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Nursing Research Guide

Scholarly Sources and Search Tips

This video provides an overview of scholarly articles and how to identify them.

This video provides a brief introduction to searching the library databases.


Tips Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases

Instead of searching for "How effective is mirror therapy in improving motor function after a stroke?" break down your search into the main keywords:

mirror therapy, motor function, stroke,

To get more focused results:

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

"mirror therapy" AND stroke

To get broader results:

Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords

Truncate words that have a variety of endings with a *

(motor function OR mobility) AND "mirror therapy" AND rehabilitat*


rehabilitat* includes rehabilitation, rehabilitate, rehabilitated, rehabilitating

Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed) & year of publication

Venn Diagram of Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Venn diagram of boolean operators

The 3 videos below provide a brief introduction to using the nursing and allied health database, CINAHL. Always remember to enter CINAHL through links on the CSUSM Library website to ensure you will be connected to the full text articles available.

If you have questions, contact your librarian!


Finding articles in CINAHL: The basics of searching and accessing articles.


Database Comparison: Highlights the differences between CINAHL, Google Scholar, and PubMed. Covers when to use each database and why. 


Searching by CINAHL Subject Headings: Focused searching using Subject Headings.