Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Seeking Out Studies

I am researching a nutrition piece, and encountering some problems with finding/citing studies. I want to ask how do you go about finding studies/researches for health stories. My article has to do with best foods to take before and after exercise. Now, how do I find what studies have been conducted on pre and post exercise nutrition. And any general advice on how to approach research for a health piece would be appreciated, too.

My go-to sites for medical research are PubMed.com and Newswise.com. I particularly like PubMed because not only does it contain nearly all of the latest medical research and published studies, it also has a really handy tool on the right-hand side of the page in which you can click on similar studies to the one you're currently reading.

I don't know that there are any magic ways to find studies other than to play around with key words, in your case, obviously food, exercise, recovery, muscle strength, caloric expenditure, etc. I plug in variations on these keywords and see what comes back to me.

Of course, google is another fantastic way (obviously!) to get some direction on what you might be looking for, and if you find a study referenced in, say, an article on CNN, then you can head to PubMed to find the exact study. Yahoo Health is also a very user-friendly way to find new studies, but their archives don't extend back that far. Oh, also, Medlineplus.gov is another good source to check out too.

Writers, what health resources do you prefer? And how do you go about tracking down specific studies? Is there an easier way?

3 comments:

Therese Walsh said...

My first stop is almost always the National Institutes of Health at www.nih.gov. Plunk in a few key words (like "nutrition" and "exercise") and see where the search engine leads you. Everything you'll get will be primary info (sigh of relief). I like locating the latest research using the NIH links and a scout service like docguide.com, though I'll also use PubMed. Don't shy away from calling pro organizations' PR offices to ask about the latest research. How about the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports or the American Council on Exercise? These people are there to help you and will do so happily, and they almost always have info on the latest research to support their own efforts. Good luck!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, this is all very helpful advice! I just started a health and fitness blog of my own (it's all of 4 days old) so this is very timely information. As may become clear to anyone who stops by my blog, research and diligent analysis of results are not my strong points. I much prefer spouting off uninformed opinions.

Your blog has been very inspirational, by the way. I've been lurking here pretty much since you started it and have been impressed by all the good advice.

Thanks!

Brian Westover said...

I'm a big fan of Science Daily. It also keeps you up to date on the very latest studies as the are reported.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/