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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 support:

  • new product development
  • trend tracking
  • competition tracking
  • maximising nutritional benefits
  • improving sensory, mechanical or functional properties
  • responding to customer questions and concerns 
  • positioning products for optimal customer response
  • reformulating to reflect changing dietary desires or governmental guidelines
  • avoiding inefficiencies in production
  • packaging innovations

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.  Learn how to design a search that captures all the literature you need, then capture that search so that it can continue to deliver the updates you need. 

Author & Editor

Carol Hollier, IFIS' 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 Carol Hollier, Senior Information Literacy and Outreach Manager, at