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Basic Search Guide for Nursing and Health Sciences: Database Searching

Basic Search Guide for Nursing & Health Sciences

This guide offers support using the best information sources for literature searching including books, journals and web resources

You can also book 1-2-1 literature search support here

Nursing and health databases

Finding full-text journal articles

If you find a journal article citation with no direct link to full-text, try the following:

  • Cinahl articles - display the citation and check the end for a DOI link at the end of the citation.
  • Proquest articles - use the links provided to navigate to the article in another database.
  • Copy and paste the article title into Discovery to check across all university collections.
  • Copy and paste the article title into Google - it may be freely available on the web as an open access article.

L5, L6 and L7 students can a journal article if full-text cannot be found from any of the above sources. Books can also be requested.

Search help

Using the right search terms is the key to effective searching and using a thesaurus can be very helpful. You can also get better results by using standard search techniques.

Cinahl search example

Cinahl is the best journal article database for most nursing and health related subjects. Search topic: Using honey to treat leg ulcers


Medline search example.

Medline is useful for finding articles about medical topics. Search topic: Infection control in the operating theatre

Proquest search example

Nursing & Allied Health is one of several Proquest databases along with British Nursing Database and Psychology Database. They all look and work exactly the same. Search topic: The effect of smoking cessation on dietary habits



All images included in this guide are available from Upsplash through Creative Commons licensing CC-BY-2.0