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The University of Massachusetts Amherst


General guide for library research in Nursing

Ellen's Tips for Doing Comprehensive Literature Searches

In this video, I share tips on methodology, performing searches (including a sample search), documenting searches, and mention a few tools that might be helpful. The document underneath covers the same content in written form.

Library Research

The links below go to videos or short tutorials that cover different aspects of the research process. Please contact Ellen if you have any questions!

New Resource - Nursing Education in Video!

Check out Nursing Education in Video, one of our new resources! 

Description from the vendor:

"Nursing Education in Video is an up-to-date collection of demonstration and training videos designed to help students improve their clinical skills. This resource provides access to Medcom's complete collection of 300+ full-length training videos allowing your patrons anytime, anywhere access to the latest resources available for nurse training so they can provide the best possible patient care."

PubMed Basics

How to Find out if a Journal is Peer Reviewed

Ellen's Top 5 Tips


Ellen's APA 7 Tips Presentation

How to Read a Scientific Article

When you read a scientific article, you do not want to read it straight through in order - at least not on the first time through. There are different ways to go through an article.

Here is how I usually approach scientific articles to get a basic understanding of what the article is about:

  • I read the title and abstract to identify articles of interest. 
  • I look at the authors and their affiliations, as well as funding disclosures to look for potential slants or biases.
  • Next, I skip to the last paragraph of the Introduction, where the authors typically state what they plan to do in their study and their objectives.
  • Then, I skim through the Methods (sometimes called Materials & Methods) and Results sections, focusing on the charts, images, and tables to get a basic understanding of what they did and what they measured.
  • The Discussion/Conclusion section is what I read through after that, to get an understanding of whether the authors felt they met their objectives and what it means. In this section, they should mention limitations of their study and possibly suggest next steps for research.
  • If I still want to know more, I go back and read through the full Introduction, Methods, and Results sections.