Searching? Or actually trying to find something? – The comforts of searching versus the challenges of finding ☆
Every information professional has a unique way of conducting searches depending on his or her mindset. At one end of the spectrum there are those professionals that focus on the process of searching; At the other end there are those that focus on the objective of finding. This may seem to be a trivial distinction, as the process of searching should naturally be directed at finding relevant documents. However, this article illustrates that these different mindsets are in fact real and that they have a significant effect on the way searches are being conducted.Information professionals focussing on the process of searching enjoy the relative comfort of structure provided by the use of guidelines and checklists whereas professionals focussing on the objective of finding are willing to treat each search as a unique puzzle that requires a unique solution not bounded by guidelines or instructions.In this article the merits of both mindsets are discussed.The article is based on the author’s experience in the engineering field. Therefore some of the arguments set forth may be less relevant in for instance the chemical or biotechnology fields.
► Professional patent search professionals can be classified as “Searchers” or “Finders”. ► Searchers focus on process and tasks whereas Finders focus on objectives and results. ► Finders use the successful technique of starting precise followed by careful expansion.
Journal: World Patent Information - Volume 33, Issue 4, December 2011, Pages 360–363