Some Keywords and Phrases
Public Health/Community Health
Food/food systems/food security
Local food/local food production
'CLAS': Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services
Keyword Search Rules for the Library Catalog and Databases
Using AND/OR/NOT (Boolean Search Operators)
Use AND to focus search and combine different aspects of your topic.
Example: disease and environment
Use OR to expand your search and find synonyms/related terms.
Example: AIDS or HIV
Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search
Example: AIDS not Africa
Additional Search Tips
"Phrase search" - Use quotation marks" " to search for a particular phrase.Example: "community health"
Truncation * - Use an asterisk to find variations of a word. Put an asterisk following the root of the word to find all variations of that word, including singular and plural.Example: environment* (finds environments, environmental, environmentalist, etc.)
(Grouping/Nesting Keywords) - Use parentheses ( ) as a way to group all your search terms together.Example: (AIDS or HIV) and population growth
Primary and Secondary Literature
- Primary literature presents results of original research in formats such as articles, pre-publication prints of articles, and conference proceedings. Of the sources in this category, you are most likely to find and use journal articles, whether traditional paper journals or those you will find online.
- When you see the word "article," don't assume that you will be consulting Time or Rolling Stone to find primary materials. True, those publications carry many articles, but the type you want will be found in scholarly and academic journals like Nature and Science. These articles contain original data and have been "peer-reviewed" by scientists familiar with the area being researched.
- The most efficient way to find primary literature is by using indexes and databases. These allow you to search journal literature by author, subjects, or keywords and find citations to relevant articles. A citation includes the author and title of an article, the title of the periodical in which it was published, page numbers, date of publication, and other information. Some citations provide abstracts (summaries) of the cited article. The citation gives you all the information you need to find the journal that contains the article in the Tisch Library.
- Primary literature is usually peer reviewed or refereed.
Cecil-Karb, Rebecca and Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew. Childhood body mass index in community context: neighborhood safety, television viewing, and growth trajectories of BMI.(Report). Health and Social Work 34.3, 169-178 (August 2009).
- Secondary literature includes books, annual reviews, textbooks, and some periodicals. These sources differ from reference materials in at least one important way: secondary sources, like reference materials, may answer factual questions; however, they also present background information and summarize results of scientific work so that you can read the full range of thinking on a particular topic. Secondary literature does not present the most current scientific information, which is found in primary literature.
- Articles in science periodicals such as Discover and Science News are considered secondary literature because they don't present the results of original research, instead such articles synthesize and summarize descriptions of previous scientific work--which makes secondary literature very useful for you.
- Use annual reviews, textbooks, review articles in science periodicals, and books on scientific topics to gain detailed knowledge of a field, to learn about the historical development of a concept, and to become familiar with major researchers in an area of science.
- You can find more secondary sources by using the Tufts Online Catalog, finding a relevant source, and then browsing the book stacks in the call number area where you located the first relevant source. Bibliographies in reference materials may also point you to secondary sources.
Jordan, Amy B. Overweight and obesity in America's children: causes, consequences, solutions. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, 2008.
Help with Research
Science Research & Instruction Librarian
Research Data Management Services Group Coordinator
Research & Instruction
Tisch Library, Tufts University