Skip to Main Content


NUTR 110: Fundamentals of Nutrition Science, Nelson-Peterman


Welcome to the Research Guide for NURT 110! Below is a review of everything you need to know to get started on your research project. If you need help, use the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen or the contact information in the left-hand corner.

Understanding Different Types of Sources

Different sources serve different purposes. In your research, you will draw on a variety of sources to ensure you have a quality research project. There are two ways we can classify sources, but type of data/information represented and by audience.

Scholarly Sources

Scholarly sources are written by researchers in a given field for scholars in a given field. Scholarly sources can take the form of journal articles or scholarly books, often called monographs. Scholarly sources are published through a process known as peer-review.

Primary Sources

A primary source is a scholarly source that discusses original research.

Secondary Source

Secondary sources can be scholarly or popular. Secondary sources summarize existing research. Scholarly secondary sources are often called "reviews" or "meta-analysis".

Popular and/or Web Sources

Popular or Web sources are written by journalists, researchers, government officials, members of the general public, and others with the audience of the general public in mind. Sometimes a source, like data from the WHO or FDA falls in a grey area between scholarly and popular sources. This is data that is published online, but the intended audience may be researchers or professionals in a given field. Information like this is not classified as "scholarly" because it is not published in a peer reviewed journal.

Searching for Scholarly Research Articles

Google Search Tips

Learning Google search commands can help you find helpful sources when search in Google! Below are some particularly useful search commands: 


What it does: Searches within a specific site or domain. Useful for locating information from specific government organizations. Also useful for locating materials more generally from .gov or .edu domains. 

Examples: or

Notes: Be careful if searching for Not all websites that end in .edu are universities or other educational institutions, the domain can be used by anyone. 


What it does: Searches for specific file types. Useful for looking for reports, white papers, working papers, or factsheets. 

Examples: filetype:pdf

Notes: There may be information you are missing if you limit to one filetype! 

Additional Examples

Example search: Lyme disease filetype:pdf

What it retrieves: This search retrieves pdf files published to the web on the WHO website. 

Example search: bt corn

What it retrieves: This search retrieves any information on bt corn on the USDA website. 

Evaluating Sources


CARS is a checklist for evaluating websites

C - Credibility

  • Is the creator/author named? What is their job? Are they a researcher, journalist, or something else?

A - Accuracy

  • Is the website free of spelling errors, grammatical errors, dead links, or other problems?
  • Does the article have a publication date? Does the publication date align with the requirements for your assignment?

R - Reasonableness

  • Who created the website?
  • Does the website avoid advertising that does not seem appropriate?

S - Support

  • Is there a bibliography or sources listed? In journalistic content this can look like naming sources and hyperlinks.


Citing Sources