Information Specialists and Librarians
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Maro can be very helpful and cost effective for Current Awareness as a part of a comprehensive information service.
Current Awareness is our specialty. This is done through Maro Patent Alerts, Maro Journal Alerts and the Maro Patent Encyclopedia.
The Alerts are based on two email messages a day. Although two long messages seem at first a pain, that impression disappears very quickly when one finds how easy it works and the value of the delete button. Although the messages are long, they enable very rapid scanning. It is this rapid scanning that is the key to the Current Awareness service.
Inventions, breakthroughs and solutions to difficult problems require connections. People to be creative, must be aware of lots of things, some far removed from the problem at hand. Hardly anyone has the time to do much connecting on a broad scale so one relies on past experience. Unfortunately for most of us, as good as our experience is, this reservoir dries up very quickly and the wheel spinning starts.
Five to ten minutes a day is all that is required to keep up, the Maro way. One minute is all the is required to scan a list of an Alerts message. If one finds something of interest, for the patent, a click takes one to the full text version of the patent. That means critical details are instantly available. Nothing is more stimulating than to have those kind of details right at your finger tips. The problem is that the five minutes very quickly extends to minutes or hours --- but if it solves that critical problem --- it is a good investment.
The Journal Alerts are not quite so convenient. If one is a subscriber to a journal the articles are instantly available. For others, a credit card will usually make any article available. However, the titles and most abstracts are there. Right now a subscriber can follow over 400 journals a week. Most people will be only interested in a few of the 400 journals but they are there if their interest changes. It is that quick change that promotes creativity and a new look.
A criticism the Maro approach is that it is not focused enough. The point of Current Awareness is to be broadly aware and not focused on specifics. Most active professional are very much aware of their specifics and have several different ways of keeping up. Maro cannot help them very much. There are many information services dedicated to providing specific answers. One can argue about the value of broad based current awareness, but breakthroughs do require thinking out of the box.
It is reasonable that the larger the group that are really doing broad based current awareness, the more likely a breakthrough of significant advance will happen. I would certainly expect dozens of new ideas --- connections --- from doing this on a regular basis. The potential value to a company with broad usage is enormous.
My experience has shown that if I describe the service to people, very few sign up even if it is free, maybe 10 percent. I put new people on the Alerts list without their permission but make it easy to cancel, only 50% ever cancel. Many of those not particularly interested do become dedicated users. I appreciate today's sensitivity to spam and so on, but the potential value to a group, I think, far outweighs this temporary inconvenience.
The Alerts List
I. therefore, recommend the information specialist or librarian or anyone in charge of a group, add anyone they think could benefit and put them on the Alerts list and see what happens. A simple reply with a cancellation is all it takes for them to cancel. Some will cancel but some will become dedicated users. It is these dedicated users will develop the value of Maro to your organization.
I cannot predict who will use the service and find it valuable. One could say only the engineer or scientist will really find it useful. Not true. A lot depends on the innate curiosity of the user and so on. Some experienced technical people will never use the system --- they just don't like reading on the computer. They have their own system and they are not going to change. On the other hand, a technician may be curious and just like to roam through the lists. He is going to learn something --- bingo! --- one day he will make a connection and the significant contribution. The same is true for a manager and even a CEO. The key is curiosity. If it is there, the chances are very good they will like the Alerts and even more likely they will make a contribution they wouldn't otherwise make.
Management especially top management should find the Maro Alerts and website very useful. Most managers I have known like to keep their hand on the pulse the technical aspect of their business. True, they have their reports and advisors all over the place, but nothing beats a little personal contact with the real thing. Some are certainly are far removed from practice but it is important for them to be aware. Five minutes a day with Maro allows them to do just that.
Habits are hard to change. And sometimes the simplest thing will be a barrier. The links could be kept on the website and a short message sent to subscribers message. That extra step keeps most from scrolling through the links. Having Links right there, means without thinking the reader starts scrolling. Without thinking about it, the reader may have scanned the whole list. If he find something of interest --- Bingo!! he or she is hooked.
The Patent Encyclopedia
The second part to the Maro System is the Patent Encyclopedia. This is the Patent Links Collection which is kept on the website and is available anytime the website is available.
The links are kept on Topic pages. The Topics are listed alphabetically in a Topic List. These Topics are also organized within a Topic Outline. This is very important because many topics, especially new Topics do not have their own page. The Outline will tell how the field is organized and what Topics will include subtopics which do not have their own page.
This means that if you are looking for such a topic and there is no page, the more general Topic will likely have patents on the specific Topic. Some requests information on a Topic. If there is a page, one then has a collection of very recent patents on the subject. One now can use these patents as a window to the topic and find related topics. You can copy the collection and send it to the person and so on. This whole system is very quick and generally a good start to any search.
I recommend the followmg: . Try the subscription for one year. Send me as many email addresses as you dare to get people exposed to the Alerts. Don't ask. Use the website site as you wish. For subscription details, click on subscription. If you have any questions, give me a call at the number below.
Until all the paperwork can be done, sign up for the Alerts so you can see what this is all about. There is no cost for a single Alerts subscription. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address and I will put you on the list.
a one month free trial Maro Alerts subscription,
send an email request to
Maro Polymer Alerts and www.maropolymeronline.com
Exton, PA 19341
Tel: 610 363 9920
Fax: 610 363 9921