Ann Arbor-based ProQuest said Tuesday that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has recognized the value of its Deep Indexing technology by granting patent protection on ProQuest’s CSA Illustrata technology.  

ProQuest extracts and indexes data about graphic objects in journal literature to allow it to be searched as effectively as full text. Deep indexing was pioneered in ProQuest’s CSA Illustrata database, earning nultiple industry awards for giving researchers the ability to surface relevant information that would be missed by other search methods. 

Deep Indexing, the subject of U.S. Patent No. 5,950,196,  is now available in the all-new ProQuest platform, allowing the innovation to be used across a much broader range of data. 

“Deep Indexing significantly accelerates discovery in serious research and is just one example of the kind of technology leadership that’s resident across the ProQuest enterprise,” said Marty Kahn, ProQuest CEO. “The creation of a single, unified platform enables us to leverage this kind of innovation across the breadth of ProQuest content, rather than confining it to a handful of databases.”

ProQuest’s Deep Indexing creates metadata from the elements within illustrations so these graphics — including table, charts, photos, drawings, etc. — can be searched for relevant content.  Before the debut of ProQuest’s new unified platform, the technology was available for scientific and technology journals. Deep Indexing now becomes one of the platform’s advanced content management tools that can be used across ProQuest data.  

Migration to the new ProQuest platform is in full swing around the world, with hundreds of libraries up and running successfully. Built from the ground up, the new platform is based on years of extensive student observations, surveys of more than 6,000 end users, focus groups, and individual interviews, along with ongoing interactions with users, librarians and faculty. Its core is a single platform for all content, offering a consolidated user experience. As Drexel University’s Beth Ten Have reports in Searcher magazine, the platform “reduces a significant set of barriers to important research and scholarly content by providing a simple yet sophisticated search engine and interface, with access to a robust set of management tools.” 

To learn more about Deep Indexing and the all-new ProQuest platform, visit


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