by Linda Spiro and Scott Carlson, Rice University
Providing an easy method of browsing a university’s patent output can free up valuable research time for faculty, students, and external researchers. This is especially true for Rice University’s Fondren Library, a USPTO-designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center that serves an academic community widely recognized for cutting edge science and engineering research. In order to make Rice-generated patents easier to find in the university’s community, a team of technical and public services librarians from Fondren Library devised a method to identify, download, and upload patents to the university’s institutional repository, starting with a backlog of over 300. This article discusses the rationale behind the project, its potential benefits, and challenges as new Rice-generated patents are added to the repository on a monthly basis.