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The Industry Researcher’s Guide to Effective Literature Searching

A guide designed for industry researchers

About this guide

Literature searching can be a frustrating experience.  It's easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information available,
and yet hard to find relevant reliable information to support your research needs.  You will be aware of the potential impact of missing relevant research, including wasted time, wasted investment and even risks to consumers.

Whether you need information to:

  • Develop new products 
  • Track trends
  • Track competition
  • Maximise nutritional benefits 
  • Improve sensory, mechanical and/or functional properties 
  • Ensure food safety and quality
  • Respond to customer questions and concerns  
  • Position products for optimal customer response 
  • Reformulate to reflect changing dietary desires or governmental guidelines or regulation 
  • Avoid production inefficiencies 
  • Innovate in packaging
  • Remain current on developing technologies and trends 
  • Establish an evidence base for claim development and execution
  • Identify key academic partners
  • Improve your science and technology knowledge sourced from reliable, curated publications
  • Manage crises that arise

you need the information you base your decisions on to be up-to-date and trustworthy. 

Through explanatory notes and practical, step-by-step guidance, we aim to help you understand how to effectively plan and carry out your literature searches.  This guide will teach you how to design a search that captures all the literature you need, then leverage that search to continue delivering the updates you need. 


Carol Hollier, IFIS' former in-house Senior Information Literacy and Outreach Manager

Peer reviewers and contributors

The guide is based on the Best Practice for Literature Searching For the Sciences of Food and Health

Dr Helena Korjonen (University of Luxembourg) and Dr Mina Kalantar (Food Research & Regulatory Consultant) contributed to the original guide, and it was reviewed by the FSTA advisory board comprising eminent researchers worldwide in the sciences of food and health. 

Tell us what you think

We plan to update this guide regularly as resources and techniques evolve. Please feel free to tell us what you think or to suggest additional material. Get in touch with us at