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NUT201 Research Skills Guide: Using Journal Databases

Library Information Literacy Task

Why use journal databases?

A journal database is an organised collection of information records that can be accessed electronically.

Journal databases:

  • Are the best source of academic or scholarly information for your assessments
  • help you locate peer reviewed articles
  • Are subject specific, so that you get more relevant results
  • Have many options for refining results

You can find the Library's databases on the Journal Databases page.

Databases are grouped into subject areas. The Allied Health databases will be particularly useful for your study.

Search String Examples

Searching is not a linear process, and you will find that you need to adapt and change your search as you go. What works well in one database may not work well in another, so it's a good idea to keep a record of your searches and search strings to help you see what is working best. Below are examples of searches using some of the search strategies discussed earlier.

Search example: Strategies used:
"school aged children" AND Australia AND diet Boolean
("school aged children" OR social) AND Australia AND (diet OR nutrition) Boolean, Grouping
("school aged children" AND Australia AND (diet* OR nutrition OR lifestyle) Boolean, Grouping, Truncation

When searching in databases you will notice that many of them feature stacked search boxes. Use one search row/line for each concept.

Using some of the examples above, your searches would look like this when stacked:

Tip: If you aren't confident creating long search strings yet, start with simple searches (like the first search above) and slowly make your search more complex, if required. Sometimes a simple search is enough to bring you the results you need.

If you'd like assistance searching in Journal Databases check out the help section within the database you are searching, take a look at the Library's Database Help Guide, our Video Tutorials, or contact the Library.

Full Text

"Full text" means that the entire document is available online. When a database carries an article in full text there will be a hyperlink to view it as a .pdf or .html document. Not all journal databases contain full text.

If an article is not available in full text you may be able to locate it in another database. Clicking on the Find it at CSU button will allow you to check if the article is available elsewhere.

Journal Articles Explained


Now you have created your search terms and know more about using databases it is time to start searching for information.

Go to the EBSCOhost (Health) database and try typing in keywords from your topic analysis or some from our example to the left.

  • Did you get less results than Primo Search and Google Scholar? Being an allied health database, they should be more relevant to your topic.
  • Look at the HTML and PDF links to access the full text of the article.
  • If you cannot find the full text click on the Find it button to check if the article is available elsewhere.

EBSCOhost Advanced Searching

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