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Effective Database Searching: CINAHL

This guide to key library databases helps you decide which databases to use and assists you in searching them more effectively.



As alternatives, you might also consider searching MEDLINE (Ovid) or PubMed if you don't find what you're looking for in CINAHL: 





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CINAHL Overview

CINAHL stands for Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Hosted by the company, EBSCO, it covers nursing and allied health journals.

Search Tips

-Be careful with limits! It is best NOT to use full-text and evidence-based practice in CINAHL.


- Subject headings specific to nursing/allied health

- Ability to limit searches to research articles, articles from peer reviewed journals, care plans, and articles authored by nurses

- Offers proximity searching capability. For example, kidney N5 failure will find results that contain kidney failure as well as failure of the kidneys

- Research articles include the names of the instruments used in the studies

- Includes references to selected nursing doctoral dissertations, conference proceedings/abstracts, and book chapters

- Includes references to Cochrane Systematic Reviews

- Helps you automatically format references according to APA style (look for the "cite" icon in full records)

- Can view the references cited by many of the indexed articles

- HTML full text documents in EBSCO can be downloaded as MP3 files as well as translated into other langauges


- Articles in CINAHL go back to 1981; PubMed and MEDLINE (Ovid) go back to 1947

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