Get the most out of your research
- Make sure you are asking the correct questions and fully understand the concepts/terms you are dealing with. Think about what you want the information for – what your answer might look like – in what type of resource it might be found (a market report, directory, country information database, journal article).
- Identify key words – think of what words would be part of the answer/solution rather than the actual question/problem. For example, for medical devices you could also use surgical instruments; syringes; stents etc.
- Identify synonyms and related terms for your key words. Include variations in spelling such as American spelling. For example, medical device is sometimes defined as medical equipment. Both UK and US spelling is used for orthopaedic implants (orthopaedic and orthopedic).
- Note narrower and broader terms for your subject/key words so that you are ready to expand your search if you are getting too few hits or narrow it if you are getting too many. For example, if searching for diagnostics use narrower terms in-vitro diagnostics or molecular diagnostics.
- Read the ‘About Us’ section of the publishers website to see what they cover before wasting time on an incorrect resource.
- If you are retrieving too many hits, use the ‘Advanced Search’ facility if available. This will allow you to narrow your search down to what you really need (e.g. limit by date of publication, keywords must be in title of report etc.).
- Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to expand or narrow your search, for example: stents OR catheters will give all documents with either term; medical devices AND stents will give documents with both terms; medical devices NOT surgical will give all documents with medical devices but exclude those which mention surgical.
Below is a list of useful websites, most of which provide free information. We hope these will assist you in your research.