Home: NTR 390
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Finding Books

Nutrition Web Sites
Evaluating Web Sites

NTR 390: Nutrition Seminar

Course Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Allen
Librarian: Carol Vreeland

Identifying Articles on Your Topic:

Use one of the following databases to search for references to journal articles. These databases may include a summary of the article or abstract and, often, they include a link to the full text of the article. If the full text of the article is not available online, use the NCSU Libraries catalog to find out if the NCSU Libraries has the journal.
Additional databases are available through the NCSU Libraries Web site's Databases list.

Databases for finding articles in the popular press.

Tip: the new Find Articles page is a good way to get to some of the following databases. You can also reach them from the alphabetical list of Databases.

Under General Databases:
Academic Search Complete (via NC Live)

A "scholarly, multi-disciplinary full text database containing full text for nearly 4,650 serials, including more than 3,600 peer-reviewed publications. In addition to the full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 8,200 journals in the collection." Includes articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. Updated daily.

Under Newspaper Databases:
LexisNexis Academic (formerly known as Academic Universe) (NCSU only)

Note: As of January 2010, a search in Summon will retrieve relevant articles from LexisNexis Academic.

LexisNexis Academic allows NCSU faculty, students and staff to locate the full-text and abstracts of comprehensive news, business, and legal information. Search foreign news sources, regional U.S. news services, radio and television transcripts, federal and state case law, medical, legislative and industry news, annual reports from the Securities and Exchange Commission and more.
Newspapers are updated several times daily, and wire services hourly.

Newspaper Source Plus (via NC Live)

Full text coverage for selected national, international, and regional newspapers, as well as transcripts from other news sources. Includes the News & Observer (Raleigh).

Tip: you can also search the News & Observer directly.

Under Subject Databases (Select Nutrition as your subject area.):
Health Source--Consumer Edition (NCSU only)

Indexing and abstracts for consumer health, nutrition and professional periodicals. Includes full text for many consumer health periodicals, health-related pamphlets, and health reference books. Also includes Clinical Pharmacology, a database of drug monographs.

Once you find a newspaper or magazine article of interest, you'll need to search a more specialized database that includes research articles on that subject.

Hint: often, the author of your popular press article will state that they obtained their information from a Dr. X, who is doing a study on Y (your topic) at Z University. So, a good starting place to find a relevant research article is to search one of the following databases for an article authored by Dr. X. If no particular researcher is identified, you can still search the database for articles mentioning Z University.

Databases for finding primary research articles.

CAB Abstracts (via EBSCO) (NCSU only)

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.

CAB Abstracts Archive (via EBSCOhost) (NCSU only)
Combines 17 printed abstract journals produced between 1910 and 1972 into a single database.

Food Science and Technology Abstracts (FSTA) (via EBSCO) (NCSU only)

Primary index of the food science literature including food microbiology, food hygiene and toxicology, food additives and food standards, laws and regulations and human nutrition. Coverage: 1969 - present. Updated quarterly.


The primary index (database) of the biomedical literature, including human nutrition. Coverage is 1950's to present.

  • MEDLINE. (NCSU only) Coverage: most recent 10 years. Updated: weekly.

  • MEDLINE via PubMed. Coverage: 1950's - present. Updated weekly.
    Tip: Use the NCSU Libraries' URL for PubMed, in order to get full text access to more articles.

    "PubMed also provides access and links to the integrated molecular biology databases included in NCBI's Entrez retrieval system. These databases contain DNA and protein sequences, 3-D protein structure data, population study data sets, and assemblies of complete genomes in an integrated system."

    Use the Entrez Journals database to look up journal names, MEDLINE abbreviations, or ISSN numbers for journals that are included in the PubMed system.


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. Coverage: 1970- present. Updated quarterly.

Use the list of Journals Indexed in AGRICOLA, to find the full title for the journal abbreviation found in AGRICOLA.

Note: AGRICOLA is also available to the public at the National Agricultural Library's (NAL) Web Gateway (http://agricola.nal.usda.gov/).

BIOSIS Previews (Biological Abstracts) (NCSU only)

Issued as a part of the ISI Web of Knowledge, the database covers original research reports and reviews in biological and biomedical areas. Coverage includes traditional areas of biology such as botany, zoology, and microbiology, as well as related fields such as biomedical, agriculture, pharmacology, and ecology. Also included are interdisciplinary fields such as medicine, biochemistry, biophysics, bioengineering, and biotechnology. The database covers content summaries, books, meeting abstracts, papers, and posters. BIOSIS also combines the content from Biological Abstracts and Biological Abstracts/RRM. Coverage: 1969-present. Updated weekly.

IngentaConnect database and research e-mail alert service

IngentaConnect is a multidisciplinary table of contents database, updated nightly.
The alerting service (for subscribers only) delivers the table of contents of periodicals of interest directly to your e-mail box. Users can also create search strategies for their favorite topics; weekly alerts on the latest articles published on the specified topics are delivered to the user's e-mail address.

Science Citation Index Expanded (via Web of Science) (NCSU only)

A multidisciplinary database that covers 5,900 major journals across 150 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: 1900 - present. Updated weekly.

Databases and sources of review articles

  1. Limiting a search to review articles.
    Many of the databases listed above will allow you to limit your search to review articles. Often, this option is available in their "Advanced" search feature. Look for an option to limit a search by publication type; select review articles as the type.
  2. If a database or electronic resource does not allow this type of limiting, you can still locate some review articles by including the word review in your keyword search.
    For example: bioengineered foods and review
  3. Some databases and print resources specialize in reviews.

BIOSIS Previews (NCSU only)

BIOSIS Previews combines the content from Biological Abstracts and Biological Abstracts/RRM. The Biological Abstracts/RRM (reports, reviews, meetings) component contains bibliographic references to meeting proceedings, books and chapters, review articles, and U.S. patents. Coverage: 1969-present. Updated weekly.

  • Biological Abstracts/Reports, Reviews, Meetings. No longer received in print. 1980-1999 available at the Satellite Shelving Facility. Request item
    To use, look under the Nutrition concept heading in the Content Summaries section.

World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics (1960-2001)
D. H. Hill Library QP 141 .A1 W59

Search Tips

To search by keyword Type the words or phrases you wish to begin your search and press [Enter]
lung cancer [Enter]
Retrieves records with the phrase lung cancer
To truncate terms
(wildcard searching)
Type the word you wish to search followed by an asterisk (*)
vaccin* [Enter]
Note: The truncation symbol varies depending on the search software.
Retrieves records with terms beginning with virus such as vaccine vaccines vaccination vaccinating vaccinated
AND narrows your search lung cancer and prevention
Retrieves any record that contains both the phrase lung cancer and the term prevention.
OR broadens your search aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [Enter] Retrieves any record that contains either the term aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Set searching #1 and #2 [Enter]
Note: May not work in all databases. Does not work in WWW search engines.
Retrieves records that contain both a term from set #1 and a term from set #2.
Nesting (Aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and prevention [Enter]
Note: Used when set searching isn't available.
Retrieves records that contain
either the term aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and the term prevention.

New Developments and Trends in Information Retrieval

Electronic journals and E-books; off-campus access to resources

Improved access and versatility

  • NCSU Libraries Journals List (http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/journals/)
  • Wireless access for laptops and other devices is available throughout D.H. Hill Library.
  • NetLibrary and other publishers. In NCSU Libraries catalog, can search for Electronic Books as a subject heading.
    (See under "electronic books local.") Some encyclopedias are listed in the Database Finder, as they do not need to be "checked out.")
    • ebrary (new) Allows highlighting and note-taking in electronic library books. Example: nutrition
  • Kindles and other e-book readers
  • Library catalog keyword search with Endeca (guided navigation)
  • NCSU Libraries Digital Repository (http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/repository/)
  • Summon (Beta. New in January 2010)--improved discovery

Increased content


Open-access initiatives

  • Entrez (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Entrez/). From the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
    Allows cross-database searching, including PubMed Central (free, full-text journal articles)
  • PubChem (for small molecule searching)
  • Public Library of Science (http://www.plos.org/). Started in 2003. Provides free access to PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Pathogens, PLoS Clinical Trials, and others.
  • Preprint servers. For example, arXiv.org e-Print archive

Increasing "Googlization"

  • Google Scholar, Google Book Search, Google Patent Search, Google Docs (allows a group to create and edit documents remotely), Google Mobile, etc.

Full text databases and links to library holdings

  • NC Live, including Academic Search Premier
  • SFX, a software product that allows "seamless database searching." When you search an index or another type of electronic resource and you see a citation of interest, click on the red "FIND TEXT@ NCSU" button to find out what your print and electronic options are for obtaining the article. If the NCSU Libraries has electronic access, direct links will take you to the article.

Current awareness

  • Saved searches and automatic, regular e-mail or RSS "alerts" of recent articles on topics of interest. Available via IngentaConnect, EBSCO databases (e.g., CAB Abstracts), ISI databases (e.g., Web of Science), Cambridge Scientific Abstracts databases, ScienceDirect, and others.

Citation management software

  • EndNote
  • RefWorks (Web-based, so it's accessible anywhere.)
  • EndNote Web. Usefulness is mostly limited to searching databases on Web of Knowledge platform.
  • Zotero A free Firefox extension.

Communities and Collaboration: spread of social media


Blogs and microblogs

Facebook--e.g., NC State University, NCSU CVM


  • Scirus (http://www.scirus.com/)--a science-only search engine. A hybrid service, it searches both free Web sites with scientific content, as well as proprietary databases. Recognizes non-text files such as .pdf.

Librarian Contact Information

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