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Graduate and DNP Students' Guide to McKillop Library: Overview


This research guide is intended to help you with graduate-level research and onward, including the DNP Project. The tabs across the top will help you locate and evaluate materials for your research, cite properly in APA, format your dissertation, and make use of library services, either in person or remotely.

What You'll Find in the Tabs Across the Top of This Guide

Library Services

  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Manage your Library Account
  • Schedule a Research Consultation

Find Articles

  • Searching for Journals
  • Advanced Searching Techniques: Boolean Operators
  • Searching for Dissertations
  • Using Google Scholar

Evaluating and Synthesizing Research Literature

  • Levels of Evidence
  • Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice: Models and Guidelines

The DNP Scholarly Project

  • Order of Elements
  • Title Page Format
  • Headings
  • Figures, Graphs, and Illustrations
  • Formatting using Microsoft Word
  • Embedding Fonts in Microsoft Word
  • Saving a Copy to PDF
  • Converting to PDF/A
  • Digital Preservation

What is a Literature Review?

  • Organizing Your Sources: Some Questions to Ask 
  • Synthesizing Main Ideas: Actions to Take
  • Distinguishing a Literature Review from Other Works
  • Formatting the Review

Need Help

  • Ask a Librarian

Find Books and Articles

Important Research Strategies

Identify language used for your topic by topic experts

Your list of results can be as useful as the articles and books themselves. While you’re scanning the results of your search, look for the specific words or phrases used to describe various aspects of your topic. Note new words on a pad of paper, and use those specific words or phrases to rework your search. See if this more targeted search strategy impacts your results.

Find the subject headings, or controlled vocabulary, for your topic

You can rework your search using the strategy above, but you may find that keyword searches can yield irrelevant results. One way around this is to review your result list of books or articles. Once you find a really good one, look for subject headings to quickly lead you to more relevant articles on your topic. These are often set apart from the actual source, and hyperlinked in library databases. Ask a librarian if you’re having trouble finding the subject headings.

Make use of citation chaining

To move back in time to trace the development of a topic or idea: Bibliography, hyperlinks, or footnotes

Look at what your article/report/page is citing, find those sources. Look at what that article/ report/page cites, find those sources, and so on.

To move forward in time from your source to see who else has found this source useful: Google Scholar “cited by”

Find a key article in Google Scholar and click on “cited by” to see who has quoted that article since it was written.

Begin to identify key experts in your subject area

Do certain researchers' names come up again and again? Do an author search to find everything that person has written.

Consider contacting experts

Ask specific questions about your topic for information that is not yet published. Follow their social media feeds or blog posts.

Identify key organizations

Look at the lead organizations for your issue, find everything they’ve published on your topic, monitor their publications, and identify their experts on staff. Follow their social media feeds or blog posts.

Your Librarian

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Lisa Richter
she, her, hers
McKillop Library, Rm 111
100 Ochre Point Avenue
Newport, RI 02840 USA