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Nursing: Search Strategies

Search Tips

Maximize your keyword searches with Boolean searching. What's Boolean?

AND to find articles that contain both words you enter. AND narrows your search.

OR to find articles that contain either word you enter. OR broadens your search.

NOT to find articles that exclude words or terms you don't want. NOT narrows your search.

Use "quotation marks" to search for whole phrases. 

Use the database’s built in limiting features. Some databases have a filter for full-text and  scholarly/peer-reviewed journals. 

Consider truncation. The symbol used is usually *.

NURS* will retrieve: 
nurse, nursing, nurses, etc. 

Check Subject terms to see if there are any synonym terms to consider.

Searching for Full Text

If you come across a citation to an article and you'd like to track down its full text, follow the steps below:

Periodical List: Enter "Journal Title"

 
        
 

The example below shows that The Journal of Continuing Higher Education is accessible in print/microform as well as online. The entry also shows coverage dates to indicate which years are accessible. 

What is Peer-Review?

Libraries subscribe to various types of periodicals, such as scholarly (some of which may be peer-reviewed, blind peer-reviewed, editorial review) popular, or trade publications. Choosing which to use depends on your topic, the type of writing you are doing, your assignment, and the sources your professor wants you to use.  Many databases offer the option to limit to "Scholarly Journals" or "Peer Reviewed".  If you're not sure if a journal is considered scholarly/peer-reviewed, check Ulrich's by looking up the title of the journal. 

What is a peer-reviewed journal? 

A scholarly journal is peer-reviewed when manuscripts are sent to experts, sometimes anonymously (blind peer-reviewed), in the related field. They make recommendations to editor for publication, rejection or revision. These journals are generally thought to be of the highest quality.