In nursing, it is very important to use journal articles to find current research on a topic or issue. While books are excellent for background and reference information, they are not published as frequently as articles. When searching for articles, your date range should fall between three to five years, as data and statistics can become dated very quickly. Journal articles can be found by using the library databases that are appropriate for your nursing topic.
Due to the fact that there are many different kinds of publications, it is often difficult to determine if a publication is a "scholarly" source or "popular source." Most of the time, your professor will require you to locate information that have been published in Peer Reviewed Journals.
When using the databases, you can simply select the "scholarly" option, but it is WISE to know the differences between the different types of sources!
Journals are the largest collections of literature in most academic fields. They are a major source of primary and secondary literature that feed the research cycle that continually improves any given subject. Browsing journals can give insight into the most current subjects and the research that is being conducted in your field.
Many articles submitted to an academic journal must go through a peer review process where the authors' research and sources are verified and their interpretations are judged for accuracy and integrity. This leads to more reliable published research.
A review of the abstract and text of an article will provide important information of assistance in identifying it as a research article. You'll want to look for the following headings:
It is important to be able to distinguish whether the author is reporting on the findings of a his or her study (original research). If the author of the article is only conducting a literature review of other studies, or the article is a systematic review or meta-analysis, this is not an original research article.
These databases can be easily limited to find evidence-practice literature:
'Point of Care' refers to the care given while working or at the site of the patient. Many information resources are often used as references in point-of-care health, including reference manuals, online databases, diagnostic tools, and of course, patient education information. Any resource that is used in a clinical setting could qualify. Today, many point-of-care information resources are being delivered via mobile technologies such as smart phones.