Prior art searching and identifying emerging research trends is often your first checkpoint in your research workflow. To brainstorm and gather ideas:
1. Prior art searching using patent databases:
According to Oxford English Dictionary, patent is “a license from a government conferring for a set period the sole right to make, use, or sell some process or invention”. Patent search can help formulate your research question through discovery of prior art or new inventions.
|Espacenet (European Patent Office)|
|Japan Platform for Patent Information (Japan Patent Office)|
|KIPRIS (Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service)|
|Patentscope (World Intellectual Property Organization)|
|SciFinder (HKUL current staff or students only): mainly on chemistry|
CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration)
|USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office)|
2. Identify emerging research trends using analytical tools:
Exploring by research fronts can help identify areas where important work is being done and where the scientific community is focusing its attention. A research Front is a cluster of highly cited papers over a five-year period in a specialized topic defined by a cluster analysis. Clarivate Analytics publishes annual reports on research fronts over the past years. Read the 2020 Research Fronts report.