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Nursing Resources: Research Help

This guide is intended to help Nursing students find relevant resources for their research needs. You'll find useful searching tips, nursing databases, websites and more.

Locating Relevant Sources: Finding Books & Articles

To find books and ebooks search the library's online catalog WorldCat. 

First, try a simple keyword search such as Diabetes. Keyword searches produce a large amount of results. This type of search is broad and less precise. Fortunately, most online catalogs and databases have features to help you refine your search terms. Refinement features may include author, year, format, content, audience, or sub-topics.

Creating a search strategy:

Next, try Boolean searching. This type of searching allows you to combine keywords using operators AND, OR, and NOT.

To narrow your results use AND with two or more concepts. Example: Type handwashing AND germs

To broaden your search use OR with synonymous or related words.One or both of the search terms will be searched and retrieved. Example:  Insulin Therapy OR Insulin Treatment

Sometimes one of your search terms may produce a list of results that includes articles that are not relevant to your topic. Using the operator NOT eliminates words from your search and reduces the number of results. Example:  handwashing NOT masks. The word masks will be excluded from the search. 

Other Search Techniques:

Another way to broaden your search is to use the Truncation technique. Depending on the database the symbol may be the (*), (?), (%) or ($). This type of search allows you to replace the end of a word with a symbol. Example: adolescen* retrieves adolescence, adolescent, adolescents

Another technique is using Wildcard symbols such as (*), (#), (!), (or (?). This technique substitutes a symbol for a letter in a word and searches for variant spellings. Each database is different and you'll need to check with the database search tips to identify which symbol to use. 

Example: wom*n retrieves woman and women

Evaluating Information and Sources

Information is everywhere and can be submitted by anyone on the internet. It is imperative in the nursing and health field you evaluate information you find.

Use the CRAAP test to evaluate information. Go to http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf

(courtesy of the Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, CA).