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Course & Subject Guides

STEM Library Services @ Pitt

The guide highlights the specialized resources and services offered by the University Library System to aid STEM researchers, students, and faculty.

Conducting Market Research for Commercialization

Market research is an organized effort to gather information about target markets, customers and competitors. It is an important component of your business strategy because it can help you understand the existing competitive landscape and the overall health of the market to which you bring your product. For those who are commercializing an invention, product or service, market research can also help identify key stakeholders, major businesses for potential licensing and customer channels.

There are two main types of Market Research:

Primary market research is research conducted and collected by you. This can be in the form of interviews, surveys, focus groups and other ways of collecting customer feedback.Your main objectives are to understand who is your target customer and what do they want.

Secondary market research consists of reports, datasets, articles and other resources that have been produced by industry stakeholders, analysts and other researchers. Secondary resources can help validate with your learn about your industry, customer and competition from your own primary research.

Library Specialists

LaMonica Wiggins (She, Her, Hers)

405 Hillman Library

Library Services

Library Resources

The library provides a number of specialized databases to aid in conducting industry, company, consumer and market research. Visit the curated lists of resources at the links below:

Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis

A systematic review is defined as “a review of the evidence on a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select and critically appraise relevant primary research, and to extract and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review.”  The methods used must be reproducible and transparent.

Source: Undertaking Systematic Reviews of Research on Effectiveness. CRD’s Guidance for those Carrying Out or Commissioning Reviews. CRD Report Number 4 (2nd Edition). NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York. March 2001.  


Evidence synthesis refers to any method of identifying, selecting, and combining results from multiple studies.  The following are some types of evidence synthesis:

Systematic Review

Literature (Narrative) Review

​Scoping Review or Evidence Map

​Rapid Review

Umbrella Review.



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Aimee Sgourakis Jenkins

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405 Hillman Library


Studies have shown that collaborating with a librarian increases the reproducibility, and quality of reviews. (Rethlefsen et el, 2015)

Let us work with you to:  

  • Choose the best type of evidence synthesis for your project based upon discipline, question scope and timeline   
  • Select appropriate databases and sources of gray literature
  • Identify search terms
  • Create and refine search strategy
  • Organize references using citation management software
  • Determine which screening and selecting tools are best 
  • Assist with the research synthesis process, protocol development and methodology
  • Locate  published evidence syntheses on your topic
  • Find appropriate journals for possible publication of your review

For further information please view A Guide to Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis Service @ULS

Teaching Consultations and In-class Instructional Support

Library faculty are prepared to consult with you about teaching the research process in introductory or discipline-focused courses. We are skilled at co-designing assignments and learning experiences to support students' knowledge of scholarly sources, including their access and use. Please reach out to the appropriate subject expert to begin the conversation or submit the online request form and we will reply directly to you. 

Understanding Your Research Impact

Research metrics use qualatative tools to measure the impact of research outputs.  

Citations to publications are the most common indicators of impact.  You can find citation counts, how often an article was cited in other scholarly works, on websites such as Google Scholar or databases such as Web of Science or Scopus. These counts are collected at the level of an individual publication (article-level indicators) and can be "rolled up" to include all publications by an individual author, research group, institution or country. H-Index is an example of an indicator derived from calculating citation counts to a group of publications (traditionally, of an individual author, but also research groups or entire institutions).  Indicators constructed using aggregate citation counts to groups of publications can be also used to measure impact of journal titles (Clarivate Analytics' Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is one such example). 

Alternative metrics or altmetrics have potential to show impact of a broader range of research outputs. While citation counts have been used for some time to assess impact of research, new modes of scholarly communication enabled by new technologies now allow for capturing a greater variety of impacts.  Indicators based on measuring and benchmarking usage of scholarly content outside journal articles are known collectively as alternative metrics or altmetrics. These metrics have potential to show impact of a broader range of research outputs and impact outside the research community.  Altmetrics let us measure and monitor the reach and impact of scholarship and research through online interactions. You can explore the impact of your research beyond “traditional” journal-level metrics when considering things like Twitter mentions, Facebook shares or article download counts.

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Aimee Sgourakis Jenkins

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405 Hillman Library


Citation databases and tools tracking use of research outputs in social networks can be valuable in providing evidence of the volume and impact of research activity both within the scholarly community (research impact) and in a broader community (social impact). 

The library provides access to the tools that can help you assess research output on an individual, departmental or institutional level.  We can help researchers access, use and interpret bibliometric and altmetric data and indicators. Bibliometric/altmetrics measures can be used to better understand the research landscape and a researcher’s, research group’s or institution's position in it. Bibliometric and altmetric data, when used responsibly and in context, can be used as evidence of impact in grant, job or promotion application.

For further information please visit:

Writing a Data Management Plan

Major funders now often require a data management plan (DMP) to accompany research proposals, in particular from desires for reproducibility and for free public access to research outputs. Data management planning also invites the PI to consider potential technical problems and contingencies, as well as needed resources—for this reason, writing a DMP is a great idea for any project, even if not mandated for a funding proposal.

Although precise requirements vary per funder, DMPs typically discuss the project data's creation, processing, analysis, sharing, and preservation, and in what computational environment, by which individuals.

One fantastic resource for writing data management plans is the DMPTool, which is sponsored by Pitt. It contains templates and writing prompts for many funders. Log into DMPTool using your Pitt credentials to draft your DMPs and request feedback from a librarian.

Whether you're in (pre-)first or final draft, we can assist you in developing and writing your data management plan. Get in touch with your DMP questions via our Ask Us page! Consultations for creating data management plans are part of the Library's research data services.