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Michigan State University

VM 830: Food Safety Research Methods: Post-Graduation Research

A guide to MSU Library resouces and services.

Freely accessible resources

Unfortunately, MSU Libraries' licensing agreements restrict access to faculty/staff and currently enrolled students, so alums cannot access any licensed content (which includes our online databases, electronic journals, newspapers, and e-books). You will need to utilize your corporate library (if you are lucky enough to have one) and/or rely on free resources. However, you may continue to search the MSU Libraries Catalog and SearchPlus and will have access to anything with a globe symbol, indicating that it is freely available on the Internet. Some examples include the following:

Government Information/Statistical Sources


Formerly, GPO Access, a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office that provides free electronic access to a wealth of important information products produced by the Federal Government, including the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Federal Register. The information provided on this site is the official, published version and can be used without restriction, unless specifically noted.


Gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. federal agencies, including those related to food and agriculture


Single entry point to all United Nations statistical databases.

World Bank Open Data

Includes Health Nutrition and Population reports.

Full-text Article Resources

There are an increasing number of open-access journals these days, as well as individual articles that are publicly available due to NIH funding policies.

PubMed Central

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

Directory of Open Access Journals

Gateway to free, full-text, scientific and scholarly journals in all subjects and languages.

ROAD, Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources

Provides a single access point to different types of online scholarly resources published worldwide and freely available. A service offered by the ISSN International Centre with the support of the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO.

Article Indexes

Free resources for identifying citations to articles. Request articles through your corporate or local public library (a nominal fee may be required).


Free portal for literature searches and access to over 40,000 full-text journal articles by USDA staff and citations to an additional 340,000 articles. All of the core topics of the agricultural science is covered including nutrition, food safety, food quality, animal and crop production and protection, natural resources, sustainable agricultural systems, rural development, agricultural economic and policy issues, agricultural imports and exports, agricultural statistics, extramural research, and extension education.


More than 20 million citations to biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

Google Scholar

A simple tool for conducting a broad search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.  


MSU Libraries' "discovery tool" combining book, journal and other content into one database. Although full-text access to licensed content is limited to MSU faculty/staff/students, searching is free to anyone, so you can continue to use SearchPlus for research purposes and then obtain books and journal articles through available channels. 

Other Options

Many university libraries accommodate walk-in users, so if you can physically go to a library with access to the resources you want, you may be able to use them on-site.  

Subject Guide

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Anita Ezzo
Main Library
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Room E408
East Lansing, MI 48824
Michigan State University