New searchers begin their quest for journal articles using common keywords, much like Googl-ing. Unfortunately, this does not produce a focused search. Search queries can retrieve too many articles that are not focused on the research question. Too much information to wade through... Or you may think very little has been published in the last 5 years!
June 2023, we have altered our online trainings so that we can dig deeper into search and retrieval of Journal Articles and provide more support to graduate students PILT projects.
Calling All Graduate and Undergraduate Students
Using Systematic Reviews and Clinical Trials to find Journal Articles
Have you ever heard this from your instructor? “I want Journal Articles. Not clinical trials or systematic reviews.” Did you know that Clinical Trials can be a great source of AUTHOR names? Many investigators also publish journal articles in their chosen field. One of our Nursing PILT teams discovered this past month that there is a treasure trove of information in ClinicalTrials.gov. For a moment, think outside the box. This group was comparing two drug protocols used to treat OPIATE addiction. After searching clinical trials, they searched the chief investigators last name and the drug name (MeSH) in PubMed. The article linked over to a professional nursing association website. There, they discovered a list of “specialists” who teach a CEU course on their chosen subject. They followed up by searching the specialist LAST NAME and the drug name (MeSH) in PubMed. VOILA. A very targeted searching technique.
Science Citation Index: Forward Citation Search
What if you find a very relevant paper? You glance over the bibliography and make a request for articles that are five years or newer through NURSING INTERLIBRARY LOAN. But what about the articles 2000 – 2014? Who is citing them now? Is anyone citing them now? Use Science Citation Index to cite articles forward. This is also called a FORWARD CITATION SEARCH. This works similarly with the Dissertation and Thesis Database (NSULA). Your librarian can make an appointment for you to use the library resources at ULL or LSU Health (Shreveport) during hours when a fellow colleague can assist you. Be on your best manners and represent the Demons well when you are using other libraries. Always have a flash drive so you can save your articles. You cannot print articles at other University Libraries.
PICO(T), MeSH and Mesh-On-Demand.
Whether you are an ASN, BSN, MSN, NP or Rad-Sci student you must be familiar with PICO(T). Plainly put, nursing and allied health professionals need to be proficient with critical thinking skills. Research demands you organize your thoughts before you ever touch a keyboard or access a database. Have a firm idea of your Patient, Problem or Population. Understand what interventions are available. Are you making a comparison? What is the outcome you expect. Focus your search by adding MeSH terms to your keyword search. Learn to use Mesh-On-Demand to focus your terms and focus your search. See our LIBGUIDE page: Asking the PICO Question to learn more.