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Nursing Scholarly Writing & Evidence-Based Practice: Searching for Articles

A guide to help you employ strategy in searching for, locating, and citing scholarly research

What's On This Page?

On this page you will find a variety of search strategies to help you find specific types of articles! Remember: learn about all of the different strategies and use them in your searches to return relevant results. Searching effectively and efficiently takes practice. Use the list of Library Databases to begin your search and explore the list of specific nursing journals.

Example: Keyword Searching


Trying keyword or subject searching alone can find quality results, but it's still better to test and document multiple keyword and subject term searches. You can even combine these searches, as the example below shows: we built a subject heading search on the topic of type 2 diabetes and added in additional keywords (food OR diet OR nutrition).


Search within a journal

Library Databases


Searching Tips

Connecting Concepts....

  • Join similar ideas or alternate terms with OR enclosed in parentheses: eg: (diet OR nutrition)
  • Link different parts of your topic with AND, eg: nutrition AND heart disease
  • Exclude concepts with NOT, eg: dementia NOT alzheimer's

Keywords Are....

  • A good way to start a search
  • The important concepts of your clinical question in your own words

Subject Terms...

  • They are specific, medical and technical terms that describe what the article is about


  • Use an asterisk * to find word variants; eg: nurs* will find nurses, nurse, nursing

Quotation Marks....

  • Use quotation marks around a keyword phrase when you want to tell the database that those words must appear next to one another; eg: "nursing students"



Use the Built-In Database Tools

Limit your search results by date, type of publication, language, and more.

limit by language


Need Something We Don't Have?

Interlibrary Loan Request: If you do not find what you're looking for at the SAU Library, we can go to other libraries that subscribe to the journal and have them send us a copy.NOTE: **Please allow anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks to process your request

Please use the link below to complete the form below to request an article. Use your login credentials to get started: