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Nursing: Overview

Essential Nursing and Health Databases

Welcome new Nursing students! A quick video

How to keep up with research after you graduate?

Congratulations graduates!

  • PubMed will always be available, and the free abstracts are reasonably informative.  This is the free version of PubMed, that is not linked to Library subscriptions.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), NICE (from the UK), and other countries' agencies continue to summarize and appraise the evidence.  AHRQ 1, AHRQ 2, NICE 1, NICE 2. 
  • Cochrane has a free website and offers many of their reviews for free.
  • Many research articles (might reach 50%) become available for free on the web in the months after their publication, due to requirements of funding agencies and the cooperation of publishers and universities.  Google Scholar is useful for finding most of these.
  • You can also access CINAHL for free through your public library (and NC Live), but you probably need to be assertive.  Consider signing up for the AHEC Digital Library
  • Ask a librarian.  I do what I can, within the law and licenses, for alumni and community.

EBSCO logs you out!

The EBSCO page you get when you neglect EBSCO for more than about 10 minutes.

There's no way to beat this page when you see it.  You'll have to go back to one of the Library pages and start CINAHL (or APPsearch or other) all over again, and sometimes you have to clear your search history.  You should not have to log into an EBSCO account.  That will not help.  (It can be helpful to backspace and look at the search terms you were using, if they were working.)

EBSCO logs you out!



Take a look at these videos.  They're all about 3 to 5 minutes long.  Let me know if you have questions or problems.  -- JohnW

Searching -- Choosing search terms

Choosing search words is a challenge for researchers.  Sometimes, there is not a good fit between the possible words and the concepts.  Other times, you just don't know what the best words are at first.

1. Keep it simple.  Choose a word or short phrase (in quotation marks, if it helps) for each concept.  Which words distinguish your concept?  Many words you might use could show up in many articles on lots of topics.  Don't bother with those, if you can avoid them.

2. Before you start, think.  What words would researchers use?  Think about narrower words, broader words, and words that are related.  Consider jotting them down or making a document that you can copy and paste from.

3. Watch for alternative words as you go.  Look at the subject headings.

4. As you go, think about adding more words to get fewer results that are more focused on your topic.  Or try taking words out or substituting in words with broader meanings, in order to get more results.  You can search on authors, methodologies, data sources, outcomes, or almost anything else of interest.

5. Consider searching in the CINAHL Headings and PubMed MeSH databases before you start really searching for articles.

6. You can ask for help also.

7. Above, I suggested using just one word or short phrase for each concept.  If you have synonyms or related terms, you can search on them at the same time using OR. 

examples: (teenagers OR adolescents OR youths)    

("eating disorders" OR bulimia OR anorexia)   

(carolina OR virginia OR appalach*)     

You can also use the asterisk, to search for different variations of a word. 

Example: theor* will find all these: theory, theories, theoretical


Asterisks don't work, and are not necessary, in Google Scholar (and Google).

Mostly, don't use quotation marks in PubMed.  They override PubMed's automatic term mapping system.



Helps with creating an answerable, useful question.  Helps with choice of search words.

Problem or population  -- soccer players

Intervention -- preventive training (or more specific type of preventive training)

Comparison treatment (or placebo) -- alternate type of preventive training?  what's being used up to now.

Outcome -- count frequency and severity of injuries.  Missed games or training.

Lippincott Nursing Procedures, and other reference books

Also see page on Nursing topics: more reference books, theories, Nursing Education, psychiatric DSM-5

More Databases for Nursing

Education databases -- These two may be useful for MSN students looking at education topics that are not directly related to the health sciences.  But these and other databases are included in APPsearch.  I often would just search APPsearch instead of these two by themselves.

Where are Nursing books?

Books on the health sciences are on the 3rd floor, in the northeast corner.  They start with R.  Look for the books focusing on Nursing in the RT area.

Many of our Nursing books are ebooks.

AppState Online students -- We mostly have ebooks for you.  Well, we really mostly have journal articles, and more journal articles, for you.  But we do also have a system to mail you physical books, if that's what you need.  See this library guide.

Primal Pictures

Anatomy imaging software.

Need a DOI? CrossRef

Need a DOI?  Check the article carefully first.  Search CrossRef here.  But also for older articles, from before about 2010-2012, there might not be a DOI.  Even some current articles, from competent but low cost journals usually, will not have DOI numbers.

Wondering Where to Publish Your Article? Some Suggestions

1a. Do a few searches on your topic in PubMed, CINAHL, WoS/Scopus, Google Scholar, or other databases. 
1b. Also try JANE,
1c.Look at rankings in Scimago / JCR / Eigenfactor / GoogleScholar of broad topic areas: examples, Public Health, Primary Health Care, Sport Science 
2.Review journals identified in steps 1a and 1b, using journals' websites and Table of Contents.  Review identified journals using: Cabell'sUlrich's, and again the rankings: Scimago / JCR / Eigenfactor GoogleScholar.

3. If you have any doubts still, try web searches such as: "journal title" predatory.  Look at lists of editors.  The Australian and Norwegian lists in Dimensions are authoritative.  I can look with you, if you like.

Health Sciences Librarian

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John Wiswell
Use yellow button, as one way to make an appointment. Or email me with a question or for an appointment, wiswellj@ . Please suggest a few times and state your topic. Zoom, Levine, or Library.

Levine Hall 542F & Belk Library 225, (828)262-7853

Levine 542F afternoons.
Belk Library 225 mornings.
email and chat almost any time.