The scientific literature and patent literature have for a long time been viewed as two different worlds, with publications in the latter one measure of a researcher’s translational activity. But a much larger cadre of researchers influence inventions beyond those who are named as inventors on patents. Within patent filings there is often an extensive list of citations to the non-patent literature, including peer-reviewed papers, monographs, meetings and more. In a Patent article, Jefferson Osmat and her colleagues have created a tool to mine an open database termed the Lens containing filings from the US Patent and Trademark Office, The European Patent Office, the World Intellectual Property Organization Patent Cooperation Treaty applications and IP Australia for the non-patent literature. This enables an assessment of individual and institutional contributions to the global patent literature.