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Introduction to Applied Nutrition Research

Overview of research tools available through Rutgers libraries for graduate students working on their literature review for their thesis in the Department of Nutritional Sciences (SEBS).


You can start your research with QuickSearch to find materials available from the Rutgers Libraries, including books, journals, articles, music, movies, and more. You will be prompted to sign in with your NetID to access Rutgers-restricted resources, save results and create lists, and request items.

TIP: Use QuickSearch to

  • locate the full text of an article that you have found somewhere else without access
  • find the bibliographic record of an article and request document delivery directly from the record (sign in and check the Expand My Search box for libraries outside Rutgers to display the Request button)
  • create a quick citation from the record by using the quotation symbol next to the article title
  • save the URL of an article by using the Permalink (permanent link) function
  • export a citation to EndNote

Search Strategies

The best search strategy is different for each topic and in each databases. A few useful ideas:

  • Complete your PICO framework to get started on your literature search.
  • Once you have defined a research question based on your framework, list the main concepts along with alternative terms.
  • Combine your terms with Boolean operators for better results: AND will narrow down your search, OR will broaden it.
  • Use your search terms in various combinations to run multiple searches in selected databases.
  • Take advantage of truncation (child*), wildcards (wom?n) and phrase searching (“picky eating”).
  • Remember to save results that look good for later use.

TIP: Research is an iterative process. It involves locating and assessing information from multiple sources As your research topic evolves, you may want to go back and run more searches to your ideas and support your thoughts.

Expert Search Strategies


  • Read the description of the database to find out what you are dealing with and works the best.
  • Watch a quick tutorial about the particular database, you will be surprised what you might have missed.
  • Check out the thesaurus for better search terms or controlled vocabulary (i.e., the terms preferred by the database)


  • Try finding "review articles" first. They will provide not only a good review of what has been written on your topic so far, but also an extensive list of references.
  • Once you identified an article extremely relevant to your topic, you can benefit tremendously from
    • its bibliography to find more on your topic, i.e., from its Cited References, usually provided for free even with no access to the full text
    • other articles citing this particular one, which is provided by most databases as Find Similar or by Google Scholar as Cited By
    • terms the database uses to describe the article, i.e., Subject Headings, such as MeSH terms, or keywords - include those in your next searches in combination with the original terms
    • the author, who might have written more on the same topic, including books and book chapters

QuickSearck Quick Start



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