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The Consultant has to be sharp and on his/her toes. Usually they are expect in a narrow topic and keeping up occurs through practice. Keeping up broadly is another matter.
The value of a consultant often is in his/her ability to relate the ordinary to the unusual or unexpected. This is where the broad based keeping up can be invaluable. Both the Maro Patent Alerts and Maro Journal Alerts can give that broad based view which could not only be impressive but also effective.
As valuable as the Alerts, for the consultant the Patent Encyclopedia on the website could be most valuable. There are over 30000 patents according to over 700 topics from the year 2001. All the patents in a collection are linked. That is a click or two will take one to the text version on the US Patent site. TIFF software, free from the US Patent office enables one to print out the verbatim copy of the patent.
Both quick access by the Alerts and Website enables a consultant to quickly collect sources on a particular problem of interest. Diligent use of this resource could be very valuable to the serious practitioner.
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.
I recommend the following: First try the Alerts immediately. There is no cost for this service and you can cancel at any time. After you are comfortable with the service and see its value, consider subscribing for Maro Encyclopedia. You may also consider a consultant's listing. For subscription details, click on subscription.
To start, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address and I will put you on the list.
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a one month free 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