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The author notes that while having dinner with a colleague and discussing plans for an upcoming conference, they discussed a challenging question: how does one come up with an idea for a technical paper? He realized that, for himself, the idea for article has usually been discovered while exploring "the white space" surrounding a specific topic. "The white space" refers to the blank areas on a note pad after he has mapped out these concepts on a central theme: Is there a recognized problem that perhaps could be stated in a different way to stimulate fresh thoughts? Are some concepts that are perceived to be facts really just long-held assumptions? Have those assumptions possibly led us in a wrong direction in seeking solutions? What assumptions are being made? Can we explore them? What has been published before on this topic? Are there gaps in previous publications? What "dots" need to be connected? Are there potential synergies with other topics? Is there an analogy in an entirely different technology or scientific discipline? If the theme is a current hot topic for many authors, is it diverting attention from another problem? The author would like to hear from other authors on what techniques they may find helpful in developing article proposals. Send a brief description of your techniques, I will share them with our readers as a "Letter to the Editor" in a future issue.
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2013