Finding good information resources can be frustrating!
Make it a more satisfying experience by using these strategies:
Use specific search terms - A search for global warming will get thousands of results, but global warming and agricultural impact will result in fewer and more relevant results.
Try using the "Advanced Search" screen - You'll find it easier to add more terms to your search and specify where they should appear - for example, in an article title or subject heading.
Try an exact phrase - Searching for stem cell research will retrieve results with these three words, but to ensure that they appear as a phrase (together and in the same order), try putting them in quotation marks: "stem cell research".
Use "search options" or "limits" - limit your search to full text articles, academic/scholarly articles (what's this?) or to a specific date range. Limit features can often be found in a side menu or on the database's Advanced Search screen.
If you get stuck, contact your campus librarian!
Using the PICO method can help you form research questions more efficiently. PICO stands for:
P - Patient, Population, or Problem
I - Intervention
C - Comparison
O - Outcome
A sample question would be, does hand washing (I) among healthcare workers reduce (O) hospital acquired infections (P)?
(C would be no hand washing; masks; other solutions)
Your instructor may require articles from scholarly journals (also called academic or peer-reviewed journals) instead of popular magazines.
There's also something called a trade journal.
What's the difference? Here's a quick overview courtesy of Ithaca College Library.
According to the National League of Nursing, evidence based practice is “the provision of nursing care to individuals, groups and communities that evolves from the systematic integration of research findings related to a particular clinical problem. Intervention strategies are designed based on the evidence garnered through research, questions are raised about clinical practices that lead to new research endeavors, and the effectiveness of interventions are systematically evaluated in an effort to continually improve care."
There are four steps in applying evidence-based research:
1. Ask a clinical question in a PICO format (see sidebar for PICO definition).
2. Aquire the evidence.
3. Appraise the evidence (the evidence based pyramid above can help).
4. Apply the evidence to clinical practice.
Lanier Technical College Libraries
Director of Library Services
Barrow & Jackson Campus