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CSH1300: Integrated Research Methods & Statistics: Find Articles & Research

Tips for Effective Searching

  1. Searching works best when you have a research question in mind. You should be able to identify key concepts related to your research. These concepts form the basis for your search terms.
  2. Know your topic. Exploring general sources (a chapter in your textbook, an encyclopedia article or other background reading) is a good way to start. The better you undestand a topic, the easier it is to evaluate sources.
  3. What is your purpose? You may be writing an argumentative or persuasive paper. Or, your assignment may require you to analyze research on a topic. Perhaps you are developing a slide presentation based on your evaluation of key sources.
  4. Start early. Until you have done some searching and reading, you might not recognize if your topic is too broad or narrow.
  5. Don't wait until the last minute. Good resources may not be available locally. Allow yourself time for an interlibrary loan.
  6. Select resources appropriate  for your topic. Your professor may ask that you use only peer-reviewed journals. Other professors may want you to use a combination of texts and articles, or news sources. Perhaps you will be doing primary research using interviews or observations.

Recommended Health databases

The following databases will help you locate information on a variety of nursing and health topics.  Many of these databases offer full-text access to research, articles, and other publications.  For a full list of the Library's databases, please visit our homepage:  www.wpunj.edu/library

 

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Evaluating Information

When searching in a database, critical thinking skills are essential.  Don't waste time and paper!  Spend a few minutes reviewing the citation and/or abstract information and consider the following details:

Author: who wrote this and what are his/her credentials and affiliations?

Source: is this a scholarly, professional, popular, or trade publication?

Publisher: who produced this? government? university? corporation?

Date: when was this published?

Audience: for whom is this written? general public? scholars? practitioners?

Purpose: are the findings clearly stated? Are there clear biases?

Data: is methodology explained? Are charts, graphs, illustrations clearly presented?

Conclusions: do the findings support the thesis?

References: are there footnotes and citations leading to related work?

Compare: how does this article compare with other articles in this field?