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Nursing Resource Guide

Databases - Find Research Articles, Videos, E-books

Quick Link: Research Databases

Evidence-based medicine (a.k.a., evidence practice) is an integrative approach to health care.  It combines clinical expertise, the best scientific evidence available, and a patient's values to make clinical decisions about individual patient care.  

Clinical Expertise Best Scientific Evidence  Patient Values
Education Relevant Patient characteristics
Skills Current Patient circumstances
Years of experience Sound methodology Patient preferences

Evidence-based resources can either be filtered or unfiltered.

Type of Source Primary Source (Unfiltered) Secondary Source (Filtered)
  • Reports original research findings. Can include peer-reviewed sources, which have been evaluated by experts in the field before publication.
  • Examples: randomized controlled trial, case-control study or cross-sectional study.
  • Synthesizes primary research, filters, and evaluates the primary literature.
  • Examples: meta-analysis, systematic review.
  • MEDLINE/PubMed
  • Health Source (Nursing Academic)
  • CINAHL (Publication type and evidence-based practice filter available)
  • Nursing and Allied Health
  • PubMed Clinical Queries

Evidence-based resources are rated by the quality of evidence. The quality of evidence increases with the level of evaluation. As seen in the pyramid below, systematic reviews are the highest level of evidence, and background information is the lowest level of evidence. 

Use the databases below to search for sources. 


Open Access Resources

Tips for Selecting & Searching Databases 

Determine what types of sources (journal articles, magazine articles, newspapers articles, books, etc.) you need for your assignment. Different databases contain different items. Knowing what you need will help you choose an appropriate database.
Our databases are organized by general subject. Also consider if your topic falls under more than one subject area. For example, research on the effects of Ritalin on the academic performance of students might fall under either "Education," or "Health and Medicine."

Boolean Operators: AND | OR | NOT - Combine these operators to improve your search results.

AND and NOT narrow your results, while OR expands your results. Examples:

  • Therapy AND gait = articles about both "therapy" and "gait."
  • Dementia OR memory = articles that are related to "dementia" and "memory". but not necessarily both in the same article. OR is often used between two words that have the same meaning.
  • Dementia NOT Alzheimer's will remove articles related to Alzheimer's from your results list.

Combine these terms to create more complex searches. Example:

  • (therapy AND (dementia OR "memory")) NOT Alzheimer's

Phrase Searching: Put quotations around multiple words to search them as a single phrase. Example:

  • "therapy for dementia"

Truncation: In many databases, you can use * at the end of a word to search for multiple forms of the word. Example:

  • thera* = therabolin, therapeutic, therapeutically, therapeutics, therapist, therapy, therapies

For more information on database powersearching, take a look at our Database Powersearching video.

Find out if the database you're using has a "subject search" option. For some topics, subject searching works better than keyword searching. Use the results of a keyword search to discover subject headings (descriptors) used in the database.