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Nutrition & Dietetics: Database searching

This guide provides information and links about resources relevant to Nutrition & Dietetics in the ECU Library and other useful external resources

Database Searching Tips

1. Identify main concepts and keywords. Search the main concepts first, then limit further as necessary.

2. Find Synonyms (Boolean OR broadens the search to include alternative keywords or subject thesaurus terms):

  • Aussie Rules OR Australian Rules Football
  • teenagers OR adolescents

3. AND (Boolean AND joins concepts and narrows the search)  :

  • exercise physiology AND children
  • sports injuries AND (soccer OR football)

4. Be aware of differences in American and English spelling and terminology. Most databases use American spelling and terminology as preferred subject terms.

5. Use Truncation (putting * at the end of a word stem will search all forms of the word). * within a word can be used to search both American and English spelling:

  • sport* (sport, sports)
  • child* (child, children, childhood, children's)
  • p*ediatric, behavio*r

6. "...." (inverted commas) use for a phrase

  • "strength training"
  • "sports medicine"

7. Wildcard ? will search for any single letter in the space. e.g. wom?n will search women, woman, organi?ation will search organisation, organization.

8. Wildcard * can also be used where alternate spelling may contain an extra character. e.g. p*ediatric, will search paediatric or pediatric, behavio*r, will search behaviour or behavior.


PubMed database is an internet version of Medline produced by the National Library of Medicine in the United States.

Open access articles are freely available in PubMed. To ensure that you also have access to journal articles available on subscription through ECU Library, link to PubMed via the Library.

PubMed search results will then also include a FindIt link to locate full text articles available via ECU.

What's the Difference Between MEDLINE and PubMed? Fact Sheet explains the additional features of PubMed.