Research Buyers Guide

The authoritative guide to research suppliers. Go

Research Jobfinder

The No.1 jobs resource for research and insight professionals. Go

Research-live.com

The definitive source of research news and opinion. Go

Fair Data

The Fair Data mark helps consumers recognise who they can trust. Go

International Journal of Market Research (IJMR)

The world authority on research methodologies and techniques for professionals and academics. Go

Geodemographics Knowledge Base (GKB)

For people interested in the application of geodemographics and geo-spatial analysis. Go

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Frequently asked questions

Questions about MRS, what we do and the sector we represent.

General

How can I find information, news or statistics on the research industry?

MRS’s quarterly magazine Impact and its companion website, www.research-live.com, carry news and features on the industry and trends.

See the Industry Statistics webpage for further details about statistics on the research industry. 

Our press coverage can be found in the media centre

Where can I find information on research techniques?

MRS is a key provider of information on market, social and opinion research techniques, both for those new to the profession and to support the professional development of those already working in the area:

  • MRS publishes a number of guidelines on conducting research, to support the Code of Conduct, eg on questionnaire design, conducting qualitative and quantitative research, research among children and young people.

  • MRS offers a number of qualifications in market and social research. 

  • We run an extensive range of professional training courses, including online courses, as well as offering in-company training.

  • Our Annual Conference is a forum for new thinking on market and social research. For those not able to attend the Conference the Proceedings can be purchased. We also run a number of other one-day conferences, seminars and other events during the year.

  • Harmonisation resources: harmonisation is concerned with the use of standard definitions, concepts, questions and outputs. CGG have compiled a short guide on harmonisation, which gives information on standards available.
  • We publish a number of textbooks in association with others, covering a variety of aspects of research and aimed at all levels of experience.


  • The quarterly International Journal of Market Research is a unique source of authoritative analysis in the multi-disciplinary field of market, social and economic research. A searchable archive of recent issues of the journal is available on the WARC website.

  • Our quarterly magazine Impact includes reports on specific areas of market research, software reviews etc. The companion website to Impact, Research Live (www.research-live.com), includes an archive of articles.

  • Occupation Groupings: A Job Dictionary has information on the socio-economic classification system (ABC1) which is generally used for market research in the UK. For further details, a summary of the groups and an order form see the Publications section.

  • The Census and Geodemographics Group publishes resources and runs regular seminars on using statistical and geodemographic data.

Other electronic sources of information


Other printed sources of information

Reading List for Market Research: (PDF 46KB, PDF Help).
You should be able to order the books listed through a bookshop, or obtain them from a large public library or specialist business library:

Where can I find out guidance on conducting research, eg among children, Internet research?

MRS publishes the Code of Conduct as well as a number of guidance documents for researchers, eg on conducting qualitative research, conducting research among children and young people, online research etc.

Where can I find out about the implications of the Data Protection Act to market research?

MRS has published a number of guidance documents on the Data Protection Act and its impact on market and social research. There are also Frequently Asked Questions to aid understanding of the guidelines.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the regulator responsible for the Data Protection Act 1998.

We run a viewing studio and recently came across a clip of a focus group (recorded at our studio) discussing politics on a social media site. We always obtain permission for recording but after the recordings leave us we have limited control.

Where can I find guidance on conducting ethnic research?

MRS Training provide specialised training courses on ethnic research

Where can I find information on the social grade classification system?

The MRS publication Occupation Groupings: A Job Dictionary has information on the social grade classification system (ABC1) which is generally used for market research in the UK.

For the first time an approximate social grade can be obtained from Census data – further information, including guidance on how to access the data.

The Census and Geodemographics Group publishes resources and runs regular seminars on using statistical and geodemographic data, including using Census data.

Where can I find statistical and demographic information, and help with using such data?

The MRS Census and Geodemographics Group publishes a number of resources on finding and using Census and geodemographic data. In particular the Geodemographics Knowledge Base (www.geodemographics.org.uk) is a very useful gateway for demographic sources of information.

In addition the following websites are useful sources of, and gateways to, statistical and demographic information:

Where can I find out about software to support research?

MRS publishes the monthly magazine Research, which regularly includes articles reviewing software of relevance to market research. If you would like to take out a subscription to the magazine see the Publications page for details. Past articles can be accessed via www.research-live.com.

The Research Software Central website (www.meaning.uk.com/your-resources/software-database/) is a browsable database of software products for market research and survey applications.

How can I find a research agency, consultant or viewing facility?

Research Buyer’s Guide

MRS publishes the Research Buyer’s Guide. This directory has information on over 600 entries, consultants, viewing facilities and fieldwork agencies offering market research and related services throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. It includes details of research markets, services and locations (including overseas), senior contacts and an overview of each organisation’s activities. It includes an index of the research methods used by the companies.

Research buyers can use RBG-listed suppliers confident in the knowledge that they employ at least one MRS member who ensures compliance with the MRS Code of Conduct.

You can also search the Research Buyer’s Guide online (www.theresearchbuyersguide.com), which as well as searchable up to-date listings also offers a Bulletin Board to display potential research projects. There is no charge for using the online directory.

Where can I find information about published research on a specific area (eg the food industry, the IT sector, people’s leisure interests)?

Published market research

A good starting point to finding published market research is the website of RBA Information Services (www.rba.co.uk). The section ‘Business Information on the Internet’ includes a list of market research content aggregators, market research publishers, Internet surveys and government sources.

National Statistics publishes UK statistical information, eg Consumer Trends and Census data (www.statistics.gov.uk).

Published market research reports and data can also be identified using:

  • MarketResearch.com (www.MarketResearch.com) is a continuously updated collection of market research, offering more than 110,000 market research reports from over 550 leading global publishers.
  • Market Research Findings (www.marketresearchworld.net) offers summaries of survey findings from worldwide sources, organised by industry.
  • Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) is a directory of published market research reports, which can be purchased online.


In addition the following offer market research data:


Many libraries hold a collection of market research reports:


International research



Commissioning research

If you wish to commission research, you can use the Research Buyer’s Guide (RBG), to identify an appropriate agency or consultant. It is a directory of over 600 entries and consultants offering market research and related services throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. It includes details of research markets, services and locations, senior contacts and an overview of each organisation’s activities. It includes an index of the research methods used by the companies.

Research buyers can use RBG-listed suppliers confident in the knowledge that they employ at least one Full Member or Fellow of MRS who ensures compliance with the MRS Code of Conduct.

You can search the online directory for free at www.theresearchbuyersguide.com. As well as searchable up-to-date listings the site also offers a Bulletin Board to display potential research projects.

Where can I find information on marketing?

The WARC database (www.warc.com) is the largest single source of online intelligence for market research, marketing, advertising and media worldwide. The service gathers together over 15,000 articles, case studies, research and conference papers drawn from over 25 international sources covering all areas of marketing communications. It is a subscription service, with a discount offered to Members of MRS.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing has a useful website (www.cim.co.uk)

The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (www.theidm.com) is another useful source of information.

Database Marketing magazine has a very useful website Links section (www.dbm.today)

Where can I get advice on running my business?

The following websites all offer useful information on starting up and running a business: