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NURS 310: Principles of Nursing Research Library Research Tips: Overview

Professor Marty Highfield; Nursing Librarian Marcia Henry

This guide has been archived and may have outdated information or broken links.

Goals of library session for HS310:

Find peer reviewed, evidence based, single study research studies on your topic:

  1. End-of-life care (may be related to sudden death, chronic illness, codes, hospice care, etc.)
  2. Palliative care (symptom management such as nausea, fatigue,psychological distress, etc.)
  3. Pain assessment/management (including fetal pain, use of music or humor, etc.)
  4. Spiritual care (may include prayer, how nurses facilitate patient faith, etc)

Learn also how to find an integrated review or systematic review on topic ALSO in addition to the research studies.   Systematic or intergrated review such as Cochrane in which experienced reviewers have reviewed and combined the results of studies on a topic an made recommendations.

It would be helpful also to include
* evidence based practice sheet tab (CINAHLPlus with Fulltext (EbscoHost)

Some background tips on identifying research studies:
Meta-analysis (and it usually indicates this in the title) are VERY high quality research.  Experimental studies are next strongest--these are often called randomized controlled trials.  Correlation studies are next--these are where the researchers are describing what factors are related to the topic.  Descriptive studies are ok and they are a description of the way things are without any experimental treatment.  Meta-synthesis is good too.


  • The library provides Databases by Subject: Nursing    at http://library.calstate.edu/northridge/databases/subject/nursing -  offers a list of  databases recommended for the Nursing.  Professor Highfield especially wants you to become familiar with CINAHLPlus and PubMed ( PubMed is available on the Internet - access to subscription databases CSUN has is limited to the CSUN's link to PubMed) .  Additionally, on the home page and at the top of every Database by Subject page is a link to discovery tool OneSearch which will search over 150 databases and allows you to save records on your own electronic shelf access using your same CSUN email login and password. Additional, we will explore the native interfaces for the following databases.
  • Controlled Vocabularies, Age Groups and Limits in:

    • CINAHLPlus with Full Text (Nursing and Allied Health Literature) on EbscoHost offer CINAHL Headings, the controlled vocabulary CINAHL indexers use to assign subject headings to each record, limits, e.g. age, gender, Evidence Based Care sheets and Cited Reference searching. Remember not all the records have the full text so you will need to use sometimes the Find text icon find text which helps you identify if CSUN subscribes to the journal as well as give help in APA style.
    • PubMed (Medline)- in addition to indexing almost 5000 medical journals, there are links into freely availble Consumer Health (MedlinePlus) resources, several genetic, chemical, full text jurnal and full text book resources. Be sure to use CSUN's link to PubMed which is http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?otool=cacsunlib This URL offers you the Find text icon find text which helps you identify if CSUN subscribes to the journal.
    • Learn about PubMed Advanced search http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/special_queries.html
    • Learn about Medical Subject Headings MeSH MeSH MetaAnalysis
    • COCHRANE (Wiley)- evidence based literature review . Provides bibliographies and the findings of research articles
    • Additional interfaces for MEDLINE are MEDLINE (ISI) and MEDLINE (Ovid)
    • Ovid Journal and Ovid Books - has over 700 full text journals and a growing collection of electronic books mostly Lippincott titles, and the MEDLINE index to medical literature
    • Learn aboutGoogle Scholar at http://scholar.google.com/ is free to you. You can configure so it will work with CSUN's Find Text. However Find Text in Google Scholar is a link labeled SFX. To activate the capabilities for your browser, go to Scholar Preferences:
      1. In the box next to Library Links type "CSUN" and click Find Library.
      2. Check the box next to "CSU, Northridge (SFX Find It)"
      3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save Preferences button.

      Click SFX: Additional Options or SFX: Find It for access to online full text, Oviatt Library holdings information, and Interlibrary Loan.

    • Learn about Google Book links using our catalog - Check out the catalog record for

Scholarly Journals (Peer-reviewed/Referreed)

American Journal of Philology cover
  • Authors are authorities in their fields.
  • Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies.
  • Individual issues have little or no advertising.
  • Articles must go through a peer-review or refereed process.
  • Articles are usually reports on scholarly research.
  • Illustrations usually take the form of charts and graphs.
  • Articles use jargon of the discipline.