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Nutrition Research Guide

This guide will help you start your research on a topic dealing with nutrition for your research paper or presentation. You will find resources from different academic disciplines from medicine to home economics, so make sure to narrow your topic by doing a little pre-research with the library’s reference collection before searching for resources to use for your paper or presentation.

Reference Books - Searching the Library Catalog - Searching Electronic Resources - Searching the Internet - Web Evaluation - Citing Your Sources

Reference Books

Reference books are a good place to start your research. The following list of books will help you narrow down your topic, find additional search terms, and get a general overview of your topic before you being your research. This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to look at the books shelved near these titles for additional books.


  • Nutrition and Well-Being A to Z – REF RA784.N838
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine – REF RC41.G35
  • Merck Manual of Medical Information – REF RC81.M535
  • Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy – REF RC55.M4
  • Nutrition and Diet Therapy – REF RM216.C36
  • Nutritional Influences on Illness: A Sourcebook of Clinical Research – REF RM217.2 .W47

Home Economics

  • Encyclopaedia of Food Science, Food Technology, and Nutrition – REF TX349.E47
  • The Complete Book of Food: A Nutritional, Medical & Culinary Guide – REF TX353.R525
  • Dictionary of Food Ingredients – REF TX551.I26
  • A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives – REF TX553.A3 W55

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Searching the Library Catalog

To find a book, search the library's online catalog. The following are the various ways of searching the online catalog.

Here are some subject headings you may use for a simple subject search (you will then want to scroll down the index for additional related headings):

  • Diet therapy
  • Eating disorders
  • Minerals in human nutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Nutritionally induced diseases
  • Vitamins in human nutrition

To conduct a simple keyword search, try some of the following search terms (remember to put phrases in quotation marks & note that doing a keyword search will produce broader results than the subject search):

  • “Diet therapy”
  • “Eating disorder?”

To conduct an advanced search (leave search field at keyword anywhere and search operator with AND selected), try the following search combinations:

  • obesity AND nutrition
  • vegetarian? AND vegan?
  • nutrition AND health

Browsing the library shelves is another good way to find additional resources. Look at the titles in the following sections for relevant sources on nutrition. Each section will look at the topic from a different approach or academic discipline.

  • QP 141 (Physiology)
  • RA 784 (Public Aspects of Medicine)
  • RM 216-217 (Therapeutics – Pharmacology)
  • TX 353 (Home Economics)

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Searching Electronic Resources for Articles

The OCC Library has many databases that contain a wide variety of magazine, journal, and newspaper articles, as well as ebooks, multimedia and more. It's important to select the correct database. A librarian can assist you with this task. This is a list of the most popular sources. You can find all of the databases that are available on the library's Periodicals and Electronic Resources page. If you are off campus, you will need to log on with your student ID and last name.

  • Health Reference Center Academic - Use this database to find full-text magazine and scholarly journal articles on: Fitness, Pregnancy, Medicine, Nutrition, Diseases, Public Health, Occupational Health and Safety, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, HMOs, Prescription Drugs, etc.
  • MEDLINE - MEDLINE provides authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. Created by the National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE uses MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) indexing with tree, tree hierarchy, subheadings and explosion capabilities to search citations from over 4,800 current biomedical journals.
  • Health Source: Nursing & Academic Edition - This resource provides nearly 550 scholarly full-text journals focusing on many medical disciplines. Coverage of nursing and allied health is particularly strong.
  • Academic OneFile - Database of magazine and journal articles, most of which are available in full-text. You may also limit your search to scholarly journals. Use Subject for broad topics and use Keyword for narrow topics, new words, or combination of terms. Look for articles with Full Text and print or e-mail these.
  • Academic Search Premier - Similar to Academic Onefile, but with different content. Database of magazine and journal articles, most of which are available in full-text. You may also limit your search to scholarly journals.

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Searching the Internet for Web Sites

The following Web sites will help you find reliable Internet resources that are of good authority for your research paper or presentation.

  • IPL2 - This site was developed by librarians as a reliable and efficient guide to Internet resources. This site is a searchable, annotated subject directory of more than 14,000 Internet resources that have been selected and evaluated by librarians.
  • DMOZ Open Directory Project – This human-edited directory of the Web breaks the topics into sub-topics and also provides “see also” references. Try the pathway: Health > Nutrition.
  • Google Advanced Search - Instead of using Google's default search, try the advanced search. There are a lot of tools that will give you better results, such as a box that lets you limit your results to a domain such as .edu or .gov.

Recommended Web Sites

  • Food and Nutrition Information Center - This site is from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Library. Search or browse the site by subject (e.g., diet & disease, weight & obesity, food safety, and food labeling).
  • MedlinePlus: Nutrition - A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine & the National Institute of Health, this Web page provides links to related government issued news, articles, and resources.
  • - This is a U.S. federal guide that you can search or browse by subject (e.g., what’s in food, weight management, nutrition & health issues, and dietary supplements).

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Web Evaluation

Evaluating Web Sites - A quick and useful guide to help you evaluate the Web pages you find for purpose, authority, objectivity, relevance, currency, and responsibility.

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Citing Your Sources

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(jk 4/07, updated lc 05/12)