from a Collection now automatically selects the current Collection
  • Collection titles are no longer presented in title case, users can edit the collection title through the collection edit form


Collection add/remove notifications.

  • Corrected collection import counts notice when adding works/patents to a collection. Notifications now return:
    • The number of records that were added to the collection
    • A warning message if all works/patents already exist in the collection
    • The number of successfully added works/patents if some already exist in the collection
    • A warning when the collection limit has been reached
  • Fix delete collection submitting button state
  • Creating a collection now prevents users from leaving the form until all items are added and the collection is saved
  • Collections now reload results after a successful import
  • Fix issue linking saved queries to a collection
  • Added notification message for missing collections
  • Collection Event IDs are now shown in the query details for Dynamic Collection events
  • Fix hard coded reference to 2020 in time series charts
  • Fix tab display issue in Safari 
  • Fix display logic for pills not showing when authorship is recorded
  • Fix citation histograms on individual scholarly works pages
  • Dark Mode fix for API landing page
  • Added Vanilla theme support for query details
  • Remove dashes and ignore case sensitivity when searching on the source.issn field from the Structured Search page
  • Disabled broken greedy navigation
  • Fix text wrapping on open access licenses in the open access box of individual scholarly works
  • Fix promo banner on presentation mode
  • Fix patent search tab navigation bug
  • Removed broken Cited Works facet from the patent filters sidebar on the homepage.
  • Removed broken open access location links for scholarly works with DOAJ as the only source of open access information
  • Fix patent scatter plot data export
  • Fixed Field of Study links on profile pages
  • Increased size of pagination buttons on search results in mobile browsers
  • Added a warning message and information tooltip to fields on the structured search when using nested clauses

API & Data Improvements:

API and Data page updates:

  • Added new API & Data home outlining the available API and data access methods and the steps for getting access.
  • Updated page design and added bulk datasets to Patent and Scholarly API and Data options
  • Added API and Bulk Data survey section and updated the API and web services survey, which is now split by Patent and Scholarly API and web services. If you would like to help us continue to improve the API to provide the services you want, please participate in these brief surveys:

Lens Scholarly APIv1.5

  • Improved the scholarly API performance including direct store integration.
  • Added GET endpoint for retrieving individual scholarly works using a Lens Id.

Lens Patent APIv1.1

  • Added has_inpadoc to the API request fields, which is a boolean field that indicates if a patent document has associated legal events in INPADOC.
  • Added earliest_priority_date to the API request fields to indicate the earliest priority date for a patent document.
  • Added created date field to the API request fields to indicate the earliest create date of the patent metarecord.
  • Improved patent document term date calculations.

Scholarly Works

  • Blacklisted additional non-scholarly content sources in Microsoft Academic data.

N.B. For guidance on navigating the Scholarly API, please check the online documentation, and to report bugs/issues, usability related questions, or to request features, please use our GitHub issue tracker. For general questions, please visit our Support Center to check out the latest tutorials or contact us at with your queries/comments.


  • Updated the Terms of Use to encompass the terms and definitions outlined in the Lens for Institutions. Links to the Terms of Use and Attribution details have also been added to data export modals and chart downloads to highlight the terms for Lens data use.

Patch Notes:

  • Fixed patent families count appearing in scholarly works breadcrumbs
  • Fixed Citing Patent Applicants chart bug
  • Fixed bug in user profile histogram for current year
  • Fixed typo on Lens for Institutions page
  • Fixed PatSeq Bulk Data quick links and date/version number
  • Fixed API & Data request/renewal form
  • Reinstate missing export fields
  • Added classifications to patent table view
  • The collection header now takes priority over the dashboard nheader when viewing a dasboard based on a collection
  • Added support documention links to Lens Profiles
  • Removed Citing Patent Scatter Plots from chart wizard
  • Added Lens Labs notice to the homepage
  • Updated Lens for Institutions request form
  • Updated Lens Labs page
  • Added URI Encode export filename before sending to server

Interested in helping us improve?

  • Share your use case with us and explore how Lens can help you.
  • Keep sending us your feedback on The Lens features and functionality.
  • Get involved in Lens Labs and take action to improve a public resource.
  • Register your interest in a public webinar on the Lens ReportsBETA and help us build the report builder facility

The Lens is a public good project run by Cambia, a global social enterprise that is committed to making the innovation process more transparent, inclusive and effective for those seeking to solve problems and make a social impact and thus, we welcome your active engagement, participation, and support.

New Patent MetaRecord Architecture  New

A Preview Environment is now available to try out the new patent metarecord architecture in an updated user interface! The preview will be available for a limited time before the new architecture is integrated into the platform.