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HN 313: Introduction to Community Nutrition: Research Help

Tips on searching PubMed

Reading a Scholarly Article

Summarizing an Article

The ability to summarize information is an important skill to practice. It's crucial to be able to paraphrase and explain the main points of an article or study in a way that your audience will understand and that makes sense in the context you are provided.

Evaluating your Resources

When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it. . . but is it accurate and reliable? You will have to determine this for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to determine if the information you have is reliable. Please keep in mind that the following list is not static or complete. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need and include:

Determining if a Journal is Peer-Reviewed: Ulrich's Periodicals Directory

How do I know if my article comes from a peer-reviewed journal?

  • You can use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to check to see if a particular journal is peer-reviewed. If it is, the record will include the referree jacket icon depicted above, meaning that the journal is "refereed"/peer-reviewed
  • Peer-reviewed journals contain articles that have been carefully reviewed by experts in a particular field of study to ensure that the research they present meets high standards of quality
  • Peer-reviewed journals are also referred to as scholarly, academic, or refereed
  • Common characteristics of peer-reviewed journal articles:
    • they have an abstract, which is a paragraph at the beginning of the article summarizing the content and findings of the article
    • the authors are affiliated with academic institutions (most often colleges and universities)
    • the articles are long (usually anywhere from 10-35 pages) and primarily text-based (pictures included are usually charts and graphs, as opposed to glossy photos as in popular magazines)
    • they contain a lengthy bibliography (also called "references," or "works cited" list). You can use this list to find additional sources on your topic.

Connect to Ulrich's Using the Link below:

Tips for Searching Catalogs and Databases

The following techniques can improve your success with online searching, whether you're searching a catalog for books or a database for articles:

  • Enter phrases in quotes:  "body image" "aerobic exercise"
  • Use truncation symbols to search for alternate word endings: In most databases, entering athlet* searches for athletic, athletics, athlete, and atheletes.
  • If one term doesn't work, try a few others. Experiment with different vocabulary related to your topic. Brainstorm ideas for relevant keywords and use background sources such as encyclopedias for suggestions.

Keywords vs Subject Headings

Detailed tips on topic development