Release 8.1

14 September 2021 by Aaron Ballagh in Release Notes

Release 8.1
We are pleased to announce the launch of The Lens Collective Action Project, an initiative to enable shared knowledge as key for solving problems together. The project is guided by our Lens Equitable Access Program to ensure equitable access to knowledge by all.

We are pleased to announce the launch of The Lens Collective Action Project, an initiative to enable shared knowledge as key for solving problems together. The project is guided by our Lens Equitable Access Program to ensure equitable access to knowledge by all.

Introducing The Lens Collective Action Project

Our crises are shared. So must be our solutions. Whether access to critical vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to forestalling the ravages of climate change, these challenges affect us all and we must do our part.

Dealing with the COVID crisis and the crises in climate, food security, the economy and society require effective partnerships from diverse institutions. Identifying and incentivizing partners and charting the action to be taken however, requires seamless access to credible, shareable knowledge that transcends discipline silos to support optimal decision-making. Trust within and between institutions and between institutions and society is critical for success; and shared evidence is the currency that helps establish trust.

Today we are pleased to introduce The Lens Collective Action Project (CAP), a multi-year initiative to enable open and shared innovation knowledge as the key for solving problems together. This initiative will ensure universal access to data, knowledge and tools that enable collective action for problem solving, bridging boundaries and removing roadblocks to science- and technology-enabled problem solving and the partnering it requires.

Developed in consultation with leadership at the WHO, WIPO, CEPI, World Trade Organization, UNEP, the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor of India, and leading Universities, the project is guided by our Lens Equitable Access Program (LEAP) to provide equitable access for all institutions and ensure the ongoing sustainability of The Lens as a community-supported platform.

Read more about the Collective Action Project | View The Press Release

Lens Equitable Access Program (LEAP)

LEAP is a core-value of The Lens as well as a program to ensure equitable access to innovation knowledge for collective action. Under LEAP, every person in the world can use the platform anonymously for free with powerful discovery and analytic tools, and access to all the data. Any registered user can benefit from personalized workspaces and customization features - at no cost for public-good users, or for a modest cost for commercial use.

Furthermore any institution worldwide that needs or wants any of the tools or services in the Institutional Toolkit will have access based on low, fair, tiered pricing. All fees go towards keeping knowledge universally available as a community-supported public-good.

Through LEAP, we are offering these Institutional Toolkits at no cost to all public-good institutions across much of the Global South - almost 130 countries - including universities, libraries, government agencies, NGOs and civil society.

Read more about LEAP or Apply for Equitable Access

The Lens Institutional Toolkit

With the launch of CAP and LEAP, we are also rolling out further upgrades to the Institutional Toolkits (ITK). The ITK package now includes a number of new tools and services that enrich the workflow of public-good and commercial institutions at the lowest possible price. Based on open, verifiable, and shareable data, the toolkit allows the exploration of innovation knowledge, facilitates informed decision-making, fosters partnerships across discipline silos, and builds trust in the collective action required to solve society’s crises.

The following tools are available now as part of the current toolkit for both public-good and commercial institutional subscribers:

  • Institutional account with management tools, no seat limits for institutional users and a license permitting Institutional Use of The Lens platform and content.
  • Attested Portfolios: allowing institutions to create branded and attested collections with larger collection limits, enhanced collection settings, description formatting and embed options.
  • API access providing high-volume institutional access to both the Scholarly and Patent APIs, and API access to any Institutional User who wants it.
  • Access to the Lens Report Builder facility for creating evidence-based, open, sharable and reusable reports linked to real Lens data and analytics.

The Lens continues to build on open data to create and provide these tools for institutions to enhance their innovation capabilities and engage more effectively in the problem solving process.

Read more about Institutional Toolkits

Individual Commercial Use

We have also introduced a new license agreement for individual users permitting use of The Lens platform for commercial purposes. Many registered users have asked for an easy and affordable way to license their use of the Lens platform for commercial purposes. So we have created a new subscription for individuals permitting commercial use in their professional work or business.

The single-seat, non-transferable license allows individuals to use The Lens platform in their professional work or business to support individuals working across the research and innovation sectors. These licenses contribute to the sustainability of the Lens as community-supported infrastructure and ensure The Lens remains a global public resource.

Read more about Individual Commercial Use

Lens Patents 2.0

Following the release of Lens Patents 2.0, we continue to build on the new functionality with even more fields added and new legal status visualisations.

PMR Field Changes:
  • Added patent examiner fields including the primary and assistant examiner names and the primary examiners department.
  • Added the Document Identifiers field ids for searching for patent records using publication identifiers in a variety of formats (e.g. "EP_0227762_B1_19900411", "EP 0227762 B1", "EP_0227762_B1", "EP0227762B1", "EP0227762", "145-564-229-856-440", "US 7,654,321 B2", "7,654,321", "US 2021/0191781 A1", etc.). We recommend using the `Ids` fields to search for documents based on legacy keys as the format needs to be exact (e.g. Doc Number, Pub Key, Doc key, Display Key).
  • The Pub Keys field has been deprecated, please use lens_id field or search the ids field instead.
Legal Status Visualisations:
  • Added new Legal Status by Jurisdiction map chart type to the analysis charts, which shows patent legal enforcement by jurisdiction. This is calculated by classifying any patents with a legal status of "Expired", "Discontinued" or "Inactive" as "Not In Force", and any with a status of "Active" as "In Force". We then calculate the ratio and represent on a colour gradient from red to green, where red = 100% in force and dark green = 100% not in force. Grey represents jurisdictions with no patents present. N.B. Patents with a Legal Status of "Pending" and "Unknown" are disregarded, and jurisdictions comprising multiple member countries like WIPO or EPO are expanded out to all their individual member countries.
  • Pie Charts and Scatter Plots now apply consistent Legal Status Colour encoding (red = in force, red = not in force, etc.)
  • Added a Legal Status Dashboard preset option to visualise the legal status coverage across jurisdictions, over time and across applicants and owners.
  • Added an option to expand regional jurisdictions to all member states on jurisdictional maps so jurisdictions comprising multiple member countries like WIPO or EPO can be expanded out into their individual countries. For example, if 20 patents are filed in Australia and 50 in WIPO, Australia will have 70 total. Individual counts and filter links for each jurisdiction are displayed in a tooltip.

Other Improvements and Changes

The Lens is a work in progress and with each release, we aim to add new features, enhance existing services and improve the quality of the data we provide with the most comprehensive data we can source. While many of these changes stem from users' feedback (which we greatly appreciate!), they also originate from improved data processing and improvements in the source data. Below is a list of other improvements and changes that were implemented in this release:

  • Added zoom options to the patent document previewer toolbar
  • Added jurisdiction flags to the choose more explorer modal
  • Updated the patent date filters and added Anticipated Termination Date to the filters, this allows you to search for patents that are anticipated to expire within a specified time period
  • Added Regional Jurisdictions grouping option to the Jurisdiction filter in patents. This adds filters for all regional jurisdictions such as WIPO, EPO, etc.
  • Redesigned the collection settings tab and modal, including additional settings for institutional accounts
  • Updated the collection table/cards design in the user work area
  • Removed the item count from collection header
  • Redesigned homepage search, removed slide out filters and added a simplified search bar and added the Aggregated Metadata infographic.
  • You can now apply Tags to a document from the individual scholarly work or patent page by clicking on the ‘Tags’ button in the toolbar and adding a tag.
  • Improved abstract formatting for better readability, particularly on large screens
  • Added auto sort on results list where the default sort order is now Date Published (newest) if there is no search term entered (e.g. a filter only), and reverts to Relevance when a search term is entered
  • Updated PatSeq user interface to support user themes and incorporating the user’s account details in the sidebar
  • Curly quotes “” are now automatically converted to straight quotes " in a query string to alleviate copy/paste errors from other word processors
  • The query sort order is now being applied to data exports
  • Added LEAP country grouping to the groupings options of the Institution Country / Region filter in scholarly works, and the Jurisdiction filter in patents. This adds filters for the ~130 countries and regions that are automatically eligible for an ITK subscription under LEAP.
  • Updated the API & Data page designs
  • Added email field to the API & Data request form
  • The Active Access tab in the user’s account has now been changed to Subscriptions and no longer appears under the API & Data tabs.
  • We are pleased to announce the Lens is now a certified ORCID Service Provider
  • Added NGOSource equivalency determination certification
  • Updated the Press Kit
  • Added country labels for patent party fields (applicant, inventor, owner and agent countries) in analysis charts
  • Added tooltips to histogram analysis visualisation
  • You can now click a histogram bar to see documents in that range
  • UX Improvements to creating a new dashboard or opening an existing dashboard including improved analysis dashboard preset layout and options, and added a New Dashboard button
  • Unsaved Dashboards now last only for the life of your current session
  • Map visualisations now include options in the settings to change the projection type and encoding colour scheme and background colour. This gives users far greater control over the look and feel of maps created in analysis.


  • Fix issue with duplicate family priorities in the family priorities table
  • Fix RIS export file encoding issues
  • Fix JSON patent export issues
  • Fix a bug with saved queries whereby that the document type has the wrong values
  • Fix redirectTarget XSS vulnerability
  • Fix feedback from returnTo XSS vulnerability
  • Fix citation chart on individual scholarly works
  • Fix login redirect bug after an unsuccessful login attempt
  • Fix bug with inventorship claiming and patent histogram on profiles
  • Fix for Patent Bulk Claim on Lens Profiles
  • Fix linkouts to Espacenet
  • Fix the location and contact details in In4M for the Indian Institute of Technology
  • Fix "Search Family Of" link
  • Fix agent tooltip filter links
  • Fix logo grid click to filter
  • Fix hidden chart configuration labels in the report builder
  • Prevent users from saving invalid queries

API & Data Improvements:

  • Lens Scholarly APIv1.5.2:
    • Added support for sorting by relevance score
    • The API usage endpoint has been updated to add the reset date (resetDate):{TOKEN}
    • Added schema endpoint to retrieve the response schema:{TOKEN}
    • The default fields used in a string query ("all fields") is now the same as the UI
    • For a provided list of lens ids; added sorting order for API server internal endpoint to keep the response in the same order as the provided lens ids.
  • Lens Patent APIv1.2.7:
    • Added support for sorting by relevance score
    • The API usage endpoint has been updated to add the reset date (resetDate):{TOKEN}
    • Added schema endpoint to retrieve the response schema:{TOKEN}
    • Added the Earliest Priority Claim Date to the API response fields
    • Added sort order support for queries with a provided list of Lens IDs to keep the response in the same order as provided Lens IDs.
  • Patents:
    • Improved the relevance scoring for patent search results, providing more relevant search results as top hits when sorted by relevance.
    • Added legal status fields to JSONL exports

If you would like to help us continue improving the API to provide the services you want, please participate in these brief surveys:

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 or check out the new Lens Support Center & Knowledge Base to see our latest support videos and posts, or contact us at with your queries/comments.

Policy Changes:

With this release the Terms of Use, API Terms of Use and PatSeq Bulk Data - Terms of Use have been updated, and terms have been added for the Individual Commercial Use Agreement. Terms of use for the Scholarly API and Patent API have been consolidated into a single Lens API - Terms of Use.

Interested in helping us improve?

  • Share your use case with us and explore how Lens can help you.
  • Contact your librarians and let them know about Lens Institutional toolkits
  • Keep sending us your feedback on The Lens features and functionality.
  • If you have published using Lens tools/data, please share your work with us so we can promote it on the Lens labs page.
  • Get involved in Lens Labs and take action to improve this public resource by sharing your datasets/algorithms that would enhance data transparency.

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.

Patch Notes:

  • Added legal events timeline visualisation to the legal info tab on individual patent pages
  • The patent family timeline is now hidden if the patent family only includes one member
  • Improved the patent analysis dashboard default charts and preset dashboards; added 11 new charts to the chart wizard, additional colour schemes and switched all custom patent charts to a green colour scheme by default
  • Added Pie Charts to the available chart types in patent analysis dashboards
  • Field dropdown menus in analysis chart headings are now searchable
  • Added zoom/pan functionality to bar charts, stacked bar charts and grouped bar charts. N.B. you will need to hold the shift key while scrolling to zoom
  • The warning displayed on dashboards that are based on large results sets is no longer displayed if the dashboard has been saved
  • Added field label for the ids field
  • Collective Action Project page updates and content corrections
  • Update Collective Action Project site-wide notice
  • Updated collection headers to add show more/show less options on the saved queries when many saved queries have been linked to a collection
  • Added show more/show less options to long author affiliations on individual scholarly works
  • Fix Load More modal height
  • Fix legal status pending badge colour to be consistent with charts
  • Fix histogram and scatter plot time series visualisations and data labels
  • Fix analysis chart help menu
  • Fix for bot detection failing to load captcha