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HED 2340 - Health Behaviors: Finding and Using Sources for Your Assignments

If you need more help, ask your librarian!

This guide is intended to help get you started with the process of how to find relevant information for your paper or presentation, but if you still need help finding what you need after trying these suggestions, please email Nursing, Kinesiology, and Health Sciences Librarian Ximena Chrisagis for help or use the "Schedule Appointment" button on this page to set up on online Webex or a face to face session in the library with Ximena.

Before you start searching for sources, watch these videos and take the quizzes

Search Tips for Introduction - Option 1: Find statistics


Use Search Engine to Find Statistics 

Note: Adding after your search terms in a search engine will limit your results to sites that have a government domain.


Example searches:

breast cancer incidence United States

breast cancer prevalence United States

breast cancer new cases United States

breast cancer statistics United States

Browse Reputable Health Statistics Sites

Find Statistics in Research Articles

Although statistics about the incidence and prevalence of conditions or diseases are usually readily available on web sites, research articles often provide statistics about conditions and diseases too.  Use the same article databases linked under Peer-Reviewed theory-based research below, but look for the word epidemiology or statistics or numerical data as one of the subjects.  You can use the drop down menu in most databases to specify SU Subject.  When you run your searches, the article subjects will be listed under the article citation or the page that displays the article abstract.

Search Tips for Introduction - Option 2: Find overview review articles to place your topic in context

2. Find review articles about the condition or behavior to get an overview and why the condition or behavior is important.

CINAHL, The Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature, is often a good place to find healthcare review articles.

There are many different types of review articles.  The Publication Type limiter "Review" in CINAHL finds reviews of the published literature.  CINAHL Reviews may be narrative reviews of previous literature on the topic or they may present a more general introduction on a topic. Reviews may mention findings from research studies or case reports.  Either way, they usually provide a broader summary or overview of what is known about a topic than CINAHL's "Research Article" Publication Type. (In contrast, publications indexed as a "Research Article" in CINAHL present detailed methods, findings, and discussion of a the significance research study).  To limit to review articles in CINAHL, click the “show more” option under the year slider to the left of your search results, shown in Figure 2 below.

Figure 1

CINAHL search screen with the "Show More" limiters link highlighted on the left

In the resulting pop-up box, choose “Review” from the drop down menu labelled “Publication type”, then click the “search” button to apply the limiter, as shown in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2

Steps for limiting to Publication Type "Review" in CINAHL

Search Tips for Body of Project - Find Peer-Reviewed Theory-Based Research on Your Topic

Database search tips:

  • For many of your topics, using QuickSearch and limiting to peer-reviewed journals/academic journals or books and ebooks along the left side of the list of results should be sufficient to get you relevant reputable sources, but other subject-specific databases are listed below for additional options.  QuickSearch will find results from most of the library databases listed anyway.
  • Combine the name of your condition/problem with the name of your theory using AND
  • Do NOT use quotation marks: If there is no exact match for the theory you type in, the search may still retrieve other theories that are relevant and useful. Quotation marks search for the exact phrase so you may not get enough results if you use quotation marks.
  • Having trouble?  I'm here to help.  Please email me to ask questions or use the "Schedule Appointment" link on this guide to set up a meeting with me either face to face or through Webex.

Search Engines and Databases for Finding Articles:

Note: Journals can vary widely in quality.  Always evaluate both the journal and the content of the article in the journal you are using.   If you have questions about how to determine if the content you are using is reputable, ask Ximena.

Evaluating and Reading Your Sources (including research in the health sciences)

Before you rely on ANY type of information (websites, media, books, articles), you should evaluate whether the source is credible. Here are some options that may help.

What does it mean to contribute to the scholarly conversation?

When you write and prepare papers and presentations in your courses and subsequently in your career, you are contributing to the ongoing research conversation about a matter of concern in your chosen career or field.  You are not simply stringing together quotes or summaries from sources, but you are thoughtfully selecting and using sources to demonstrate your own understanding and ideas about the topic.

Take a look at these videos to find out more about how to use sources to contribute to the scholarly conversation while still allowing your own ideas to be heard.

Appropriately Integrating Your Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

APA Style

Relevant Subject Guide

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Ximena Chrisagis
Dunbar Library 120
(937) 775-3516