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Nursing

Research Tips

Your research assignments will primarily ask you to use scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles, but there are other types of sources that will also have helpful information you can use. 

Can't find a scholarly article with the specific information you need? Maybe you need...

CINAHL Quick Lesson overview of Hypothyriodism in Adults.
Health Information
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Overview of Islam from the World Encyclopedia of Religious Practices.
Background Information
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Image of the National Vital Statistics Reports from July 26, 2016.
Data & Statistics
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Health Information

Health information includes anatomy, physiology, causes and treatments for diseases and conditions, and the effectiveness of approved drugs and clinical interventions. This information is often published in medical textbooks, but also in professional health databases that provide a quick overview of what we know already and references to clinical trials. 

When would I need to find a health information? If you're working on a project with a health-related topic, browsing an overview of the health topic like high blood pressure can give you a better sense of what it is, how it's treated, and who is affected, especially if there a group of people who are disproportionately affected. 

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Background Information

Background information includes general overviews of broad topics. Think people, places, things, events, and theories. If you're not sure what keywords to use in a library database, finding background information will help you learn more about a topic first and expand your search. Even Wikipedia can be  a good starting place for background information. Need something more credible? Try some of the library's databases for background information. 

When would I need to find background information? If you're working on a project where you're asked to include facts, you might look into an online encyclopedia or reference book. For example, you need to find information about where you can find a regional plant, its identifying characteristics, and images to include on your slides.  

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Data & Statistics

Datasets are the raw pieces of information that are collected through surveys and other research tools and analyzed through statistics like "55% of state prisoners were serving sentences for violent offenses at year-end 2016" (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2017). Researchers publish statistics from individual studies in academic journal articles, but comprehensive statistics are also collected by non-profit research groups and government agencies at the local, state, national, and international level and published on the web for the public. 

When would I need to find statistics and datasets? If you're working on a research project about a community or social issue, you might use statistics collected by nonprofit or government researcher to describe your population/problem and show why its important. 

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