Formulating a search strategy 

Next the search division starts the search process by formulating a search strategy, i.e. a plan consisting of a series of search statements expressing the subject of the search, resulting in sections of the documentation to be consulted for the search. In its initial phase, a search strategy will contain one or more combinations of the basic components mentioned in B‑III, 2.2. The search process is interactive and iterative in the sense that the search division reformulates its initial search statement(s) according to the usefulness of the information retrieved (see B‑III, 1.1 and B‑IV, 2.4 and 2.6). When using classification groups, the search division selects the classification groups to be consulted for the search, both in all directly relevant fields and in analogous fields.

The search division will, when appropriate, also consult other classification (e.g. FI) or indexing (e.g. F-terms) schemes. Consultation of colleagues in a similar technical field or in fields possibly related to the content of the application is also a possibility (see B‑I, 2.1).

When in doubt about the appropriate fields in which to conduct the search, the search division may request advice from the appropriate classification expert.

Usually various search strategies are possible, and the search division exercises its judgement, based on its experience and knowledge of the available search tools, to select the search strategy most appropriate to the case in hand. The search division gives precedence to search strategies yielding sections of the documentation in which the probability of finding relevant documents is highest. Usually the main technical field of the application will be given precedence, starting with the basic components (see B‑III, 2.2) most relevant to the specific example(s) and preferred embodiments of the claimed invention. In considering whether to extend the search to other less relevant sections of the documentation, the search division always takes account of the search results already obtained.

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