By Matt Rodgers ‑ June 7, 2017
Expert Patent Searchers are Curious
Curiosity killed the cat, but in the world of patent and non-patent technical literature searching, that same cat would survive and thrive, ultimately becoming far superior to his fellow felines. In our world, curiosity motivates excellent searchers to come to work every day to perform a job that they love. This curious nature also impacts how searchers approach each project, directly inspiring the delivery of superior search reports for customers.
Why is Curiosity So Important?
Technology is at the heart of searching. Every search requires expertise in the technical area underlying the patents or products that are the foundation of their projects. Thus, every searcher has a particular technology specialty, and they bring their knowledge, passion and expertise to bear on each search that they perform. At CPA Global, most searchers have earned advanced degrees in their technical area.
Being curious and eager to explore the latest developments in their technical area of focus encourages continuous learning. This naturally results in improvements in their efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy over time. In addition, since searchers return to the same or similar subject matter repeatedly, their learning ramps up quickly, and they are able to leverage and build on their knowledge base. This directly benefits customers by building quality and insight into their search results.
The universe of patent and non-patent literature is growing every day; it’s simply not possible for one individual to keep up with every new technical development, every new patent and piece of non-patent technical literature, and every new searching tool or resource relating to their area of expertise. But a curious searcher will do a better job of keeping up-to-date than a searcher lacking this perspective because they are eagerly exploring new technologies and new search resources every day.
Some of the other ways in which excellent searchers exhibit their curious natures include:
Why is Curiosity a Must Throughout the Search Process?
Curiosity is a key driver of an excellent searcher’s performance throughout a patent search. At every step in the search process, the curious searcher will be asking themselves “What if?”, which will lead to new directions and avenues in their search that would have otherwise been missed. For example:
Can Curiosity Be Taught?
Curiosity is a trait that can’t really be taught. However, it is extremely likely that individuals who have chosen to pursue a degree in science or engineering and then continue to extend their knowledge by becoming a search analyst do so as a result of innate curiosity and interest in their chosen field. Their curiosity and appetite for discovery and exploration is part of the reason they take this career path.
At CPA Global, we use several approaches to nurture and feed our searchers’ curiosity. In addition to our in-depth training program on search methodologies and resources that all new searchers attend, we provide ongoing professional training covering topics such as:
We also provide our searchers with access to our internal Reference Desk, staffed by a librarian who is an expert in searching tools and resources. Searchers with questions about a particular searching tool or in need of a resource to meet a specific need can reach out to our Reference Desk for assistance, as well as to the other members of the search team.
Curious searchers are well-positioned to be excellent searchers. Curiosity makes the searcher pursue lifelong learning and proactively look for new approaches and resources to improve their searches. The net impact for customers is altogether better search results.
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