(This post was written by Nick Patler, and edited by Kimberley Barker)
CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Literature) is an authoritative index where the researcher can find journal articles, healthcare books, nursing dissertations, standards of practice, clinical innovations, clinical trials and other literature relating to the diverse field of nursing as well as other health disciplines. This specialized database includes more than 6 million records, including over 5,000 journals. CINAHL can be accessed from the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library webpage under “Top Resources”.
The CINAHL research database provides a user-friendly interface with basic and advanced search options. The researcher can use the field selection feature to specify their search to title, author, subject, age group, gender, commentary, dissertation name and others.
Researchers can also use limiters to refine their search, including language, journal subset (country, field/discipline, peer reviewed, etc.), publication type (Clinical Trial, Meta Analysis, Nursing Diagnosis, etc.), detailed age groups and special interest.
The researcher may want to keep in mind that when doing a literature review, it may be beneficial to search both CINAHL and PubMed. The latter is a more comprehensive discovery tool indexing life science literature with a concentration on biomedical information, while the former emphasizes nursing and associated health disciplines. From experience using both discovery tools this researcher has found that it is not uncommon to find literature in one that is not included in the other, and that together they may provide a comprehensive approach to achieving more thorough research results.
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