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NUR 3165 - Nursing Research

This Libguide is designed to help UCF Nursing students enrolled in NUR3165 identify, understand, and effectively use relevant electronic sources, including eBooks and article databases.

Practice 2: Finding Primary Research Articles Written by a Nurse

Let's pretend we are searching for primary nursing research articles related to prostate cancer screening in CINAHL using Subject Headings and other limiters.

A) From the CINAHL Advanced Search screen, type prostate cancer in the first box.

B) Check the Suggest Subject Terms box. (If you don't see the Suggest Subject Terms box, click on CINAHL Headings in the upper left hand corner and put the term in the Browse for box. Using a database thesaurus will help you find the most precise term for a particular word. Each article record in CINAHL is tagged with specific Subject Headings that may stand for other terms.)

C) Click Search. The CINAHL Headings screen should appear. Look on the first line.

D) Check the box next to Prostatic Neoplasms. On the right hand side, click on Search Database.

The results screen should display. 

E) In the second search box, type Screening(Tip: Leaving the field on the right hand side as 'Select A Field' searches for the term in the Title, Abstract, Subject Headings, and Author fields simultaneously)

F) Click on Advanced search (underneath the Search Boxes)Scroll down under ‘Limit Your Results’ and check the Full Text, Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals, and English Language boxes.

H) Check the box next to ‘Research Article’ to limit to research studies.  (You can also do this by typing research in one of the search boxes and changing the field on the right hand side to PT Publication Type).        


Change the ‘Journal Subset’ to Nursing. (Rationale: this will limit your results to articles published in nursing journals. Please note that there are many articles published in 'nursing journals' that are not written by a nurse. See below in Practice 2-Part B to find out how to limit to articles written by nurses)

Now let's explore two methods of possible search strategies for finding primary research articles written by a nurse in CINAHL.

I) Check the box titled 'Any Author is Nurse' (this method is one way to limit results to articles written by a nurse)

Click Search. You should retrieve about 14 results.

J)  Click on Show More on the left hand side (under Limit To - Publication Date).
K)  Uncheck the box titled 'Any Author is Nurse' and click Search.

In the third line, type Nurs* in the box (using the asterisk * at the end of a root word will also search for variations of the term like nurse, nurses, or nursing) and change the field to AF Author Affiliation (this is another way to limit results to articles written by a nurse).

undefined Go to Question 5 in the quiz.

Click Search again.

Notice how the number of results increased. Both methods of limiting to nurse authors work, but the latter may be more effective in many cases. Tip: Try using both methods to cover all the bases and be sure to look at the full text article or PDF to verify the authors' credentials.

M)  Add a row. Then type systematic review on the fourth line. Change the field on the right hand side to PT Publication Type. On the left hand side, change the Boolean operator to NOTA systematic review is an analysis of previously conducted studies done by other researchers rather than an original research study conducted by the author. This method is a good way to filter out systematic reviews from your results)

Click Search.

Find the article “Barriers and Facilitators of Prostate Cancer Screening Among Filipino Men in Hawaii.” Click on the title (blue hyperlink) to see the article record.

Scroll down to Major Subjects. Notice that Prostatic Neoplasms - Prevention and Control is listed as a subject heading for this article. Also, the term "screening" is listed in a different subject heading. Since we entered each term on separate lines in the advanced search screen, this article was included in the results.

Notice options to print, email, and cite this article (right-hand side panel).

Look at the Affiliation field. Notice that the author is affiliated with a school of nursing (please note that you may also want to see the PDF, as the full text usually contains additional information about the authors).

undefined Go to Question 6 in the quiz.

Now scroll down to the Abstract and the Publication Type Field. This is where you would look to see what type of article you are dealing with. For instance, several sections in the abstract such as Purpose/Objectives, Design, Setting, Sample, Main Research Variables, and Findings provide clues that this is a primary research study.

Also, this article is listed as Research under Publication Type. In many cases, if an article is a systematic review, it would be tagged as such in this field. Remember that there may be systematic reviews in CINAHL that are not tagged yet in the publication type field, so always make sure to read the abstract!

Review the Journal Subset Field to see if the article is peer reviewed or written in a nursing journal.

In addition, look at the right hand side under tools to see an example citation and also to obtain the Permalink, which is a persistent url that you can cut and paste so that others can follow to the article record.

Click on the ‘New Search’ link in the top left corner when finished. 

 Always consider your choice of topic when trying to find nurse authored articles. For instance, topics related to nursing interventions (within the scope of nursing practice) are more likely to garner such articles.    

undefined Go to Question 7 in the quiz.