NUTR 101

WHY Use Reference Sources?

Why start your research with reference sources that provide background information?
  • To learn about the broad topic and facts first. This will help you identify areas on which to narrow and focus your research and discussion more deeply.
  • To gather background information on the history, issues, stakeholders and context of your topic
  • To gather key concepts and specialized vocabulary to use as search terms in library research tools and beyond
  • To find leads to other resources

Note that while reference sources are excellent to use and cite in your research projects, they are NOT considered "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed"

Sample Search for Reference Sources

STEP 1: Use general concepts as search terms in reference sources. Ex: Nutrition AND geriatric

GVRL Search- Geriatric Nutrition

STEP 2: Skim through articles list to select relevant articles. Assess: article title, encyclopedia title and date, and then open an article to judge if it meets your needs. 

My search returned 28 articles, including this first article, "Geriatric Nutrition" from The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health.


Step 3: Read for definitions, facts, issues, organizations, history, key stakeholders and concepts and language you can use as search terms.

GVRL - excerpt

FIND Reference Sources

Click on the databases below to search for good reference sources on your topic: