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Research Guides

APS111: Engineering Strategies & Practice (2019)

Client needs, gaps and scopes

The information needed to provide support/evidence for or to understand client "needs", "gaps" in the world and project "scope" are all different types of information. You may need to look for this information in different locations. Below are some suggested places to start your searches. This is not an exhaustive list of all possible places to look. If you are struggling to find information, please see the "Getting help!" tab on the left.

Information for identifying the "gap" in the world

Identifying the "gap" in the world that your "need" is addressing goes beyond what your client tells you (or in many cases beyond what your client even knows exists!). Information that can help you identify the "gap" can be found using a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge or prior art searches. This type of exhaustive research searches for information in  technical journal articles, review articles, conference proceedings, professional journal articles (e.g. trade publications) and patents to see if a "need" has already been filled by something else that exists.

Below are some suggested starting points to help understand the "gap" in the world your project fills. Depending on your project, you may need to search beyond the suggested resources below. You can visit the Reference Desk at the library to get help figuring out where you start your search for information on the "gap". 

You can find technical journal articles, review articles, conference proceedings and professional journal articles (e.g. trade publications) using the databases below. During your search you can limit your results to articles, conference proceedings or magazines (for trade publications).

You can also do similar searches in the library catalouge to find articles and books.

Patents are also a resource to understand what inventions exist to fill a "gap" through a prior art search. Use the patent guide below to learn about what a patent is, how read and find patents. You can also do simple searches for patents in Google patents.