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Michigan State University

Food Studies: Finding Articles

Before you Begin

To find articles on a particular topic in magazines and journals, you cannot use the Library Catalog: you must use a periodical index or database. Most include abstracts summarizing the article content and some provide the full text of articles. An index/database may be subject-specific or cross-disciplinary; it may cover just the popular literature, only scholarly publications, or a mixture. Consult this chart for help distinguishing between popular vs. scholarly periodicals.

Which index/database should I use?

For help in identifying an appropriate index/database, browse indexes by subject using the drop down menu. Depending on your research, you may need to browse several subjects: e.g., Food Science & Nutrition, Sociology, Psychology, Public Policy, History, Ethnic Studies, etc. Some suggestions are given below.

Once you've connected to the desired index, you can search for articles by keyword(s). Depending on whether you are searching the nutrition, psychology, sociology, etc. literature, your keywords might be different, because of the focus of the database. "Dietary assessment" or "food intake" might work well in PubMed, but in Sociological Abstracts you would expect the emphasis to be more on foodways, food culture, etc. as opposed to nutritional status. So be flexible in your choice of terminology, considering synonyms (foodways vs. food habits; cookery vs. cooking vs. cuisine; farming vs. agriculture) and various word endings (e.g., singular vs. plural). Examine the subject headings or descriptors associated with articles of interest to identify other potentially useful keywords and examine both the citing and cited references to locate other potentially useful items.

Suggested Indexes

Subject Guide

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Anita Ezzo
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Michigan State University