Finding peer reviewed literature for your report
This guide will help you find scientific literature in peer reviewed journals to support your argument in your report.
Remember to always read your course outline or website for more assessment details, including the assignment instructions and marking criteria/feedback sheet.
For your report, you need to find credible academic sources, such as peer reviewed journal articles. Sometimes peer reviewed articles may be called academic, scholarly or refereed articles.
Watch this short video to understand what makes something scholarly:
If you need help evaluating any reports you find, watch:
Alternatively, look at this guide:
Planning your search will give you the best chance of finding relevant results.
Watch or read the following to learn how to plan a search:
There are a few different ways to plan your search. Select the headings below to read more about different approaches.
First you need to identify the key concepts in your question:
Dairy based foods and drinks should be avoided as they are a major contributor to the development of health issues such as cardiovascular disease.
Then you can use a table to start exploring words to use in your search. Start a column for each of your main concepts. Then for each main concept, think of synonyms or alternative words you could use when searching. This is important as not all authors will use the same words to describe the key concepts in their articles.
See below for an example table.
|dairy based food/drinks||health issues||avoidance|
|dairy, dairy product, dairy derived product||cardiovascular disease, CVD||avoiding|
|milk, milk product, milk derived product||heart disease, heart attack||diet, dietary pattern|
|yogurt, cheese, butter, cream, custard||cerebrovascular disease, stroke||nutrition, nutritional|
|....[other dairy products]...||peripheral arterial disease||consumption, intake, eat, eating|
|hypertension, blood pressure|
Tip: You need to look at specific health issues. The second column has some examples.
Read the assignment instructions and task and then follow these steps:
The Library Catalogue is a useful place to start looking for scientific evidence. The following video will step you through how to search:
Emcare is a key databases for the health sciences and contains scholarly and peer reviewed literature in nursing and allied health.
Google Scholar is a great tool for finding scholarly material from a wide range of subject areas. Make sure you access through the Library website so that you won't be asked to pay for articles.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating is a reputable government website that you can search for dietary information.
Select the Multi-Field Search option.
Start by putting each different concept on a new line. Notice your different concepts are connected with AND.
Try broadening your search by adding synonyms or alternative words to each line. Connect these with OR.
If you need to look for a particular age group, gender (male or men / female or women) or geographic location (Australia) consider adding this to your search.
Alternatively explore what limits are available to you to focus your search:
You can apply these search skills when searching in other Library databases, such as Scopus.
Google Scholar can be useful for finding scholarly information including articles. Access Google Scholar from the Library's homepage to see full text content.
Start by putting a few different concepts into the search box:
You can add another concept if you need to, which will narrow your search:
If you are having trouble finding relevant articles, change your search concepts.
Watch the videos below for more help: