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The Industry Researcher’s Guide to Effective Literature Searching

A guide designed for industry researchers

Other guides from IFIS Publishing

If you are undertaking a large research project, you may want to check out the IFIS Publishing Best Practice in Literature Search guide, which is aimed at literature searching as the basis for a literature review which needs to be comprehensive, unbiased and systematic.  You will find the guide, including translations, here:  Guides BY SUBJECT - LibGuides at IFIS

You can also find user guides to help you get the best results out of your chosen research platform. 

Best practice webinar videos

This is a growing playlist of past webinars on topics related to best practices in literature searching in the sciences of food and health.


You can find videos supporting use of FSTA on Ovid, EBSCOhost or Web of Science here: FSTA videos.


You are also welcome to sign up for upcoming webinars here:  Register for Best practice in literature searching (ifis.org)

Useful resources

There are few tools for food science topics, and much is borrowed from health/medical research, but some of these tools may be useful to you in improving your search skills, assessing quality of evidence, and reporting your research methodology and results. If you wish to explore some other resources, the following list is aimed as a guide only. Please let us know if you wish to add to it.

Additional publications consulted

  1. Wood H, O’Connor A, Sargeant J, Glanville J. Information retrieval for systematic reviews in food and feed topics: A narrative review. Res Synth Methods. 2018;9(4):527-539. doi:.
  2. Deeks J, Frampton G, Glanville J, et al. Application of systematic review methodology to food and feed safety assessments to support decision making. EFSA J. 2010;8(6). https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1637.
  3. Sargeant JM, Rajic A, Read S, Ohlsson A. The process of systematic review and its application in agri-food public-health. Prev Vet Med. 2006;75(3-4):141-151. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2006.03.002.
  4. Glanville J, Wood H, Arber M, Varley D, Frampton G, Brazier H. Technical Manual for Performing Electronic Literature Searches in Food and Feed Safety. www.efsa.europa.eu/publications. Accessed March 12, 2019.
  5. O’Connor AM, Anderson KM, Goodell CK, Sargeant JM. Conducting systematic reviews of intervention questions I: Writing the review protocol, formulating the question and searching the literature. Zoonoses Public Health. 2014;61 Suppl 1:28-38. doi:10.1111/zph.12125.
  6. Glanville J, Varley D, Brazier H, Arber M, Wood H, Dooley G. Inventory of Sources of Scientific Evidence Relevant to EFSA’s Risk Assessments and Information Sessions on Literature Searching Techniques (CFT/EFSA/SAS/2011/03 Inventory Report). EFSA Support Publ. 2014;11(6). doi:10.2903/sp.efsa.2014.EN-593.
  7. Sampson M, McGowan J, Cogo E, Grimshaw J, Moher D, Lefebvre C. An evidence-based practice guideline for the peer review of electronic search strategies. J Clin Epidemiol. 2009;62(9):944-952. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.10.012.
  8. EFSA. Technical Report: Tools for Critically Appraising Different Study Designs, Systematic Review and Literature Searches.; 2015. doi:EFSA-Q-2014-00907.