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Nursing and Allied Health: Cinahl - Creating a Folder

Online Learning

Welcome to the NSU CON-SAH Library


Creating a special password for your folders, saved searches and alerts.


It is important to create a special password for CINAHL.  This allows you to save your articles to folders.  Further, this allows you to save searches and to create alerts that will automatically run each time journals in the database are updated.

  • To create a folder, you must first click on the "Sign In" on the banner in theCINAHL search screen. Then, create a new account and follow the prompts. 
  • Select a username that is easy to remember such as your school email address.  If you are using a private tablet or computer, save the password in your Google or Firefox password list.  This will help you remember your username and password. 
  • When you create a special password in CINAHL, it works with any of the EBSCO databases such as Abstracts in Social Gerontology or ALT HealthWatch. 


Contact a medical or reference librarian on your campus for assistance.


Creating Custom Folders


  • Once you have created your special account login and custom folder, you can quickly save your research articles to your folders. You may share your folder with other nursing students or classmates working on a research project.  
  • Saving a search is very easy.  Click on "Search History and then "Save Searches/Alerts".  You will be prompted to name your search and decide whether you want to save it permanently or temporarily (24 hours). 
  • Sometimes you may want to create an alert.  Alerts run automatically either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.  You select the update period. You will receive an email when journals are updated and new articles are published fitting your parameters.
  • To set up an alert specific to one journal, click on "Publications" at the top of the screen and search for the journal you want.  Then, click on the title.  From the details screen click on "Share", then the E-mail Alert" link.  The alert window appears and allows you to set your parameters.


Power Point Slides:  Finding Peer Reviewed Journals


  • Begin your search at the NSU Library Home Page.  
  • All Nursing & Allied Health students have access to six (6) literature databases containing peer reviewed literature..
  • Please contact your nursing or reference librarian to schedule a group training or one-one Webex training online.


These are the links you will use most often...


Search for nursing journal articles or allied health journal articles:


  • Click on the databases link in the left column (library home page)
  • Click on "Nursing and Allied Health". 
  • Databases marked 'J' contain journal articles. 
  • Click on CINAHL Complete With Full Text

Database Searching is both an art and a science


  • You may try several methods before you settle on a database and search technique that is right for you. 
  • CINAHL, Proquest, PubMed, OVID, Medline and OVID contain journals from different publishers. 
  • If you are looking for a specific journal or magazine, use the FINDIT Full Text Finder feature on the library home page.
  • In CINAHL Complete With Full Text, you can narrow your search result by filtering the results to a particular journal


CINAHL Complete With Full-Text has literally thousands of nursing journals and nursing magazine. Many articles are full text.


Each database has a slightly different layout.  If you find an article that contains only an abstract (and not full text), request the article through NURSING Interlibrary Loan. 

  • The search bar is usually at the top of the page
  • FILTERS are normally on the left. 
  • There are many ways to focus a search.


Focusing Your Search:  CINAHL Complete is much like Google Advanced Search form with a few exceptions.


Few Instructors or students are familiar with the Google Advanced Search form.  It works much like CINAHL with three major differences. 

1) Google results may retrieve false results outside of medicine  2) These results may contain paid advertising. 3)  Results may not be peer reviewed. 4) Results are relevancy ranked by the Google Search engine 5)  Google Advanced Search allows you to apply a few limited filters, but does not allow you to easily focus within your results.

CINAHL allows you to apply more filters and focus your search more easily.. 

  • In the CINAHL search example below, we are looking for articles on childhood AND obesity. 
  • We begin by entering the primary term which is obesity.  This will bring up the MESH menu. MESH stands for Medical Subject Heading.  This is a very defined method of searching and your results will be very targeted. 


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles


  • In our search example we will be looking for PEER REVIEWED journals and academic journals as opposed to nursing magazines.
  • The peer reviewed check box is on the Advanced Search page


Subcategory Searching


  • In the above slide, we selected pediatric obesity AND we marked the boxes for Diet Therapy/DT and Nursing/NU
  • We could also check the box MAJOR HEADINGS and click the green SEARCH button.  In this case, we would later combine search terms with DIET or DIET THERAPY.
Adding Filters


  • Filters are sometimes called limiters.
  • Filters allow us to easily focus our search and further define our results.  We make this choice prior to looking at our result set.
  • In this example we select six (6) filters:   References available, ENGLISH, Peer Reviewed, Apply related words (set by default), search within the full text of articles AND apply equivalent subjects. 
  • Applying too many filters may produce too few results, or no results at all.  First, apply a date range limiter separately and see if there are results. If there are no results, this topic may be an old topic or nothing is currently being written on this subject.  This is done by moving the date range limiter (slider bar) to the right. Select the most current 6 year period.  Note that many nursing and allied health publications embargo the journal current year from databases.
  • Below the slider bar is a link that reads: See More


Take My Advice


My search preference is to use the DATE FILTER after seeing the number of results retrieved and before applying other filters.


After selecting your secondary filters...


  • Once you have focused your search using filters, it is easiest to look at your results in the DETAILED VIEW.
  • Selecting DETAILED VIEW allows us to scan and select the records without opening each record individually.
  • We can also sort the records to show the MOST CURRENT records first.


Signing into your special account and saving articles permanently


  • Putting articles in a temporary folder without signing in saves the articles only temporarily or until you close your browser. If you accidentally closing your browser you will lose your search, filters and articles.
  • Signing in to your special account and creating a folder allows you to save search parameters and save articles for 9 months or until your sign-in expires. 
  • We begin by creating a special account and creating a custom folder called "Pediatric Obesity".  Then we drop articles into the permanent folder.  


After creating your special account and login...


  • You may have many different folders for various assignments or classes. This helps you stay organized.
  • After creating our special signin, we create a custom folder. 
  • Click NEW CUSTOM FOLDER, name the folder and click save. 


Use the Search History button...


  • Clicking the SEARCH HISTORY link takes you to your search results page
  • This is the area where we combine searches using the check boxes AND and OR
  • You can use the NOT command by creating a search statement to remove results that are unacceptable to your instructor such as clinical trials, randomized trials, studies or COCHRANE reviews.
  • Click VIEW RESULTS to see your results


Saving individual articles...


  • Begin by reviewing the subject headings of each result and the abstract
  • Place your results into the saved folder (after signing in to your special account) by clicking on the folder icon
  • Select the folder where you save your results by clicking on the folder name.



Examining Each Record Individually


Looking at the CITATION within an individual record...


  • View the citation and copy/past this information within the individual record
  • Click on the CITE link and use the pulldown menu to select the APA citation format
  • Copy and paste the citation into an email or Microsoft Word document
  • The APA Citation libguide page shows examples of non-journal citations.
  • You can cut/paste information from the citation into an Interlibrary Loan request. Use the mailing cell as a white space for further parcing.  Cut and paste from the citation information such as title, author, journal name, date, etc. to the correct ILL form location.


Listening to an article


  • Some databases allow you to listen to the article.  If you have low vision, vision impairment, or if you are a multi-tasker, you may want to listen to the article when you are doing another task.
  • You might try listening to an article while preparing dinner or exercising.  Some databases include a table of contents along with the article transcript -- showing the outline and major points within the article.


Table of contents jump links


  • You can "jump" to specific parts of the article from the table of contents.
  • This is great for note taking.


Sharing with yourself or with your group


  • Another great post-search option is to email the article to yourself or share it with your project team.
  • Separate email addresses with a comma and add a subject line.
  • ALWAYS mark the box for citation and select APA.


Tools menu options


  • There are several other options in the tools menu
  • Not all options are fully functional.  Check with your librarian
  • Exporting citations to Mendeley Citation Manager or to RAYYAN QCRI for Systematic Reviews requires exporting in RIS format.  RIS is the default setting in CINAHL Full-Text and Proquest Nursing and Allied Health.


Specifying Full Text Articles


  • Some articles are full text.  However, if an article is not full text, go to the Nursing ILL Link from the main library web page. 
  • This sends the article request directly to Ms. Sandra Rufty in Shreveport. 
  • Use the Nursing Library Link. 
  • DO NOT  send request via email. 


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