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NS 5100/5410: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies: Searching the Scholarly Literature

This resource guide provides guidance to students enrolled in the Division of Nutritional Sciences Certificate Program in Health Studies, including help in finding and evaluating scholarly information in the medical sciences.

Finding Full-Text Articles

Use the Get it! Cornell links wherever you see them!

If you have citations for specific articles, check the Library Catalog to see if we subscribe to the journal that contains the article. The Catalog will show whether or not we have access to the electronic version and/or the print version. Note that this catalog also searches WorldCat, a database of library holdings from around the world.  So if the Cornell library collection doesn't have what you're looking for, this catalog will tell you who does, and link you to Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan options (see below).

If we don't have it, we can get it for you for free in a few days! Request materials through Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan by clicking the Request Item button.

Reference librarians are here to help you - so please contact us with any questions!

Off-Campus Access to Full-Text

If you're off-campus and want access to full-text, you can either go to the resource via the library website or use the hand PASSKEY tool. Using either method, you will be prompted to log in with your netID and password to gain access to our licensed resources.

Useful Databases

Searching Databases

Boolean SearchingMost databases allow the use of AND, OR and NOT to broaden or narrow and search. 

  • AND will narrow the search to include only records with both terms. 
  • OR with broaden the search to include records with either term.
  • NOT will narrow the search to exclude records with one of the terms.

Truncation:  You can use an * at the end of a word stem to broaden your search to include related terms.  For example, to search for child, children or childhood use the search term child*

Putting quotes "" around words allows you to search for a phrase.  For example, searching language development, without quotes, finds records with both the word 'language' and 'development' somewhere in the record.  Searching "language development", with quotes, only find records with the phrase "language development".


Example: How does bilingualism affect language development in children?



NOTE:  When you begin doing advanced searching in a new database, look for the Help or Information sections to determine how that database works, and how it may differ from other databases with which you are familiar.

The value of citation searching

An excellent way of discovering new and relevant resources is to use the articles that you have already identified as important works in you search.  The articles and resources in the references or bibliography can point you to other relevant sources that were published prior to the article of interest. 

But how do you find more recent articles that have used and cited the article of interest in their work?


Web of Science is a database of scholarly literature that also tracks citations and allows citation searching.  In the search results window you can:


Review Articles

Review articles are scholarly articles that describe and summarize a body of research or knowledge on a particular topic.  These can be useful in getting to know more about a topic and beginning to understand where gaps in the literature exist (i.e., what questions still need to be answered). 

Review articles can be found in the many scholarly research databases available through the library.  See the "Searching the Literature" section of this guide to learn more about the databases that cover topics such as sociology, psychology and public policy.

To find review articles,  do a search in one of these database, for example Web of Science.  Most databases will allow you to refine your search by document type.  Choose 'Reviews' to narrow your search to review articles only.

Note:  Reveiw articles and peer-reviewed articles are not the same!  Peer-reveiw refers to scholarly literature that has gone through a rigorous review and revision process prior to publication.  This can include review articles, but also empirical studies (which are NOT review articles).


In Web of Science:


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