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Nursing Research Orientation

Research guide for Nursing

Internet Research

Internet research requires skills in strategic searching as well as evaluating results for quality, accuracy and purpose. Use the suggested web search and evaluation tips below and keep good notes on what strategies work best for you.

Recommended Health Care Websites

The Consumer and Patient Health Information Services Caucus (CAPHIS) of the Medical Library Association evaluates websites based on the following criteria: credibility, sponsorship/authorship, content, audience, currency (timeliness), disclosure, purpose, links, design, interactivity, and disclaimers. Websites included have been deemed particularly useful (in each area, sites are listed in alphabetical order, NOT ranked).

Professional Associations

Web Search Engines (Google) vs. Research Databases


Search Engines (i.e. Google)  Research Databases
  • Anyone can put up a webpage – no quality control
  • Hard to limit your search to just what you want
  • Wading through too many results wastes your time
  • Many journals are not free online through Google; you have to pay
  • Articles are more likely to be fact-checked, reviewed by editors, or peer-reviewed for accuracy
  • Databases allow you to limit your search to what you need via helpful filters such as publication date, peer-review, article type
  • The library pays for access to full-text journals in databases so you don’t have to


Evaluating Web Sources

Google Scholar as a Tool for Journal Articles

Google Scholar crawls academic journal websites and provides an index of selected scholarly articles. 

Tip: Be sure to set up your "Library Links" to Salve Regina so that if you locate a citation and the full-text is available from one of the library's subscription databases, you can link directly from the Google Scholar search page.


Tip: If it's not available full-text, you'll be directed to request the article through Salve's interlibrary loan service.

Tip: Much of your research in Nursing will call for the use of recently published articles. At times, you'll find a useful source but it is older than what you are typically able to cite in your research. Look at the citation in Google Scholar and click on “Cited by.” This tool allows you to move forward in time from the older source to see who has cited it in more recent publications. Of course, you will also need to evaluate those newer studies for relevance and quality!

For more tips and tricks on using Google Scholar, use this link:


Off the Charts: Award-winning Blog of the American Journal of Nursing

Off the Charts publishes timely, engaging posts by working nurses on quality improvement projects, patient care experiences, nursing education, career and wellness issues, and health care technology and policy.

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