New Features and Improvements
Introducing the Aggregation API
With this release, we are pleased to announce the Aggregation API is now available, providing an additional API endpoint that supports aggregation requests. The Aggregation API is also included in the Institutional Toolkits for universities and research institutions by default, providing institutional users with access to the Aggregation API for a myriad of research and analysis use cases.
The Aggregation API allows you to recreate every metric and analysis chart you can create on The Lens in your own environment. The API enables users to run the same types of aggregation requests used to power all the analysis charts and metrics available in the lens.org user interface, allowing users to perform their own analyses on the entire scholarly and patent datasets. Use cases for the Aggregation API include research analyses or creating and displaying real-time stats and charts on an external website. The Aggregation API also allows for the calculation of mission-driven metrics, allowing you to choose what factors are important for your institution and measure what matters.
The query syntax for the Aggregation API uses a modified version of the Elasticsearch Aggregations syntax, with the following aggregation types supported: cardinality, average, max, min, sum, terms, date histograms and filters. Aggregation API documentation is available here: https://docs.api.lens.org/aggregations.html.
If you are interested in using or trialling the Aggregation API, you can now request access from the updated API & Data pages.
Updated API & Data Pages
The API & Data pages have also been updated with this release to accommodate requests for the Aggregation API. Requests for API and bulk data are now split by product (i.e. search API, aggregation API, bulk data) with options to select the appropriate access plan (i.e. trial, Institutional user, custom). Product cards include an Active/Requested label for users that already have or requested access. The Quick Links and FAQs have also been updated in this release.
Bulk Data Download API
With this release we have added API endpoints for automating patent and scholarly works bulk data downloads and an option for easily initiating manual downloads via the subscription tab of users Lens accounts.
Delta files for bulk data updates are currently in development and will be available soon. Delta files for bulk data subscribers will be included in the bulk data API and available for download.
New Language Options - 한국어 (Korean) and فارسی (Persian)
Continuing with the updates to our localisation, with this release we are pleased to announce the addition of translated message properties in 한국어 (Korean) and فارسی (Persian). Much of this localisation has been done using machine translation with a check from a native speaker. We would like to acknowledge the help and support of 김진우 (Kim, Jinwoo - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) and Parnian Barekatain (Nucleate) for their contributions and help checking the translations.
Please note, not all elements of the UI have been checked for each language. If you see a term that is not translated correctly or should be improved, please let us know by contacting us at Support. The updated localisation does not include PatSeq, PatCite, In4M or individual reports.
Updated Bot Protection
The bot protection on the platform has also been updated In this release. Cloudflare Turnstile has been added to help maintain the stability of the platform and prevent bots slowing down the website for all users.
Cloudflare Turnstile is a simple CAPTCHA replacement that provides a CAPTCHA-free experience to users while preventing abuse by confirming visitors are real without the data privacy concerns or frustrations that CAPTCHAs cause. The Cloudflare Turnstile widget will typically complete automatically unless bot behaviour detection is triggered. Users may see the Cloudflare Turnstile widget when logging in or providing feedback.
Institutional Toolkit Pricing Update
Since launching the Lens Collective Action Project in September 2021, the introductory subscription fees for universities and research institution Institutional Toolkits (ITK) have remained unchanged. The uptake from world-leading universities and research institutions, funders, policy makers and analysts has been gratifying.
We are pleased to see the community voting with their budgets for an open-data and low-cost alternative to the closed, proprietary, expensive and entrenched alternatives. ITK introductory pricing will remain as is until the end of 2023. However, to accommodate the provision of new capabilities as a user-supported platform, ITK prices will increase in 2024.
The ITK package has also been expanded and now includes the Aggregation API by default, providing all staff and students with access to both the search and aggregation APIs for a myriad of research and analysis use cases.
Note: 2024 pricing for existing and renewing subscribing institutions will remain unchanged.
Other Improvements and Changes
The Lens is a work in progress and with each release The Lens team improves on certain features or perfects the quality of the data and the service to provide you with the most comprehensive data we can source. While often these changes stem from users' feedback, they also originate from improved data processing and improvements in the source data. In this release, here is the list of other improvements and changes that were implemented:
- Added Delete account form to user account settings to allow users to request account deletion.
- Added BibliZap to the Lens Labs Community Apps & Data page.
- Added The Claremont Colleges Library and O.P. Jindal Global University to the Registry of subscribing institutions and supporters.
- Added release number to the Data Set tab of the Scholarly Works Structured Search page.
- Updated the default patent analysis dashboard.
- Added plan details (i.e. rate limit/quota) to the Subscriptions tab in users accounts for API and Bulk data subscriptions.
- Updated RTL styles for Arabic and Persian localisations.
- Added the fee payment jurisdiction to Payment legal event classes on the legal info tab of individual patents.
- Updated data diagram on the homepage.
- Fix the search history links in the history sidebar for citation join searches.
- Fix legacy dashboards without a type (i.e. scholar or patent).
- Fix the Full Text field name used in the in the Title, Abstract or Full Text search option in the scholarly works structured search fields.
API & Data Improvements
Patent and Scholarly Bulk data::
- Added API endpoints for retrieving the list of available files and for downloading bulk data files.
- Updated bulk data file formats to JSONL (previously NDJSON).
Lens API (version 2.11.0):
- Released the Aggregation API out of beta.
- Added Aggregation API endpoints to Swagger UI.
- Added Java - Cursor Based Pagination - Aggregate by Journal code sample to the API documentation for using cursor-based pagination to scroll the API for a list of journals while managing rate limits, and aggregate the results for journals. This can be used to calculate the total scholarly citations per journal. Note: If you have a large list of journals or result set, it would be better to use the Aggregation API as this code sample is using recursion.
- Added example Postman Collection to the API documentation, which contains a variety of useful patent API example requests.
- Updated the Classification Explorer to use the latest CPC schema (version 2023.08).
Interested in supporting the sustainability of The Lens?
- Contact your library, research office or technology transfer and commercialization teams, and let them know about Lens for Institutions and the Institutional Toolkits.
- Do you know someone who would be interested in The Lens? Share a search or collection with them, or suggest that they register for our newsletter here.
Interested in helping us improve?
- Collective Action needs connected actors. The Collective Action Project provides a number of different activities for all stakeholders to participate in collective problem solving. See how you can participate.
- Are you supportive of The Lens mission and interested in volunteering your expertise and time to support The Lens? We welcome expressions of interest. Please contact us at email@example.com. We are happy to learn more about your skill sets and see if there is a good fit of skills and timing to contribute to The Lens.
- If you have published using Lens tools or data, or created an application using the API or data from the Lens, please share your work with us so we can share it with others on Lens Labs to help improve The Lens as a public resource.
- Share your use case with us and explore how The Lens can help you and keep sending us your feedback on The Lens features and functionality.
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.