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There are several ways to locate primary research articles as you will see in the following practice exercises (see next page). Here are some tips to consider while looking for original research studies:
Tip #1 - Incorporate subject headings into your search
Subject headings are terms that are part of a controlled vocabulary used to describe the contents tagged inside the article record. These terms can be found in each of the CINAHL Detailed Records under Major Subjects and Minor Subjects. So, if you see the ultimate article, look to see what terms it is tagged with and add them to the search in the appropriate line if relevant. For example,(MH "Emergency Service") is the medical subject heading used for Emergency Department!
To search for possible subject headings, try putting a keyword in a new search and check the Suggest Subject Terms box. The asterisk covers any number of characters (i.e., nurs* yields nurse, nurses, and nurses at the same time). Quotation marks around two or more terms searches them as a phrase.
Go to Question 4 in the quiz.
Try it out! Place the term Hospital Acquired Infection in CINAHL, check the Suggest Subject Terms box and click search to see the subject heading for this term!
Tip #2 - Check the research article box
Databases like CINAHL allow you to select Research Article to retrieve research articles in your search.
Tip #3 - Sections of the Research Article to look for
When reading an article, make sure to look inside the abstract (and the full text) and scan for sections contained in many primary research studies such as Introduction, Participants, Methods, Results and Discussion! Look at those sections to see if the researchers are working directly with the participants and conducting original research.