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NU100 - The Professional Nurse 
Millikin University > Staley Library > Research Assistance > Topic Guides > NU100 - The Professional Nurse

Locating Articles | Magazine or Journal? | Citing Sources | Evaluating Internet Resources

Locating Articles

The following databases all contain nursing, medical, and health related sources. The content and level of coverage does vary greatly among these databases. These databases are listed in a prioritized order for your use. Hint: all Ebsco-brand databases can be combined into one search. Ask a librarian how.

Database Name Description Coverage Dates Full-text?
CINAHL w/ Fulltext
An authoritative database for nursing and allied health fields over 3,000 professional and scholarly sources 1981-present Over 610 titles, depends on title
Proquest Nursing & Allied Health Source

A database of healthcare information in nursing, allied health, alternative medicine, etc.
over 1,050 titles professional and scholarly sources, includes coverage of the Joanna Briggs Institute, CutureVision reports, and videos
1986 -present
875 titles, depends on title
Health Source
Nursing and allied health topics, health related information over 800 scholarly and popular sources Varies by individual periodical title 542 titles
Cochrane Library

Evidence-based medical systematic reviews and protocols
Over 6,500 systematic reviews and protocols, plus info. on trials, technical assessment, and methodologies
Varies by review, most are 2003 -present
Cochrane systematic reviews are full text, the rest varies
Wide variety of medical disciplines - clinical and experimental medicine, dentistry, nursing Over 5,400 journals, primarily scholarly 1950s- present some
Psychology and related sources Over 1,400 sources 1887 - present some
Full-text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology. 57 journals from the APA and allied organizations 1985 - present all

Additional information sources, although not devoted exclusively to medicine and nursing, may also be of assistance to you in your research, depending on the focus of your topic.

Database Name Description Coverage Dates Full-text?
Academic Search Premier
A database covering multiple subjects, including biology, medicine, literature, history, etc.
Over 8,500 indexed and abstracted sources (scholarly, popular, newspapers, and professional)
1975 -present
4,600 full text journals

Is a Periodical available in Staley Library?

Some, but not all, articles will be available full-text through the periodical databases. If an article is not available full-text, check to see if Staley Library owns a print subscription to the journal or magazine that published it. Determining whether or not a magazine or journal is available in Staley Library varies, depending on which database you are using. Consult the Do we own it? page for information on how to find out if Staley Library owns a periodical in print, or ask a librarian for assistance!

Magazine or Journal?

What category does the periodical you located fall into? Is it a scholarly journal or a magazine meant for a general audience? These determinations need to be made by you on a title by title basis. Keep in mind that a database may indicate something is a journal, or the word journal may be in the title of a publication, but these don't necessarily mean the periodical is a journal. Use the criteria listed in the chart below to help you make these determinations. When in doubt, verify a title's category with your instructor.



 Scholarly Journals
or Refereed)

 Professional and
Trade Periodicals

Popular and
Special Interest



To inform, report, or make available original research. In-depth analysis of issues related to the discipline.  Includes information on conferences. Written for practitioners, discusses current trends, news & products in a specific field.  Includes employment & career information; Designed to entertain or persuade. Short articles deal with current events or hot topics Current events; Hard news articles; Will often include interviews; Focus on local and regional information.


Lengthy articles with abstracts, methods, results, conclusions, and bibliography. May be published quarterly Articles medium in length. May include statistics and forecasts. Often published monthly. Articles usually fairly short. Published monthly or weekly. Short articles; Just the facts. Published daily or weekly.


Scholars, professors, or researchers in the field, discipline, or specialty. May be written by staff, a scholar, professional in the field, or a free-lance writer, who has subject expertise. Written by publication's staff or free-lance writers. Written by publication's staff or free-lance journalist.


Use terminology/jargon of the discipline. Reader is assumed to have a similar scholarly background. Language appropriate for an educated readership, and assumes a certain level of specialized knowledge. Use simple language in order to meet minimum education level. Use simple language in order to meet minimum education level.


Graphics and charts to illustrate articles, but seldom glossy pages, pictures, or advertisements. Includes photographs, illustrations, charts and tables to enhance the publication. Sometimes glossy advertisements. Photographs, illustrations, drawings, charts and full of glossy advertisements. Photos, charts and different kinds of advertisements.


Sources cited with footnotes and bibliographies. Occasionally cite sources: Sources sometimes cited in the text. Rarely cite any sources. Original sources can be obscure. Rarely cite any sources. Sources are usually identified in the article.


Go to Databases (by subject)
Databases (alphabetical)
Go to Databases (by subject)
Databases (alphabetical)
Go to Databases (alphabetical) select:
Academic Search Premier
Go to Newspaper Databases to begin your search.

Annotating and Citing Your Sources

Guidelines for properly annotating your sources are available on the Preparing an Annotation page. Check with your instructor prior to writing an annotation to see if it should be evaluative or not.

Guidelines for using the APA (American Psychological Association) format properly are available through a guide from Millikin's Writing Center and Purdue University's Online Writing Lab OWL APA format page. If you do not find an example of your specific type of source, consult the complete APA Publication Manual in the library. There are copies available in the Reference Collection and at the Research Assistance Desk. Call number: Ref BF76.7 .P83 2010

Using the Internet for Research

The Internet needs to be used with a great deal of caution as a resource for medical information. Although there are a number of very reliable Internet sources, there are an equal or greater number of sources with dubious content. You need to evaluate EVERY Internet source you consider using for authorship, content, reliability, and relevance. Use the Evaluating Internet Resources page to help you do this.

As an exercise in using the Internet as a medical reference, review the following sites and determine which of these you would feel comfortable telling your patients they could rely on for accurate information.

For more information on Nursing Research see Staley Library's topic guide.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL