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Michigan State University

Food Safety Resources

A selective list of books, databases, websites, etc. for researching food safety issues. Last updated: 11/30/23.

Finding Full Text Articles

To find the full text of articles:

  1. First, while in the database, look for the white full text buttons.   White full text button.
  2. Check the A to Z Electronic Journal list.
  3. Search the MSU Libraries Catalog.
    1. Enter the NAME of JOURNAL.
    2. Select PERIODICAL TITLES AT MSU from menu.
  4. Place a MARS or ILL request.

Note: You cannot use the catalog to find individual articles within a journal. For this you must search in the journal itself or use an article database.

Choosing a Database to Search

How do I know which database to search? This chart can help identify the best database depending on your topic and what you hope to find.


Subject Coverage
Format coverage
Years covered online--MSU
CAB Abstracts This British database covers agriculture, veterinary science, animal science, and some basic biological journals (to a lesser extent). Biology coverage not as good as Web of Science or BA, but it does cover proceedings literature not covered in either of those. journals, book chapters, reports, proceedings 1910-present
PubMed (Medline)

This database from the National Library of Medicine covers not only clinical medicine but also many areas of biology including biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, physiology, microbiology, immunology, etc, and is the most heavily used database in the biomedical sciences. Contains many additional links to databases from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

journals only 1966-present
Biological Abstracts (BA) Covers all areas of biological sciences including areas not covered by PubMed/Medline such as ecology, plant sciences, zoology, or wildlife literature. Not updated as frequently as Medline and coverage of some biomedical journals not as good as Medline. journals only 1926-present
Web of Science Covers all areas of science and therefore spans the literature from ecology to plant science to genetics to biochemistry to chemistry to medicine. Very good one-stop source for biologists whose work spans several of these areas. Contains citation counts for articles. journals only 1900-present
Scopus Similar to Web of Science, Scopus is an interdisciplinary database covering all of the sciences. Whereas Web of Science is selective in choosing the "best journals", Scopus is more comprehensive and is the largest database. It does not go back as far in time as Web of Science. Also contains citation counts for articles back to 1996. journals, some conference proceedings coverage for journals varies, citation information only back to 1996

PubMed vs Web of Science vs Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a useful tool but it is important to know some of the main differences between it and databases when searching the literature. Some key differences are: what is included in each and how content is selected, how data is entered, and what is search. 

Setting Up Google Scholar for MSU Access

Google Scholar can be set up so that it recognizes you as an MSU user and will give you access to full-text articles where possible.

1) Go to Google Scholar; login to your account if you have one.


2) Access settings by expanding the menu at the top left of the page, then clicking on the gear icon.

Accessing Google Scholar settings


3) Select Library Links from the menu on the left.

Library link options


4) Search for Michigan State University. From the results list put a check in the box by Michigan State University - MSU Access. Click Save.

Searching for MSU settings


5) When you do a search on Google Scholar a MSU Access link will appear to the right of the articles that the full text is available for. Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can download the PDF. You may be prompted to log in with your Net ID and password.

Be aware that a MSU Access link will not appear for all articles that the full text is available for. You may need to locate them by searching for the journal in the A-Z Electronic Journal List.

Example of article with MSU full text access