Get the most out of your research

Search Tips

  • 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.
  • A good starting point is to begin your search using an Aggregator market research site. These sites offer the facility to search a number of market research databases at one time. Two such sites are and Keep in mind that only a limited number of the reports listed on these sites will be available from Enterprise Ireland and that these sites do not include a comprehensive list of all market report databases.
  • 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.).
  • For a general internet search it is even more important to target your search by using ‘Advance Search’ options and checking for any search tips available. There is an excellent Google Cheat Sheet document created by Nancy Blachman which details tips for searching Google available on
  • 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.

Useful websites

Below is a list of useful websites, most of which provide free information. We hope these will assist you in your research.


Country Research
Enterprise Ireland Export GuidesEnterprise Ireland Export Guides / Country Reports
The World Factbook – detailed information about every country in the world, with digital references, maps and appendices on international organisations
Overview of each EU member country (as well as information on the EU)
BBC Monitoring Country Profiles
Information on OECD member


Statistical Research
International statistics
International trade statistics
European Statistics


Patents/ Intellectual Property
Irish Patents
European Patent
International Patent
Google Patents (mainly US)
US patents and


National Standards Authority -
International Standards


Duties and Regulations
Market Access Database
Central Bank Regulatory advice
Communications regulation
Food and Drug Administration (US)
Revenue Guides (search site for export guides)


Enterprise Development
Local Enterprise
Irish government
Companies Registration