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NUTR 489: Nutrition Proposal Development: Home

This guide provides information and resources for NUTR 489.


Welcome!  This course guide provides information and resources for writing a literature review.

Check out the Nutrition Research Guide for more tips and resources.

Contact the Library

There are many ways to contact the library!


You can chat with a librarian any time the Library is open (see our hours page for more information).


You can email us any time.  We'll get back to you as soon as possible.



You can call us any time.  If you don't get an answer right away, leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

  Make an Appointment

You can also schedule an appointment with a librarian for one-on-one help.  Click the calendar icon above or the book now icon on the right side of the screen.

Vocab for Writing Assignment 2


A tool that lets you look up subject terms (i.e. CINAHL headings, MeSH terms)

Boolean operators


Truncated terms

Terms that use an asterisk to search for all variations/spellings of a word (i.e. sensitiv* will search for sensitive, sensitivity, sensitivities, etc.)

Citation index

A tool that lets you search for cited references (i.e. Web of Scholar or Google Scholar)

Nutrition Databases

For keyword & subject searching:

For citation searching:

For examples of systematic reviews:

Keyword Searching

Brainstorming Keywords

Identify good keywords to use in your search by thinking about the main ideas inherent in your topic.

Consider using synonyms of your keywords to help find even more information. For example, if you are looking for articles about the benefits of online education, you might use the keywords and synonyms below:

 Keywords  Synonym 1  Synonym 2
  non-celiac   non-coeliac   sensitiv*
  digestion   gastrointestinal   

Searching for Keywords

Creating a grid like the one above can also help you enter your keywords when you're searching in the databases.  

Put each distinct concept (online, education, and benefit) on a separate line with AND in between, which will only give you results that mention all three of these concepts.  

Then add each set of synonyms to the same line and type the word "or" in between.  

For the keywords in the example above, your search boxes would look something like this:

Use the filters (also called limiters) on the left side of the screen to narrow down your results.  Consider the following:

  • Adjust the publication date range
  • Academic journals
  • Peer-reviewed journals (this is an option in some databases, but not all)
  • Don't check full-text when you're working on a comprehensive lit review

Subject Searching

When articles are added to a database, they're "tagged" with subject terms (also called subject headings) that describe what the article is about.  

You can use subject terms in combination with keywords to make sure you've found all of the recent literature on your topic.

CINAHL subject terms are called CINAHL Headings.

You can click on subject hyperlinks that you find in articles to search for other articles that are tagged with that subject.

You can also look up CINAHL Headings in the thesaurus by clicking on CINAHL Headings above the search bars.

MEDLINE subject terms are called MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms.

You can click on subject hyperlinks that you find in articles to search for other articles that are tagged with that subject.

You can also look up MeSH terms in the thesaurus by clicking on MeSH 2017 above the search bars.

Citation Searching

Once you've found an article that's relevant to your topic, you can use it to find other potentially relevant articles.

First, check the article's Reference List.  If you see recent articles that seem relevant, use the citation to find it through the library website.

Next, check to see if any newer articles have cited the one you already have.  There are many tools you can use for this, but one of the most frequently used is the Web of Science Database.

  1. Search for the article by title.
  2. Find the correct article in the results list and look to the right for Times Cited, which will tell you how many articles have cited the one you looked up.  Click on the number to see the more recent articles.

If the original article you're looking for doesn't come up in Web of Science, try the same process in Google Scholar.

Check out Beatley's Cited References guide for more information.


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Jen Goldberg

The Writing Center

Inside the Writing Center office


The Writing Center provides one-on-one tutoring, workshops and presentations to strengthen your academic reading, writing, critical thinking and research skills.  

Citation Managers

Citation managers are programs that help you keep track of and organize your citations.

Check out Beatley's Citation Managers guide for information about using: