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Students like everyone else is overworked and has little time to look at things outside immediate assignments. However, both short term and long term, keeping up is a good habit. During the interview for that dream job, broad based knowledge can set you apart from other candidates.
Maro can help through Maro Alerts and the Maro Encyclopedia.
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 his fancy changes. It is that quick change that often promotes creativity and a new look. At the spur of the moment, a compounder may take a quick peek at Fire and Materials on a whim and find something intriguing.
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 professionals 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.
Habits are hard to change. And sometimes the simplest thing will be a barrier. The links could be kept on the website and the message carries a link to the page with the links. 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 /she is hooked.
The Patent Encyclopedia
The second part to the Maro System is the so-called 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 keep on pages according to Topic. 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 following: First try the Alerts. The cost is minimal and it will give you a sense of the value of the service After you are comfortable with the service you can expand to include access to the website. To start, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address and I will put you on the list.
a free one month 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