Finding Journal Articles: Food Science Research Guide

If a topic is too current or too specific to be covered by a handbook, encyclopedia, or book, it may be discussed in journal articles, research reports, or conference papers. Access to this literature has traditionally been through indexing and abstracting services. There is no universal index that covers all the published information in food science, so at times you may have to consult several sources.

Electronic Databases

Electronic databases provide comprehensive searching of indexes or articles via the computer. Searching these databases is faster and often more complete since subject terms can be combined to locate a topic.

To search these databases, use the Information System workstations located in the D. H. Hill Library or the branch libraries. Many of these databases can be searched from off campus. You will need a Unity account to login. Unity computing accounts (or Eos accounts for Engineering students) are automatically generated for all students, faculty and staff at NC State. If you do not know what your Unity login is, go to the NCSU Office of Infomation Technology's Computing Accounts, IDs & Passwords services page.

The databases that index articles about food science are listed below. Use one or more of the databases to search for references to journal articles. These articles may include a summary or abstract of the article, but they do not usually have the full text of the article. To read the journal articles you have identified, use the NCSU Library Catalog to find out if the NCSU Libraries has the journal.

Agriculture and Life Sciences databases.

To search one of these databases, go to the NCSU Libraries Database Finder. Then select a subject-- Example: Food Science.

    Agriculture and related literature indexed by the National Agricultural Library (NAL). Indexes journals, books, theses, patents, software, audiovisual materials, technical reports, and agricultural experiment station reports held by the NAL.

    Use the Journals Indexed in AGRICOLA (JIA) database ( to find the full title for the journal abbreviation found in AGRICOLA.
    Note: you must include punctuation marks in your search. For example, to find out if J. food sci. is indexed in AGRICOLA, search for J. food sci. (not J food sci) in Abbreviated Title.

  • CAB Abstracts
    Worldwide index to agriculture, forestry, and allied disciplines, including animal and human nutrition. From the Centre for Agriculture & Biosciences International. Coverage: 1972- present. Updated quarterly.
  • Biotechnology and Bioengineering Abstracts
    Includes "research, applications, regulatory developments and new patents across all areas of biotechnology and bioengineering." Coverage: 1982- present. Updated monthly.
  • SciFinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts and MEDLINE)

    Chemical Abstracts is the most comprehensive index for chemical research. It covers more than 10,000 journals, as well as books, conference proceedings, and patents. You may search Chemical Abstracts by general subject, chemical substance name, molecular formula, ring system structure, author, or patent number. Coverage: 1947-present. Updated daily to weekly. (Note: MEDLINE coverage is 1958-present. Updated weekly.)

Other databases.

  • Conference Papers Index
    Conference Papers Index "provides citations to papers and poster sessions presented at major scientific meetings around the world. Subject emphasis since 1995 has been in the life sciences, environmental sciences and the aquatic sciences, while older material also covers physics, engineering and materials science." Coverage: 1982- present. Updated bimonthly.
  • NTIS (National Technical Information Service) Indexes the technical report literature.
    The NTIS database "is the preeminent resource for accessing the latest U.S. government-sponsored research and worldwide scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information...Additionally, information is available from international government departments and other international organizations, including those from Canada, Japan, the former Soviet Union, Western and Eastern European countries." Coverage: 1964- present. Updated biweekly.
  • Science Citation Index Expanded (via Web of Science)
    A multidisciplinary database that covers 3,330 major journals across 100 scientific disciplines. Indexes cited references of the articles in the database so you can search by cited author, cited patent or cited paper. This allows you to trace a particular research topic in the scientific literature. Coverage: 1945- present. Updated weekly.
  • ScienceDirect
    Web database for scientific research that contains abstracts, articles and full text of more than 1000 Elsevier Science journals in the life, physical, medical, technical, and social sciences. Coverage: Varies by title.

Please note that the NCSU Libraries will not have some of the journals indexed by these databases. To see if we have the journal you need, use the NCSU Libraries catalog to search for the journal title (not the title of the article).