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UMass Amherst Libraries

NUTRITN 372 Writing in Nutrition

guide to library resources for Nutrtion junior year writing course

Recommended Databases for Your Lit Review

Finding Full Text & Interlibrary Loan

When you find an article you want, you can click on the UMLinks logo to get the full text.

UMLinks will find the full text online if it is available in any of the databases UMass has access to.

It will also search the library catalog to see if the library has it in print.

If an article or book is unavailable at UMass Amherst, current and retired UMass Amherst faculty and staff, and current students can get it using our Interlibrary Loan service. There will be a link to Interlibrary Loan when you use the UMLinks button.

More about Interlibrary Loan

To log into Interlibrary Loan use your UMass NetID and password (same as what you use for SPIRE and Moodle or Blackboard).

The first time you use Interlibrary Loan, you will be prompted to fill out a profile form, so we know who you are and how to contact you when your item arrives.

A couple of tips: the Interlibrary Loan profile form will ask for your library barcode. You can leave this field blank, even though it looks like it is a required field. The profile form also asks you to choose a campus pickup location. This does not mean you have to come to campus to retrieve your articles! All article requests are filled electronically.

After completing the profile, you should then see a pre-populated article request form. Make sure all the required fields are completed (sometimes they don't all transfer to the form), then submit it and usually in 1-2 business days you'll get an email that your article has arrived! The email will include a link into the Interlibrary Loan system, where your article PDF will be available to print or download.

Is the journal Peer Reviewed?

Many of your assignments will require you to locate articles from Peer Reviewed journals. Some databases include an option to limit your search results to only articles from peer reviewed journal.

Other databases, like PubMed, do not. There are several ways you can find out if a journal is peer reviewed.

  • One of the easiest ways is to look the journal title up using the e-journals link on the UMass Amherst Libraries home page. The journal title will have an icon of a book with an eye over it next to it if it is peer reviewed.

  • Or, you can look it up in the Ulrich's database (linked below). Peer reviewed (also called refereed) journals will have this symbol next to the title:

Accessing Age Group Filters in PubMed

Accessing Age Group Filters in PubMed

  1. Conduct a search in PubMed.
  2. On the Results page, look on the left where the default filters are displayed.
  3. At the bottom of the list, click the button “Additional filters.”
  4. Click on “Age” and then click in the boxes for all the age categories you want to have available.
  5. Click the “Show” button.
  6. You should now have a filter section called “Age.”
  7. Click on the one (or ones) you want to limit your search to studies identified as having that age group as subjects.

You can go through a similar process for other filters available.

How to Read a Scientific Article

When you read a scientific article, you do not want to read it straight through in order - at least not on the first time through. There are different ways to go through an article.

Here is how I usually approach scientific articles to get a basic understanding of what the article is about:

  • I read the title and abstract to identify articles of interest. 
  • I look at the authors and their affiliations, as well as funding disclosures to look for potential slants or biases.
  • Next, I skip to the last paragraph of the Introduction, where the authors typically state what they plan to do in their study and their objectives.
  • Then, I skim through the Methods (sometimes called Materials & Methods) and Results sections, focusing on the charts, images, and tables to get a basic understanding of what they did and what they measured.
  • The Discussion/Conclusion section is what I read through after that, to get an understanding of whether the authors felt they met their objectives and what it means. In this section, they should mention limitations of their study and possibly suggest next steps for research.
  • If I still want to know more, I go back and read through the full Introduction, Methods, and Results sections.