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UniSA Online - HLTH 2035 - Human Nutrition

1. What do you need to do?

For this assignment you need to find and use scientific evidence.

Remember to read all the information on your course website related to your assessment to understand exactly what you need to do.

  • Example dietary pattern:
    Does a paleo diet reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease?

2. What is scientific evidence?

Scientific evidence includes peer reviewed journal articles such as systematic reviews, meta analyses, or original (empirical) research. 

Drag the vertical bar below to reveal information about research and review articles.

More information:

3. Build your search

Before you start looking for information, use the following steps to plan your search:

1. Define any words you are unsure of.

2. Identify the main ideas (key concepts) in the statement. These will form the foundation of your search.

3. Make a list of any synonyms or related keywords for each key concept.
     Consider any:

  • word plurals - disease / diseases
  • different word forms - paleo / palaeolithic
  • different word spellings - palaeolithic / paleolithic
  • common acronyms - CVD / cardiovascular disease

For example:

Key concept Synonyms/alternative concepts Tips

Paleo diet

caveman diet
hunter-gatherer diet
paleolithic diet
palaeolithic diet
stone age diet...

You can search more broadly on macronutrient deficiencies that may result from the diet by adding these to your list.



cardiovascular disease
heart disease
vascular disease

You can try searching on the relevant body part or system, for example heart, cardiovascular, blood vessel.  

4. Build your search. Use the connectors AND and OR to combine your concepts into different search strategies.

  • AND connects each different concept.
  • OR connects your synonyms (alternative terms).

For example:

  Building your search
Concept 1

paleo diet OR paleolithic diet OR caveman diet OR hunter gatherer diet OR stone age diet

Concept 2 cardiovascular disease OR CVD OR heart disease OR vascular disease OR heart

More information: 

4. Where to search

Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a useful place to start looking for scientific evidence. The following video will step you through how to search:
Google icon. Advanced Google Scholar search (1:21)

Ovid Emcare

Ovid Emcare is a key database for health sciences and contains scholarly and peer-reviewed literature in nursing and allied health.

Ovid Emcare icon Ovid Emcare

5. How to search in databases

In Ovid Emcare you will need to search each different concept one at a time.

Step 1
Deselect Map term to Subject Heading so you just do a keyword search.

Step 2
Enter your first concept into the search box. Use OR to connect any synonyms. Select Search.

Screenshot of keyword search in Emcare, search terms are connected with OR

Step 3
Enter your second concept into the search box. Again use OR to connect any synonyms. Select Search.

Screenshot of keyword search in Emcare, search terms are connected with OR.

Step 4
Once you have searched for each of your different concepts you can combine them using AND to form your final search.

Screenshot of search history in Emcare. Both search lines are ticked and should be combined with AND.

Step 5
Scroll down to see your search results. 


Yellow light bulb idea icon.Tip: You can use this method to search other databases like Medline and Scopus.

6. How to find systematic reviews

You can search for systematic reviews and meta analyses in these databases:

 Limit your search to systematic reviews in the database:
  • Search keyword systematic review as a third concept
    search example for systematic review - step oneNote: make sure to untick box Map term to Subject Heading
  • Use AND to combine all your concepts
    search systematic review - step two
Note: with Ovid databases such as MEDLINE and Emcare, you may also use Additional Limits to narrow your Publication types to systematic review and meta-analysis (hold down CTRL key to select multiple items).
  • Search example in Scopus
    search systematic review in Scopus database
Note: In Scopus, use double quotation marks to search phrase. E.g. "paleolithic diet*"

7. Get more help

Need Library support?

Ask the library

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If you need help, just ask!

Navigate to the Ask the Library webpage. Navigate to the UniSA study help pals webpage. Navigate to the Studiosity webpage. Navigate to the Learning Advisors' webpage.
Contact: Ask the Library Ask: the Study Help PALs Use: Studiosity Talk to: Learning Adviser