- State of Nursing Science
- A Quick Tour: NLM Resources for Nurses
- Finding Information - It's a Process!
- Finding Subject Headings and Keywords
- Ancestry Searching & Citation-Index Searching
- Systematic Reviews
- Grey Literature
- Appraising the Evidence
- Writing & APA
State of Nursing Science
Contact ASKHSL@buffalo.edu or 716.829.5683 if you need additional help!
[This guide was originally created by Sharon Murphy, liaison to the UB School of Nursing]
A Quick Tour: NLM Resources for Nurses
You have access to many free resources! Take a spin and view this 4 minute video.
Finding Information - It's a Process!
- Define your topic
- Thoughtfully decide how you might go about your research - what system or systems work for you? How will you keep track? Matrix Method? EndNote? Do you want to create accounts so you can save your strategies and be alerted to new articles on your topic as the weeks go by?
- Identify what databases to search (at a minimum this will be MEDLINE (or PubMed/Medline) and CINAHL).
- Determine your keywords and subject terms for each concept from the database thesaurus. Consider limits. Boolean logic allows you to combine concepts.
- Make a first pass at searching. Browse what comes up and check the complete reference of promising items for other indexing terms to add or replace.
- Are themes appearing? Do you need to narrow or broaden things? Is a more specific research aspect developing?
- Make a second pass at searching.
- Try other pertinent databases. (PsycINFO, Web of Science, Cochrane Databases. Check our full biomedical list. Don’t forget about theses!
- Check the publications area of the Cochrane Review Groups (go to the specific group’s homepage, then select their reviews) and websites of organizations, specialty areas, governmental agencies, and known researchers, experts, and faculty
- Supplement your search by browsing in the search engines Google Scholar and MedNar. If you find a good item, look for the same item in PubMed and use the related citations feature to find more.
- Have a system and make time for checking the reference lists of pertinent articles - if you wait a bit of time to do this, you will “own the literature” enough to know what you already have, what seems to be seminal, and this is a reassuring place to be.
- Go forward in time by seeing who has cited an important article by using cited reference searching (see tips below).
Finding Subject Headings and Keywords
What’s the Difference between subject heading and keyword searching?
Subject & Keyword Searching - New York Academy of Medicine
Within the database you are searching, look for the tab or link labeled “Thesaurus,” or “Subject Headings,” or “Descriptors,” or “Search Terms,” or “Terms.” In a database, find one good article, then look at the complete reference to see the indexing terms. Sometimes, looking at a few articles this way will reveal a pattern of terms.
You can also search for a keyword or two in the title only and check promising results
Search Strategy Builder - University of Arizona
Database truncation symbols to use when searching keywords:
- EBSCO (CINAHL, PsycINFO) = *
- OVID(MEDLINE) = $
- PubMed = *
- (Google employs synonyms automatically)
For example, In CINAHL, searching nurs* in the title will retrieve all articles that have nurse, nurses, nursing, or nursed in the title of articles. It will also give you nursery or nurseries!
Ancestry Searching & Citation-Index Searching
- Use Cited Reference Search in Web of Science and CINAHL (found under More on opening search screen for latter)
- Use the Cited By feature in Google Scholar
- In databases, when you find a good item, look for the feature called Find Similiar or Find Citing Articles.
- Use the Review Article limiter and check the article references.
- Systematic Reviews - what they are, plain and simple from Sense About Science
- Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Finding Systematic Reviews
- Cochrane Review Groups - pick a group, visit their webpage and browse their Reviews
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
- PubMed Clinical Queries - Systematic Reviews
- Grey Literature Report - find grey literature publications (non-conventional, fugitive, and sometimes ephemeral publications) in health services research and selected public health topics; most excellent is their list of publishers.
- NIH RePORTER - Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects
- GreyNet International
- OpenGrey (European)
- Organization and agency websites
- Consider contacting experts
- Proceedings and conferences
- Hand search journals that may not be indexed
Appraising the Evidence
- CEBM: Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine - Nice resource with a wealth of material in one location such as the Critcal Appraisal Sheets. New is a Levels of Evidence Table - Steps in finding evidence (“Levels”) for different types of questions, but read this introduction first!
- Penn State's Center for Primary Care - Step 3 addresses appraisal specifically
- Catmaker - Download guides you through a critical appraisal, then calculates appropriate EBM values
Writing & APA
- Instructions to Authors in the Health Sciences - find manuscript specifications for hundreds of journals and useful reporting standards - PRISMA, CONSORT, SQUIRE...
- Major Biomedical Research Reporting Guidelines that provide advice for reporting research methods and findings
- Research in Nursing & Health: Virtual Compendium - Qualitative and Quantitative Articles - browse through for some concise info on writing up your research
- Nurse Author & Editor - free quarterly online publication (but must register). Offers advice on writing quality manuscripts, avoiding rejection, finding publishing opportunities, editing and reviewing. Has a Nursing Journals Directory.
- Frequently Asked Questions about APA Style (from APA Style.org)
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. (Health Sciences LibraryReserve WZ 345 P976 2011)