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Research Guides

PSL4050: Collaboration and Commercialization in Physiology

Health-focused library resources and support for market research and business planning

Welcome

This guide is designed to support the creation of your list of competitors for your scalable, value-creating business idea. Below you will find resources and tips to help you find market, competitor, and industry information.

To the left you will also find navigation links to further resources on reading annual reports, finding health statistics, and searching the traditional medical literature. These won't be covered in the workshop, but you can contact Entrepreneurship Librarian Carey Toane at carey.toane@utoronto.ca if you have any questions about business resources.

For assistance searching the traditional medical literature, please contact Gerstein Science Information Centre at ask.gerstein@utoronto.ca.

Book a 30-minute market research consultation with Carey on Calendly.

About Business Research

Applied business research is the research you do to create a company, product, or service, rather than to conduct a research study or academic article. This kind of research is less well defined than traditional health sciences literature searching. For those who are used to the latter, it's worth pointing out that the business sources linked below are:

  • Created for a corporate audienceVenn diagram with three interlocking circles
  • Not typically peer reviewed or published in an academic journal
  • Built on reputation and trust, rather than empirical method
  • Provide information to test assumptions and reduce risk
  • Future predictions based on past behaviour (not a crystal ball!)
  • Finding a clear answer is by no means guaranteed

How is business information organized?

Typically, a report will focus on industry, company, or user/customer information. As shown in the diagram to the right, these categories often overlap. Resources in the Entrepreneurship guide are organized according to these categories.

Key databases for market research

Find more databases on the Entrepreneurship Research Guide.

Evaluating sources

U of T Libraries aims to select resources of the best quality. However, we recommend that you always assess the information you find before using it to make [business] decisions. The RADAR framework (Mandalios, 2013) is a tool to help guide your critical assessment of information sources. RADAR stands for:

  • Relevance: How is the information relevant to your research question or assignment? Why choose this source over others available? What is the scope of the information provided within? 
  • Authority: Who is the author? Is there an author listed? Do they have credentials? How are they connected to the topic? How does this information impact your assessment of the accuracy of the information? Have they shared their methodology or approach? 
  • Date: When was the source published? When was the data gathered? Note that for fast-changing technology sectors, a maximum age of 2 years is acceptable for market research. 
  • Appearance: Does the source look professional and free of errors? Does it include a logo or URL of a publisher or institution you trust? 
  • Reason for writing: What is the apparent purpose of the information source? Is it to inform, persuade, educate or sell? Who does the author seem to be addressing? Is it for a general or specialized audience? What is the author's bias?

Workshop materials