Nutrition and Food Science: UniSA Online - Foundations of Nutrition and Health (BIOL 1054) - Assessment 1

Finding academic literature for your report

What you need to do

For Assessment 1 you need to;

Kiwi Fruit [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Write a report on designing a nutritionally balanced meal plan.
Include references to support and illustrate your argument.
Format the references using UniSA Harvard Referencing system.
Remember to  always read your course outline or website for more assessment details.

What is a scholarly source?

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 on scholarly sources:

Alternatively, have a look at this short guide on how to find academic sources:

Plan before you search

Planning your search will give you the best chance of finding relevant results.

Use the resources below to learn how to plan a search

Tick [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Tip - For each concept you need to address in Assignment 1, try and think of other possible keywords (synonyms) you could use when searching.

See below for an example table.

Tick [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Tip - Choose a chronic disease of your choice. Column 1 of the table below has some examples.

chronic disease dietary habits Australia
chronic conditions, chronic illness diet, diets, dietary, dietary guidelines Australian
diabetes, diabetic nutrition, nutritional  
heart disease, cardiovascular disease, CVD eat, eating  
obese, obesity, BMI 30+, body mass index 30+ food, fruit, vegetables, junk food  
....[other chronic diseases]...    

Before you search take a few minutes to read the report's aims and description and then start to map out, table or brainstorm possible keywords you could search with.


Mind map chronic disease [Created using word, UniSA]


Tick [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Tip - Think about how a particular concept may be expressed in the literature. This is important as sometimes not everyone refers to a particular concept in the same way.


Help with mind mapping:

Some mind mapping tools:

Read the report's aims and description and then follow these steps:

  1. Define any terms you are unsure of. Use an introductory book, dictionary, encyclopedia, handbook or website.
  2. Identify main concepts in your question / assignment. These will form the foundation of your search.
    • Concept 1: chronic disease
    • Concept 2: healthy eating 
    • Concept 3: Australia
  3. Identify any synonyms or similar keywords for each main concept.
    • Concept 1: chronic illness, chronic conditions (or you may search for particular diseases such as diabetes)
    • Concept 2: eating, nutrition, diet, dietary, food, fruit, vegetables, junk food
    • Concept 3: Australian
  4. Consider any:
    • word plurals (diet or diets)
    • different word forms (obese or obesity / diabetic or diabetes),
    • different word spellings (colour or colour / celiac or coeliac),
    • common acronyms (BMI or Body Mass Index / CVA or cardiovascular diesease)
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Where should I search

Watch the Choosing where to search video to learn where to search for resources.

Getting started Key Library databases Some key website to
find primary sources
  Library catalogue                 Emcare (via Ovid)    

Australian Guide
to Healthy Eating

Google Scholar   

Informit Health Collection    

Chronic conditions -
The Department of Health


Chronic diseases -
Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare

Tip - More databases are available under Find evidence on this guide.

How to search

Select the Multi-Field Search option to search for a new concept on each line.
Start  by putting each different concept on a new line. Notice your different concepts are connected with AND.


Kiwi Fruit [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Try broadening your search by adding some synonyms or similar concepts to each line. Connect these with OR.


Kiwi Fruit [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]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.


Kiwi Fruit [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Alternatively explore what limits are available to you to focus your search. Select Limits (under search box) to see some basic limits. Select Edit Limits to see even more limits!


Tick [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Tip - Remember searching the literature is an iterative (repetitive) process that takes time and effort. You may want to search other databases for resources.

Tick [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Apply search skills shown for Emcare database when searching in other Library databases.

Google scholar can be useful for finding scholarly information including articles. Access Google scholar from the Library's homepage to see full text  content.

Kiwi Fruit [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]Start by putting a few different concepts into the search box:

Kiwi Fruit [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]You can add another concept if you need to:

Kiwi Fruit [Image source: Pixabay,, copied under CC0 1.0,]If you are having trouble finding relevant articles try changing your terms

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Putting it all together