The CENTER column contains videos and other content to help you with your search. Please scroll down to see all available content. Links to the library databases are along the left side. For most clinical questions, it is important to search CINAHL and PubMed at mininum. If you have a psychology or mental health-related question/topic, it is also a good idea to search PsycINFO.
When searching for individual research studies in healthcare, CINAHL and PubMed should be used. CINAHL is the major database for nursing and allied health literature. PubMed is a way to search MEDLINE, the major database of literature in the biomedical sciences.
Google and Google Scholar are NOT sufficient for doing a good literature search in health care, although you can use Google Scholar to supplement your searches in subject specific databases.
This column contains 2 text boxes (both recommended) and 2 videos (1 recommended and 1 optional).
In many cases, it does not matter which database you search first. However, when it comes to evidence-based practice, your goal is to find the highest level of evidence available to you. Since systematic reviews are among the highest levels of evidence, and since the Cochrane Library uses very rigorous protocols to produce its systematic reviews, it is a good idea to search the Cochrane Library first (unless your professor has told you should NOT use a systematic review as one of the articles you are appraising). Cochrane Reviews also serve as a good source of references to primary research articles on the topic. Although you will likely find many of these references when you search other databases, there are likely to be relevant references that you have not seen elsewhere.
Keep track of your search strategy and the number of references you find and then choose to retain from each search. All library databases provide a search history that shows your exact search strategy, the limiters you used, and the number of results the search retrieved. You can copy and paste this information into a Word document and/or do a screen capture of it to have a record of your exact search terms and how many results it got at the time you ran the search. Obviously, you will have to keep your own record of the number of results you decided to keep.
It is also a good idea to record the citations of your "keeper" references in a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or free bibliographic management software (such as Mendeley or Zotero).