Foods and Nutrition is a very interdisciplinary subject, and we know it can feel daunting to select a database with so many options. We’ve compiled the following steps (and a list of databases!) to help you sort through the information overload. 🙂

How to find articles:

  • As a first step, I recommend using Summon, a search product available at Western that allows you to quickly find books, journal articles, and other resources. You should be able to get a good foundation of articles using this product alone (for tips on how to search for scholarly resources, see our blog posts on keywords and Boolean operators).
  • After consulting Summon, it’s important to review the research you already have. Your second step should involve making a list of what information you still need (i.e. what questions do you still have to answer? What are you looking for specifically?)
  • For your third step, you’ll need to choose a database based on the research you still need to find. Here are some options for you:


Some of your courses are quite science-heavy (i.e. Food Science, Clinical Nutrition), so the following databases will be suitable for your scientific research needs:

  • PubMed (current research in medicine, nursing and health care)
  • Cochrane (provides evidence to inform healthcare decision-making)
  • EMBASE (pharmaceutical, drug research, pharmacology, health policy, public health)
  • PEN (created by the Dieticians of Canada – provides evidence-based answers to questions encountered in everyday practice)
  • Scopus (chemistry, math, physics, life sciences, health sciences)

Social Science

A lot of your assignments will have a social science angle (i.e. you might have to look at people’s motivations or behaviour), especially in classes like community nutrition.  For these types of research questions, you can try the following:

  • PSYCINFO (a good place to look if you need motivation or behaviour information)
  • ProQuest Research Library (another huge database – has information on almost everything)
  • Scopus (also good for social science)

Other Databases

  • Web of Science (huge, multidisciplinary science database)
  • Nursing & Allied Health Databases (for nursing information – e.g. for nutrition in healthcare)
  • ERIC (for education information – e.g. if you’re doing a project on community nutrition)

If you run into trouble finding information, check out our handy research guides, or come and talk to the librarians at the desk! We’re always happy to hear about your papers and help you find the information you need.

Note: This post was originally written by Heather Campbell in 2011. It was updated on Monday, October 16th, 2017.