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FSN 603: Nutrient Changes in the Food System: Database Search Tips

Find Articles—Recommended Databases

Start by knowing where to search! Here are some good databases to get started in:

Go to the general Food Science and Nutrition Guide for more database recommendations.

Generate a List of Keywords

  • Break your topic down into key words and phrases (no more than three words long)
  • Look for words that relate to your topic: effected populations and settings or variations. If you're not familiar with your topic, try a simple Google Search before diving into the databases. Write down keywords as you search that you can use to find more reputable sources in the databases.
  • Write out synonyms or related terms: vitamin c as well as ascorbic acid
  • Try alternative spelling: sulphur as well as sulfur
  • Truncate (use a wildcard) to get variations on a word: nutri* to find nutrition, nutritional, nutrient...

ANDs and ORs

Searching in databases means organizing your keywords with Boolean operators: AND, OR, and NOT

Use AND for more specific results
nutrition AND growth

Your results will include BOTH terms.

  AND narrows a search, finding only results containing both terms.

 

Use OR to broaden a search with related terms
nutrition OR growth

Your results will include EITHER term.

  OR expands a search, finding       results containing either or both terms.

 

Mix and match: (dairy OR milk OR cheese) AND nutri*

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Lindsay Decker
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Search Strategies

It's easy to find your self doing the same search over and over again if you aren't keeping track of your searches. You'll find some templates for keeping a record of your keywords and database searches here:

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