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Finding Primary Research Articles in the Sciences: Advanced Search-Databases


Most databases have an advanced search feature.  Below is the typical advanced search screen for an Ebsco database.  Other databases may look slightly different but should have the same features. 

Below are the steps that will give you the best results for this class and assignment:

1. Check the box for Full Text (gives you only full articles, rather than just abstracts).
2. Check the box for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.
3. Enter a date range in Published Date (enter the date requirements of this assignment).
4. The final step is to enter your search terms in the search boxes at the top. 

Once you have a list of results, you can start examining them to see if they meet the requirements of your assignment and chosen topic. To view the full text, look for the PDF Full Text or HTML Full text icons. 

Recommended Databases

To get started, choose one of the databases below.  Once you log in, enter your search terms to start looking for primary articles. 

Advanced Search

Step 1: Type in your search terms. This example uses: Diet OR nutrition

Step 2: Select your limits. In this example: Full text, Research Article, Published Date, and Peer Reviewed 

Step 3: Search

Have questions or not finding what you need? Use the Ask a Librarian to get assistance with searching. 

Search Topic Ideas (example topic: nutrition)

Here are some additional terminology ideas to help narrow your search. Putting a phrase in quotations keeps the words together. But if you are not finding enough results, try removing the quotations or adding synonymous terms with OR. 

"Mediterranean diet"

"dash diet" OR "dietary approaches to stop hypertension"

"gluten free diet"

vegan OR vegetarian OR plant-based

"Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food"

malnutrition or undernutrition or undernourishment

"nutrition education"

"school lunches"

"fast food" or fast-food

"processed foods"

"health food" OR "healthy eating"

"personalized nutrition"

"micronutrient deficiencies"

Other places to search (example topic: nutrition)

Some peer reviewed journals are open access, which means anyone can access them for free. 

Nutrients is a peer-reviewed and open access journal

There is a special issue on Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students

The Journal of Nutrition is not open access, but many of the articles are free or unlocked. This is also a peer reviewed journal. I can tell this by going to the About section on the journal's webpage. 

Questions? Use Ask a Librarian


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