Answered By: Kathleen Hutchison
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2018     Views: 299

The CINAHL database will help you locate a research article in the field of nursing. On the main search screen, use the Publication Type limiter, as show below. Select Research from the list. Be sure to check your results to make sure you are retrieving actual research articles. (See section below on Identifying a Research Article)


Identifying a Research Article

A research article is usually written by the individuals who did the research, completed the study, or ran the experiment discussed in the study. While other articles may report a summary of research that was done, the research article reports the study firsthand.

Look for the following sections or elements (or some variation of these) to determine if the article is a primary source reporting the results of new research:

  • Problem or Purpose
  • Significance
  • Review of literature, or Review of related research      
  • Population
  • Methodology
  • Interventions
  • Data collection and/or Data analysis
  • Results    
  • Implications for further research, or Discussion

The article may not clearly have all the above sections, but you need to be sure it is actually reporting the research, how it was done, and results.

To decide if an article is written from a nursing viewpoint, do the following:

  • Open the article and find the credentials of the author(s). At least one of the article authors should be a nurse. Some articles will include the degrees an author has following the author's name, and some will include a biographical sentence or two about an author. These can be located at the beginning of the article, the bottom of the first page, or at the end of the article. If the authors are from other countries or if the journal publishes internationally, ask your professor about credential abbreviations from other countries.
  • Often the terms “Nurse” or “Nursing” will appear in the title or front matter of a journal dedicated to the field of nursing.
  • In the CINAHL abstract, click on the hyperlinked title of the journal. The publication details of the journal will include the subject areas covered by that journal.
  • With topics that are broad medical topics, you can create your search and include the word “nursing”. Example: cardiac bypass surgery AND nursing