|Alison (Ali) Konieczny|
|Office: FLITE 315|
Avoid plagiarism by properly citing your sources. Please go to the Citations webpage to learn how.
Check out the following tutorial to learn how to create Concept Blocks: Getting Started with Research
Most of us start doing research using a search engine, such as Google. Because of the vast amounts of information and misinformation that can be found on the Internet, you must be sure to critically evaluate all information found on websites. Please see Criteria for Evaluating a Website for help with determining if a source is reliable.
If you're going to Google, Google Smart! Consider using the Google Advanced Search or Google Scholar. You can set-up Google Scholar so that it will link you into articles that the library subscribes to. To learn how, click here.
Uncertain of what a primary source is? Check out these resources to learn how to identify primary sources:
- What is a Primary Source in the Sciences: *Be sure to read the box in the middle of the page that explains this
- Primary vs Secondary Sources
**Remember the easy path to finding library materials: Library Homepage> Find Menu>
The snapshot of the Library Homepage below highlights the Find menu.
Reliable information may be found in many types of library materials. Some examples of materials linked from the Find button include:
- Books that may be found in the online catalog. If you specifically want online books, please click here.
- Encyclopedias and other reference books can also be found in the online catalog, or please see our collection of Online Encyclopedias.
- Articles can be found in databases.
- Journals can also be searched by title, keyword, or subject.
What is a database?? A nice definition is available from the University of Toledo that states that a database is "A collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data. You can think of a database as an electronic filing system." So, if you want to find information on a certain topic, such as HIPAA, you can do a keyword search to find the related files.
Some recommended databases for finding information on health and medical topics include:
Stat!Ref is an excellent starting point for researching medical topics. Enter your search term into the search box and you will obtain a rank-ordered list of results taken from various medical encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other medical reference books. A very helpful feature of this database is the Related Concepts box to the left of the results that will provide you with synonyms for your topic. These related concepts or synonyms can be used to enhance your searches in this database, as well as the other databases. Try searching on Nursing Theory, and then select the entry from Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, and link into the Nursing Theory appendix to get a nice overview of nursing theories and their applications.
The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) gathers information from more than 3000 journals. Scroll down when your initial results screen pops up, and use the Subject: Major Heading selection from the left-hand side to narrow your results to the major subject selected.
Some ways to help narrow your results to original Nursing Research include:
- On the initial search screen, scroll down the page, and under Journal Subset select Nursing, and under Publication Type select Research. The "Research" limit is vague, so you'll still have to determine if this is *primary or *original research
- Click on the Advanced Search link under the search box, and scroll down the screen and check the boxes next to both First Author is Nurse and Any Author is Nurse so either option will be picked up. Under Publication Type select Research. Note, use these limits with caution, nursing research is missed with these limits. Also remember, the "Research" limit is vague, so you'll still have to determine if this is *primary or *original research.
Click here for a CINAHL guide.
PubMed with FLITE licensed Journal link-out
This is the largest biomedical database, with over 20 million citations. For finding nursing research in this database, you may want to try one of these search strategies:
- Click on the Limits link above the search box, type in your keywords, and then scroll down the screen, and under Subsets select Nursing Journals. Also, *consider using the Search Field Tags limit, and selecting Title so your keywords are only found in the title. You'll then have to click into the individual records and determine by the abstract if this is likely primary research.
- This strategy will give you a smaller results set than that above, but should pull up original research.
Follow the steps listed above in #1, but add these additional limits:
Under Type of Article select: Clinical Trial, Randomized Controlled Trial, Comparative Study, Evaluation Studies, Twin Study, and Validation Studies.
Note: When you don't have restrictions placed on type of article, use the Related Citations link to find more on- topic articles. It works really well in PubMed.
Click here for PubMed Database Tutorials.
Health & Wellness Resource Center
Find information from medical encyclopedias, journal articles, pamphlets, videos, and more using this database that is filled with information oriented towards health care consumers. This is a nice place to get a general overview of different diseases and conditions, as well as medications.
The Cochrane Library is a valuable resource for evidence-based medicine. The reviews (*Not primary or original research) in this library are meta-analyses, meaning that each review contains pooled data from numerous independent studies on a particular topic. The pooled data has been synthesized and scrutinized to arrive at a statistically valid conclusion regarding the effectiveness of a treatment/procedure. This library is growing, so be sure to check back at a later time if you are not currently finding information on your topic. You can search using keywords, such as disease names and treatments, or browse Cochrane Reviews by topic. *Please note that Cochrane Reviews can also be found in PubMed. If you find a Cochrane Review in PubMed, open the Cochrane Database and search for the review within Cochrane to get the full text.
You can use these even after you graduate!!!!
Yes, you saw this database listed above, but it is also publicly available, so get accustomed to using this wonderful resource!! You won't always have the FLITE-licensed journal link-out, but there will still be tremendous resources at your fingertips.
Click here for PubMed Database Tutorials.
This well known database is freely available on the Internet and provides evidence-based information. Search the entire database, or proceed to the specialist site of interest.
In some databases you will see an option for a Text version of the document or a PDF version. In general, the PDF version is preferable as it is most often a scanned version of the original and will therefore contain the graphics. When e-mailing, printing, or saving a group of articles, be sure to select the full-text or PDF option if available.
Some databases contain little full-text, but allow you to link out to Ferris' holdings or the interlibrary loan request form. You will notice the Find it! links following individual citations that will indicate the availability of the article online, in the library, or the need to interlibrary loan the article. Click on the Go button and you will be taken to the online version, library holdings record, or interlibrary loan form to obtain the article you desire. See the example below:
Sample Article Link-Out
The guide, Guide to Popular vs. Scholarly Journals is helpful for determining if the article that you are utilizing is from a scholarly source. Also, the EBM Guidebook from the University of California, Irvine, also listed below, has an excellent section on Appraising information sources, and draws off of the "CAMEL" method of evaluation.
An interlibrary loan reminder, before requesting articles from interlibrary loan, please review the abstract and make sure that the article is on-topic. Also, please insure that the article is in a language that you speak, as some databases, such as PubMed index many non-English articles that have abstracts written in English. After you have evaluated the topical coverage and language of the article, please do not hesitate to request it through interlibrary loan if it is not available on campus.
EBM Guidebook from the University of California, Irvine
Northern Michigan University's APA Style Guide: A great APA style guide.
Any more questions? Contact: Alison (Ali) Konieczny / Email / Phone: 231-591-3696 / Office: FLITE 315
Don't forget, you are welcome to come to the Oval Information Desk and ask for help any time. You can also call us 231-591-3602 or chat with us.
Last update: May 26, 2011