Strategies To Employ When Searching For Literature

Strategies To Employ When Searching For Literature

Strategies To Employ When Searching For Literature

to institutions with varying levels of full-text access. MEDLINE with Full Text and CINAHL Plus with Full Text are two of the levels of full-text access available for pur- chase by institutions.

The best type of database to use depends on the needs of the user. Involvement in a large-scale research study would require searching multiple bibliographic databases and full-text databases because it would be necessary to see all research relevant on the topic to create a good study design, to ensure that the idea in question has not already been studied, and to ensure that there are no major safety concerns. A student in need of one or two recent scholarly peer-reviewed articles about a topic might only need access to one or two full- text databases.Strategies To Employ When Searching For Literature

Depending on your institution, the bibliographic databases and full-text databases might be connected so citations and abstracts in a bibliographic data- base could be linked to the full text of an article available in another full-text database. Taking time to explore the databases and resources available through your library will ensure you are using the resources effectively. Taking time to email or meet with your librarian will ensure you are accessing all of the informa- tion available.

Access to Databases

Databases can be confusing. They can be bibliographic or full text. Most contain a com- bination of citations, abstracts, and full-text content. Some databases also provide free Internet access to content. The same database, CINAHL, CINAHL Plus, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, and so on, can be purchased with a differing amount of full-text content and can also be purchased from different companies including EBSCO and ProQuest. These differing levels of access and different providers can make accessing databases and accessing literature confusing.

MEDLINE is one of the most confusing databases of all. MEDLINE requires paid subscription access through companies including OVID and EBSCO. The MEDLINE search screen, search capabilities, and access to the full-text content of the more than 25 million citations varies by subscription. MEDLINE, MEDLINE Complete, and MEDLINE with Full Text can each be purchased. Most of the same citations contained within MEDLINE can also be accessed through PubMed (www. PubMed provides free Internet access to MEDLINE citations and abstracts, access to citations from journal articles not indexed within the MEDLINE database, citations from journals before the MEDLINE data- base began indexing the journal, articles from journals that submit their full text directly to PubMed Central, and citations for National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) books. Though PubMed provides limited access to full-text articles, it is an excellent resource for those who do not have subscription access to electronic databases through their college, university, hospital, or organization.

Select Electronic Databases and Search Engines

Table 10.2 provides basic information about select electronic databases and search engines for literature searching. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list; rather, it is a snapshot of some of the resources available.