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Innovation Hub Research Guide

Resource guide created by Innovation Fellow 2022 Judy Opdahl.

Series of five backlight colorful boxes representing the innovation process

Finding the Problem

Books, eBooks, AudioBooks on Creativity, Mindset, Ideation

Image of ebook title  The Creator Mindset: 92 Tools to Unlock the Secrets to Innovation, Growth, and Sustainability
Cover image of ebook titled Cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset
image of audiobook cover titled The Toolbox: Strategies for Crafting Social Impact
Image of e-book titled The Innovation Mindset
Image of ebook title  The Idea Generator: 15 Clever Thinking Tools to Create Winning Ideas Quickly
Cover image of ebook titled Design Thinking For Dummies
Image of ebook title Radical Product Thinking: The New Mindset for Innovating Smarter
Cover image of The human element : overcoming the resistance that awaits new ideas
Cover of ebook titled The shape of ideas : an illustrated exploration of creativity
Cover of ebook Out of Our Minds: The Power of Being Creative
Cover image of book Innovator's playbook : how to create great products, services & experiences that your customers will love!
Cover image of eBook title Organizational creativity : a practical guide for innovators & entrepreneurs

What is the problem that you are trying to solve?

Example of a problem and initial idea......

property with large sloping hillside with need for plants    Planting on steep slopes to prevent erosion 

  • Plants are needed to help prevent erosion of soil and slope stability. Extreme slopes make seeding or planting challenging and dangerous (slip/falls). Plants on hills should require little to no water due to costs, little maintenance (safety/$), beneficial/attract wildlife and pollinators

Initial idea for a solution 

white drone hovering over blurred landscape Could a drone be used to disperse seeds on slopes?  

Let's Search the Web

For new products, services, and applications a search of the web using Google is appropriate.

Image of Google search bar

Work to locate relevant information to understand the potential marketplace 

  • The images button is helpful to see if your idea may be in exsistance in some form.
  • The shopping option shows potential similar or competing products. 
  • The "tools" option can be used to identify items within a specific time frame (if that is helpful information to your research).

Starting your research with Keywords

  1. Take a few minutes to generate keywords that you will use as you research your idea.
  2. Write down a research question and break it into main concepts.

    For example
    : How can drones be used for planting?
drones used planting
UAV application agriculture
unmanned aerial vehicle modified seeds
  adapted landscaping

In each column enter a main concept

Within the column generate:

  • synonyms
  • broader terms
  • narrower terms
  • alternate spellings
  • related terms

Online tools for brainstorming, mapping

Courtesy listing tools.

Try these headings

Subject headings are assigned to books/ebooks in the library's catalog.

"Subject heading" search finds titles on that subject. You can use the filters to sort the results by date, full text online, etc. Here are a few headings of potential interest to get you started

Subject Subheadings - you can add to your subject search after the names of states, regions, and main subjects. For instance:  design -- social aspects

  • social aspects
  • management
  • planning
  • study and teaching
  • technological innovations

(Adapted from Duke University's Economics Research Guide)