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Academic Skills in Nursing and Midwifery: Searching for Information

Looking to the Research Strategy Process we are now at the 3rd stage, deciding where to search.  At this stage it is important to check your assignment guidelines for the type of information you are required to use, as this will assist you make your decision on where to search. 

This is an example of an assignment guideline on the types of information that should be used:

"Your discussion should be supported with references that are required to be up-to-date (not older than 7 years) and contain peer-reviewed journal articles. A minimum of five references should be used to support your ideas with appropriate citation".

You learned earlier that peer-reviewed journal articles are found in Databases. Therefore the first place to search will be databases, but note in this example not all references require to be peer-reviewed.  

However as you progress in your studies, you are expected to be able to make these types of decisions.  This is where it becomes important to be aware of the range of places that information can be found and how to evaluate it for quality and relevance.

In this sub-module  we look at what a search strategy looks like, and how to refine the search results to a manageable amount. We will begin with how  to search the core Nursing and Midwifery Databases, CINAHL and MEDLINE. Due to these databases being health related topics this is where you will find the best information for assignments. You will be able to find recent, peer reviewed journal articles that are most relevant to nursing and midwifery.

As mentioned in Module 3 - Where to find information, the CINAHL and MEDLINE Database are the most commonly used Databases in Nursing and Midwifery.  Before we get started creating a database search strategy, please take a few moments to become familiar with them:

There is also more help and guidance on Databases in the Nursing Library Guide or the Midwifery Library Guide

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