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University of Southern Maine
Libraries & Learning

NUR 604: Nursing Research: Search Tips/Database Tutorials

What Past Students Learned

  1. Limit your search sessions to 30-60 minutes at a time
    Searching for more than 30 minutes at a time can easily lead to frustration, especially when “just a few more clicks” can turn into hours of unsuccessful effort
    • Tip: Get a timer and set it for 30 minutes of searching in one sitting.
  2. Avoid searching multiple databases simultaneously
    Even though we have the Cochrane Collection and CINAHL on the same platform, terms for the same concept frequently vary between the two databases and searching them together will unintentionally limit your search.
    • Tip: If you select Choose Databases to switch from one index to another, first deselect box adjacent to the title that you’ve been searching to turn it off.
  3. Know the limitations of the Evidenced-Based Practice check off option in Cinahl
    • Selecting the Evidence-Based Practice limiter within the Refine Search option retrieves only articles from a pre-selected list of journals published from 2001+.
  4. Don’t limit searches to “Full Text”
    By selecting this limit you will:
    • Miss other full text articles that are accessible from other databases and publisher’s websites through Article Linker.
    • Exclude many other excellent records.
  5. Save your searches
    It’s always a good idea to save your searches for later use. Even saving failed searches will help you remember what didn’t work.

  6. To retrieve full text from E-mailed articles follow these instructions:
    • Copy and Paste this URL into your Internet browser window
    • Copy the persistent link URL from your email Ebsco record.
    • Paste this at the end of the URL you have already pasted into the browser.
    • The end result will look like two complete URLs connected by an equal sign. For example:
  7. Remember that some full text articles are not available off campus
    There are three types of full text articles:
    • Those provided by the Ebsco database and labeled HTML or PDF
    • Those labeled Linked Full Text may represent two scenarios:
    • 1) Articles at the publisher's website that may not be accessible off campus.
    • 2) Articles that link to another Ebsco database that are available off campus.
      • Tip: If you are uncertain of obtaining an article from home, print or save it while you are on campus.

Quick Link to Web of Science Cited Reference Search

Finding citing articles using Web of Science (brief tutorial)

Click here to search for "descendant" (citing) articles:
WOS cited reference button