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The IBIDS Database

About the IBIDS Database
  • What is the IBIDS database?
  • What does the IBIDS database contain?
  • What does the IBIDS database not contain?
  • How can I contact the IBIDS team?
Journals/Databases/Selection Criteria 
  • What databases and journals are found in IBIDS?
  • What is the Full IBIDS Database?
  • What is the Peer Reviewed Citations Only Database?
  • What is the IBIDS Consumer Database?
Special Features 
  • What is the Keywords and Synonyms Search?
  • What botanical and herbal supplements are included in IBIDS?
  • What are the "Notable Citations" that are linked from the Highlight section of the front page?
  • What are the Top 5 Searches?
Disclaimers/Restrictions on Use  
  • Are there any disclaimers or restrictions on use of the IBIDS database?
History and Development of IBIDS 
  • How was IBIDS developed?
  • Who assisted the IBIDS Team?

About the IBIDS Database

What is the IBIDS Database?

  • The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements database
  • Easy to search and available free of charge through the Internet
  • A collaboration between two government agencies: the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC), The National Agricultural Library (NAL), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • A "work in progress" with new search terms, abstracts and citations added quarterly and modifications made to the search approach to respond to suggestions from users

What does the IBIDS database contain?

  • As of September 2007 there are over 760,000 citations on the topic of dietary supplements from four major database sources: biomedical-related articles from MEDLINE, botanical and agricultural science from AGRICOLA, worldwide agricultural literature through AGRIS, and coverage of international applied life sciences literature from CAB Abstracts and CAB Global Health. The scope of IBIDS includes:
    • The use and function of vitamin, mineral, phytochemical, botanical, and herbal supplements in human nutrition,
    • The role of nutrient supplementation in metabolism in normal nutrition and disease states,
    • Animal studies that relate to the function of dietary supplements in human nutrition,
    • Chemical composition, biochemical roles, and antioxidant activity of botanical and nutrient supplements,
    • Fortification of foods with supplemental nutrients and health-related effects,
    • Nutrient composition of herbal and botanical products,
    • Surveys on dietary supplement use by various populations,
    • The growth and production of herbal and botanical products used as dietary supplements.
  • Abstracts where permission has been granted from the publisher
  • Citations from 1986 to the present
  • Citations in foreign languages, if the abstract is in English. Citations have been selected from multiple databases to ensure that the database is comprehensive and internationally representative.
  • Full, peer-reviewed and consumer journal databases
  • Keywords to help you find your topic of interest
  • In the future -- citations from additional database sources.

In addition to having records on substances used as dietary supplements, IBIDS also includes records on substances such as niacin and glucosamine used in situations where they may be considered drugs. Such records are included in order to provide information on mechanism of action, possible adverse effects, and other information of potential interest to IBIDS users.

What does the IBIDS database not contain?

  • Full journal articles - these may be obtained through your local public or university library or online through journal websites or document delivery services.
  • All herbal and botanical supplement ingredients - the American Herbal Products Association estimates that there are over 2000 herbal ingredients available in supplement products in the United States. The IBIDS database began with literature on the top 50 botanicals identified by the European Union and now contains literature on over 250 botanicals. These include the best sellers in the U.S. market.
  • Complementary and alternative medicine approaches such as homeopathy, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture. For more information on these topics, contact the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
How can I contact the IBIDS team?

If you have any comments or questions about the information presented by the IBIDS database, please forward them to

Journals/Databases/Selection Criteria

What databases and journal are found in IBIDS?

Journal citations and abstracts from AGRIS International, AGRICOLA, MEDLINE, and CAB Abstracts and CAB Global Health are currently included in the IBIDS database. Copyright permission has been requested from additional databases to include their citations in the IBIDS database. Since some journals appear in multiple databases, duplicate entries have been removed. A short description of the focus of each database follows:

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access)
Provider: National Agricultural Library (NAL), USDA.
Description: Provides comprehensive coverage of worldwide literature of agricultural science and related topics, including animal and plant production, veterinary science, food and nutrition, rural issues from numerous serial titles.

AGRIS International
Provider: Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
Description: Provides comprehensive coverage of worldwide agricultural literature.

Provider: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Description: Provides coverage of both primary journals and monographs on virtually every subject in the field of biomedicine.

CAB Abstracts and CAB Global Health
Provider: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI) Publishing.
Description: Provides comprehensive coverage of international applied life sciences literature.

What is the Full IBIDS Database?

  • As of September 2007 there are journal articles from over 9000 journals included in the Full IBIDS Database.
  • Contains all citations in the Peer Reviewed and Consumer databases as well as citations that may not be from peer reviewed or consumer-based journals.

What is the Peer Reviewed Citations Only Database?

  • Contains journals that require research papers to undergo evaluation by a peer review or referee board prior to acceptance and publication. Peer review status was determined by a designation of "refereed" in the Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory database, information provided by the publisher through personal communication, or journal/Internet site designation.

What is the IBIDS Consumer Database?

  • Consists of over fifty journals based upon designation as a newsletter, newspaper, bulletin, or consumer publication by Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory database or recommendation by nutrition professionals.
  • Contains citations written in easily understandable language and interpretations of published research rather than technical medical research literature.
  • A link to additional dietary supplements information for consumers can be found at the ODS Health Information Page and the Food and Nutrition Information Center Dietary Supplements web page.

Special Features

What is the Keyword and Synonyms Search?
  • The Keyword and Synonym Search is a tool available from the main IBIDS search screen to aid the user in developing search strategies with the correct spellings, chemical or botanical nomenclature, synonyms, and active components for dietary supplement products.
  • Users can select a keyword from the drop-down list, click on the "Submit Search" button and IBIDS will be searched for records that contain all of the most appropriate terms for that keyword.
  • Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, flavonoids, herbals and botanicals, and general search terms are available as keyword search entries.
  • The IBIDS team has used the publication Herbs of Commerce (AHPA, 2000) as its nomenclature source for its search of botanical supplement literature as well as Dr. Duke's Ethnobotanical and Phytochemical Databases and additional botanical textbooks. The Herbs of Commerce was developed and refined through a several step external review process with the goal of developing a single listing of common names and their corresponding single Latin binomial. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) was applied to all issues regarding the use of Latin binomials. The common names as designated in the Herbs of Commerce are often used in IBIDS as the keyword terms.
What botanical and herbal supplements are included in IBIDS?
  • The IBIDS database began with literature on the top 50 botanicals identified by the European Union and now contains literature on over 250 botanicals. These include the best sellers in the U.S. market.
  • There is no current, comprehensive estimate of the number and breadth of botanical supplement products or derivatives from botanicals that are available on the U.S. market. In its publication, Herbs of Commerce (APHA, 2000) the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) included approximately 2048 separate species and cross-referenced synonyms. Plant species that were included as entries in this volume are found primarily in food products and dietary supplements in the U.S., but some are used solely as medicinal products.
  • Additional plant species are added during the quarterly updates based upon user requests and literature reviews.
What are the "Notable Citations"?
  • The Notable Citations are those articles that can be found in the five Annual Bibliographies of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research, first released by the Office of Dietary Supplements in 1999.
  • Each year the Bibliography has contained 25 articles that were selected by an international team of reviewers in the fields of nutrition, botanical sciences, and public health.
What are the Top 5 searches?
  • The IBIDS database keeps track of the terms that are searched. Each of the five terms searched most frequently are made into buttons that reside on the lower right part of the site.
  • Click on one of the five buttons to see the search result set for the query term(s) on the button.

Disclaimers/Restrictions on Use

Are there any disclaimers or restrictions on use of the IBIDS database?

Please read the following information regarding disclaimers and restriction on use.

  • Restrictions on Use:

    The IBIDS database contains some material such as abstracts and full text of journal articles which is copyright protected. For such material, the submitting authors or other copyright holders retain rights for reproduction or redistribution. All persons reproducing or redistributing this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by the copyright holder. The National Institutes of Health/Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Agricultural Library/Agricultural Research Service/Food and Nutrition Information Center (IBIDS team) does not and cannot grant permission to download the author abstracts for redistribution. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use (pdf file) as defined in the copyright laws requires the written permission of the copyright owners. "Fair use" as defined in the copyright laws generally permits use for noncommercial educational purposes, such as teaching, research, criticism, and news reporting.

  • Information Accuracy Disclaimer:

    IBIDS users should critically evaluate all the information without presupposition that the IBIDS team has done any pre-screening or evaluation of the research for the suitability or accuracy of the scientific content. Peer-reviewed journals are identified as an aid to the user. The IBIDS team attempts to provide quality targeted research related to dietary supplements but does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, safety, reliability, interpretations of results of research, opinions of authors, or usefulness of any information, product, or process disclosed on the IBIDS web site.

  • Health Information Disclaimer:

    IBIDS provides information about dietary supplements and human nutrition as a public service for informational and research purposes. The materials found in this Web site are intended to increase knowledge of research related to dietary supplements and to encourage further research. The information is not intended to be used to endorse the use of dietary supplements for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed health professional. The IBIDS team urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.

  • Endorsement Disclaimer:

    The National Institutes of Health/Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Agricultural Library/Agricultural Research Service/Food and Nutrition Information Center do not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this Web site (or in Web site pages) is for the information and convenience of the reader. The views and opinions of authors expressed on the IBIDS site does not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Government, and they may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Likewise, some databases available on the IBIDS website include resources from "non-government entities." Inclusion of these materials in a database does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by IBIDS or the U.S. Government.

  • Website Security (from NAL):

    For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 USC 1030, as amended) and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

  • Personally Provided Information:

    If you choose to provide us with personal information by sending an email, or by filling out a form with your personal information and submitting it through our Web site, we use that information to respond to your message and to help us provide you with information or material that you request. On occasion, we may conduct a study concerning the types of questions sent to us. These studies help us to improve our Web sites in order to make them more responsive to the needs of our users. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party.

History and Development of IBIDS

How was IBIDS developed?
  • 1994 -- One of the mandated activities found in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) that created the ODS, NIH is to, "collect and compile the results of scientific research relating to dietary supplements." (Public Law No. 103-417, 13, 108 Stat. 4334; 42 U.S.C. ' 485C(c)(2). This mandate resulted in the development of the IBIDS database to assist both researchers and the general public in locating scientific literature on dietary supplements.
  • November 27, 1995 -- The Office of Dietary Supplements was formally established within the Office of Disease Prevention, Office of the Director, at the National Institutes of Health. Bernadette M. Marriott, Ph.D. was appointed Director of the ODS. The current Director is Paul M. Coates, Ph.D.
  • September 1996 -- A cooperative inter-agency agreement between the Office of Dietary Supplements and the Agricultural Research Service/National Agricultural Library/Food and Nutrition Information Center was signed for the IBIDS database development project. The ODS is mandated to explore the role of dietary supplements in the improvement of health care by planning, organizing, and supporting conferences, workshops, and symposia on scientific topics related to dietary supplements and collecting and compiling databases of federally funded research and scientific papers on dietary supplements. For more information about ODS, go to the ODS homepage.
    The National Agricultural Library (NAL)
    , the largest agricultural library in the world, is internationally recognized as a primary source of agricultural information and is part of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) is one of several information centers at the NAL. FNIC collects nutrition related books, journals, and audiovisuals and publishes resource lists and bibliographies on various nutrition topics. The FNIC home page provides access to publications as well as links to other sources of nutrition information.
  • Following a planning stage during which the scope of the IBIDS database was defined and the search strategies developed, journal permissions were obtained and the database and website interface were created.
  • January 1999 -- The IBIDS database was formally launched and has continued to undergo regular quarterly updates since this time.
  • The IBIDS database was evaluated by a panel of scientists and researchers in April 1998 and again in January 2002 for ease of use and searching, clarity of instructions, aesthetic appeal, format of screens and reports, results of sample searches, response time, comprehensiveness of scope, and representation of the current worldwide literature on dietary supplements. In addition, IBIDS users submit comments regarding IBIDS via email to The reviewers' and users' comments have been used to revise search strategies, improve the user interface, and provide direction for future development. Based upon reviewers' comments, a major update of the database with enhanced search strategies was completed in August 2001.
  • October 2000 -- The Consumer Database was launched in response to overwhelming requests for more consumer-based literature. Citations have been selected from journals that provide dietary supplement information geared specifically toward consumers, rather than scientists. Users are able to choose which database to search by selecting either the IBIDS Consumer Database, the Full IBIDS Database, or the Peer Reviewed Citations Only Database. In addition, a Health Information web page was developed to meet requests for consumer-friendly resources.
  • October 2000 -- A Dietary Supplements Resource List, a valuable list of information resources for dietary supplements, was created by the FNIC-IBIDS team to be distributed at conventions and to the public. This list was revised with additional resources in February 2002, and again in December 2006 with a list of resources for consumers and in January 2008 with a list of resources for professionals.
  • July 2002 -- The ability to search IBIDS by publication year was added to the search field.
  • August 2002 -- The IBIDS web page was reformatted and additional information added to the web page interface to enhance usability.
  • September 2002 - One hundred selected additional journal titles were searched for citations to add to the database and links from individual citations to specific journal web sites were added to the results pages.
  • August 2004 -- The five year anniversary of IBIDS is marked by the release of the new IBIDS to the general public. It has been redesigned and enhanced as well as updated to include over 730,000 bibliographic records. The new features include the ability to conduct a keyword/synonym search from a drop-down list, "clickable" buttons on the most commonly searched terms, and citations from the "Annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research" which are noted with gold stars.


Who assisted the IBIDS Team?
  • For their contributions to the keywords and images components of IBIDS, the Team would like to convey their thanks to the American Herbal Products Association, the American Botanical Council, Edward Fletcher, Botanist and David Bunting, Ethnobotanist.

This page was last modified on Tuesday, August 26, 2008.

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