Let's face it; finding seafood technology information isn't easy. It's even harder if you are not part of a university or government lab that has access to specialized indexes, maintains a relevant library collection, and has staff to help locate the hard to find material. It's not impossible to identify and get the information you need; you just have to work at it. The World Wide Web is not the complete answer as it is problematic to search and many materials are not available in electronic formats.

This guide explains how to identify the information you need, how to get it, and where to look for additional electronic resources. Most of the resources mentioned are freely accessible. Those that are not are labeled as such. Contact Janet Webster ( or 541-867-0108) for more information.

In this guide:

  • Library Catalogs
  • Free Indexes
  • Indexes available for a price
  • Searching the Web
  • Web Resources
  • Research Services

Library Catalogues

These catalogues will help you locate books, theses, and government and industry reports that various libraries in the region own. The catalogue will also show which journals the libraries own, but does not automatically link you to the journals contents. For that, you have to use an index (see next section).

In this section:

Catalog of the Universities of California

The California Universities share a catalog called Melvyl. It is freely accessible to although getting the actual items may incur a cost. The UC Davis Library's holdings are included in Melvyl.

Borrowing: Onsite access to some UC libraries is limited. You can request material through your local public library or your institution's library. There will be borrowing and photocopy charges.

Sea Grant Depository

The National Sea Grant Library (NSGL), located in the Pell Marine Science Library (University of Rhode Island), houses the only complete collection of Sea Grant funded work which now includes 72,000 documents.

Borrowing: Borrowing is free to all. Some material cannot be borrowed (last copy). Much of the material that is not copyrighted is available electronically at this site. Contact the Depository for more information, ngsd@gso.uri.edu, 401-874-6114.

Libraries of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The 12 libraries of Fisheries and Oceans Canada are located in the departmental offices and research establishments across Canada . WAVES, the libraries' catalogue, contains bibliographic information about the published and unpublished literature relating to fisheries, aquatic sciences, and nautical sciences that is currently in the collections of these libraries.

Borrowing: Only Fisheries and Oceans Canada employees may borrow materials from departmental libraries. However, external loans, i.e., interlibrary loans, may be arranged through your local library. Individual Fisheries and Oceans Canada libraries may be willing to work with you. Contact the one closest to you; they are listed on this website.

Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers' Library

This library supports the agency's research programs with an extensive collection spanning many fields, including seafood technology. Linked on this site is the library's impressive archival index, which includes many unpublished articles and artifacts.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University is a land, sea and space grant university located in Corvallis, Oregon with a branch marine science campus in Newport, Oregon. The collection includes strong holdings in food and seafood science, marine fisheries, and microbiology.

Borrowing: Anyone can use the collection onsite, and you can request material through your local public library or your institution's library. There may be a fee depending on lending agreements between your library and OSU. Contact the staff at the Guin Library, the marine branch, for more information, HMSC.Library@orst.edu. 541-867-0249.

University of Washington

The University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education in the Pacific Northwest. The well-regarded oceanography and fisheries program is supported by an excellent library . The Institute for Food Science and Technology conducts research on seafood composition, quality, safety, processing and utilization, nutrition, and related food science topics; this program is not as active as it has been in the past.

Borrowing: Anyone can use the collection onsite, or you can requests material through your local public library, your institution's library, or directly through the Resource Sharing Service ((206) 543-1878 or (800) 324-535, http://www.lib.washington.edu/rss/). There will be a $6 to $10 fee, depending on your location. Contact the Fish-Oceans Library for more information, fishlib@u.washington.edu.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Rasmuson Library in the University of Alaska Fairbanks(UAF), the largest library in Alaska, is distinguished by its Alaska and Polar Regions Collection. The physically separate BioSciences Library has its own branch libraries at the Seward Marine Center in Seward and the Fishery Industrial Technology Center (FITC) in Kodiak. The FITC houses the bulk of seafood technology materials. All of the UAF collection can be searched through the catalog named Gnosis, available at the library's website.

Borrowing: Anyone can use the collection onsite, and you can request material through your local public library or your institution's library. There are borrowing charges are most items; these are waived if your library has a reciprocal agreement (you lend for free, I'll lend for free).

University of British Columbia

The UBC Library is the third largest research library in Canada. It collects both national and provincial publications, and supports an active Food Science Department.

Borrowing: Anyone can use the collection onsite, and you can request material through your local public library or your institution's library. There are borrowing charges for most items. If you live in the area, you can purchase a library card and use inter-library loan services for a fee.

University of Hawaii

The University of Hawaii is comprised of ten independent university and community college campuses, an employment training center, and five education centers located on six islands. It is a land and sea grant institution with a strong marine biology and aquaculture programs. The Pacific Regional Aquaculture Information Service (PRAISE), implemented under the USDA Regional Aquaculture Center Program, is an excellent source for information on the aquaculture industry in the Pacific Region.

Borrowing: Anyone can use the collection onsite, or you can request material through your local public library or your institution's library. There are borrowing and photocopy charges.

Free Indexes

Index access online is free, but there may be a charge for full text delivery.

In this section:

AGRICOLA (Bibliography of Agriculture)

This comprehensive index covering all areas of agriculture is produced by the National (U.S.) Agriculture Library. Production of these records in electronic form began in 1970, but the database covers materials in all formats, including printed works from the 15th century. The records describe publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines, including animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, farming and farming systems, agricultural economics, extension and education, food and human nutrition, and earth and environmental sciences.

AGRIS (Agricultural Research Information System)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. started this international information system for the agricultural sciences and technology in 1974. 161 national and 31 international/intergovernmental centers participate and have submitted about 14,000 items from the worldwide literature (both conventional and "grey" literature), dealing with all aspects of agriculture. The interface can be unreliable; keep trying.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches publishers, government and education institution web sites. 

European Union - Food and Agriculture Industries Research

Managed by a team of scientists from both industry and academia, the EU Database provides knowledge in the area of Physical Properties of Foods and the main groups are Thermal, Mechanical, Sorption, Mass Transfer and Electrical. Users can contribute their own data into the Database, and must register online in order to access the bibliographic database, which is free. Access to the the datasets and full text is by subscription.

Government Printing Office Access

This gateway provides access to all of the databases the Government (U.S.) Printing Office maintain. These include the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Congressional Record, and Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (1994 to present). The catalog indexes government publications by personal author, government agency or conference name, title, subject, report number and series statement, and Superintendent of Documents numbers. It is good for locating government publications related to nutrition, especially information about government nutrition programs.


MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) premier bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. The MEDLINE file contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from approximately 3,900 current biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 foreign countries. The file contains approximately 9 million records dating back to 1966. Coverage is worldwide, but most records are from English-language sources or have English abstracts. It's useful for seafood issues such as nutrition, microbiology, and safety.

Indexes Available for a Price

Check with your institution or local library for availability in your area.

Applied Science and Technology Index

This index includes citations to articles covering the following aspects of food: additives; analysis; bacteriology; color; prices; storage and spoilage; testing; transportation; and technology. It also includes material on nutritional research and surveys. In addition, you may search for information on individual foods, vitamins or minerals. The Web version covers 1983 to the present while the print index goes back to 1958.

Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA)

ASFA is published by Cambridge Scientific in cooperation with an international network of information centers which monitor over 5,000 journals, books, reports, conference proceedings, translations, and grey literature. Cambridge Scientific has a useful thesaurus of terms for anyone building their own citation database - http://www.csa.com/helpV5/thesaurus.html

CAB Abstracts

This database, available online or on CD, includes abstracts from a wide variety of international agricultural literature. It covers the significant research and development literature in the fields of agriculture, forestry, aspects of human health, human nutrition, animal health and the management and conservation of natural resources. Over three million records have been added to the database since its computerization in 1973.

Dissertation Abstracts International

This abstracting source provides summaries of all U.S. Ph.D., some Masters theses, as well as some foreign dissertations with both an author and subject index. Abstracts are only available since 1980 while citations extend back to 1861.

Food Science and Technology Abstracts

Since 1969, this index has compiled citations and abstracts of journal articles, research papers, conference proceedings and other materials in all areas of food science, including food engineering, microbiology, packaging, technology and toxicology. Citations to materials on food laws, regulations and patents are also included.

The sites listed below are just a few examples of what it available. Searching effectively is challenging. Try several search engines and pay attention to how you structure your search.

In this section:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Fisheries Department

You'll find good statistics at this site as well as reports on various FAO projects.

Oregon State University Seafood Lab

Here's an example of a focused lab. The site includes a descriptions of the programs, faculty, and facilities. It also has a comprehensive list of publications generated by the researchers, staff and students at the lab.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center

FDA operates a mandatory safety program for all fish and fishery products under the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, the Public Health Service Act, and related regulations.  Its website offers publications, news items, and regulatory information.

Web Resources

There is so much out there on the Web that it is difficult to find just what you want. Here are several useful sites ranging from databases to publications.

In this section:

Regulatory Fish Encyclopedia

This compilation of data assists with the accurate identification of fish species. It was developed by FDA's RFE Team to help federal, state, and local officials and purchasers of seafood identify species substitution and economic deception in the marketplace.

Delphion Patents Database

This is a great site for patent information. You can search for United States patents, European patents and patent applications, Patent Cooperation Treaty application data from the World Intellectual Property Office, and Patent Abstracts of Japan. A search gives you the text, descriptions of drawings, claims, and related patents. For a fee, you can order the actual patent document.

Canadian Patent Database

This database lets you access over 75 years of Canadian patent descriptions and images. The site also has good links to other web resources on patents and trademarks.

HACCP Digital Library at the Sea Grant Depository

Currently, there are over 40 Sea Grant publications available in pdf format. More are added as they are submitted by Sea Grant programs throughout the U.S. You need Adobe Acrobat, a free software program, loaded on your computer to download and read the documents.

Guidance Documents for Trace Elements in Shellfish

These U.S. Food and Drug Administration publications covering arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and nickel were developed in 1993 to satisfy requests from local and state officials for federal guidance regarding the public health significance of trace elements in shellfish. They are updated irregularly.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) Nutrient Database

The USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 13 contains data for up to 82 nutrients in over 6,200 foods. It replaces SR12, issued in March 1998 and adds food composition data for a couple hundred new items.

Research Services

If you need more help than just locating and getting articles or books, try one of these libraries' reference services.

Guin Library, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University

Marilyn Potts Guin Library houses Oregon State University's research collection in the marine sciences. Library staff can access the extensive food science collection housed on the main OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon. The librarian is available for consultation on research needs. Material can be copied and sent, or books requested through your local library.

Marilyn Potts Guin Library
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Oregon State University
2030 Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365
phone: (541) 867-0249
fax: (541) 867-0105

Costs: Information Specialists' research time - $40.00 per hour, $20.00 minimum charge per request. Additionally, costs may include any database access fees, document copying and delivery charges.

UWorldExpress, University of Washington Libraries

The University of Washington Libraries offers a document delivery service. You can register for the service and then pay per item requested. UW Libraries, the 12th largest academic library in the nation, maintains extensive collections in fisheries, forestry, engineering, government publications, patents and trademarks, as well as area studies.

UWorld Express
G027 Suzzallo Library Box 352900
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2900
phone: 206-616-1878

Costs: Costs per article run around $20 and may include additional database access fees, document copying and delivery charges.

Guide prepared 3/22/00 & revised 12/26/12 by Janet Webster, Librarian, Marilyn Potts Guin Library, Oregon State University Libraries

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