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Nursing Research: Articles

Searching Google Scholar

Search the more academic side of Google! Google Scholar can find journal articles, books, government reports, technical papers, etc. Make sure to read the record carefully so that you know what type of source you have found.

Google Scholar Search


If you are off campus follow these steps in Google Scholar to access any content the library owns:

  1. On the opening screen of Google Scholar select the link for Settings at the top of the page.
  2. Click on Library Links in the left hand menu and search for University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
  3. Check the box to add the right library and click on Save preferences.

Which database is best for my class/assignment?

Keyword Development

Subject Terms

Most databases will include a list of subject terms for each article to show what concepts or terms that database uses to organize the article. These terms are great to add to your search to find similar results and to expand your search keywords. You can find them in a few different places:


If you're searching in OneSearch, you can see the subject terms for a source by clicking on the More Info option below each source:

CINAHL or Other EBSCO Products (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, SportDiscus)

If you're searching in CINAHL or another Ebsco database, you find subject terms on the detailed record page (page that appears after you click the article title in the results list). They are usually listed above the abstract as Major Subject Terms, Subject Terms, etc. 


In PubMed, you can find additional MeSH terms to use as keywords by viewing the article record and expanding the section labeled Publication Type, MeSH terms

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

Medical subject headings (MeSH) are the controlled vocabulary used by the National Library of Medicine. The NLM created the database MEDLINE and the search tool PubMed. MeSH are applied to any article indexed in MEDLINE by subject analysts at the NLM, so MeSH can be used to search in MEDLINE and PubMed. Although other databases don't necessarily use MeSH to categorize articles, they're helpful terms to know because they provide a commonly recognized medical name for a condition, intervention, population, or concept. 

You can match your topic to MeSH using the MeSH search tool:

Ancestry Searching

Ancestry searching is a technique that looks for more information by finding the articles cited by a source (parents) and the articles that also site that source (children). It's called ancestry searching because you are looking both back and forward in the "generations" of research.

1. Finding Parents (Cited Sources)
  • Use the works cited list on your article. Do any of the sources sound like they deal with the same topics? Are they recent enough to meet the requirements of your assignment?
  • Make a list of the articles you are interested in.
  • Use Google Scholar or OneSearch to look them up and determine their availability. 
2. Finding Children (Sources Citing Your Source)
  •  Put the title of your source into Google Scholar. 
  •  When you've found your source as a result, click on the Cited By link below it. 

Screenshot of Google Scholar result with Cited by link circled.

  •  Do any of the sources sound like they deal with the same topics? 
  •  If you get too many Cited By  results, you can check the Search Within Citing Articles box and enter additional keywords (probably the same as you've been using to research your topic) to limit the results to those that are most relevant to you. 

Screenshot of Google Scholar Cited By Results with Search within citing articles checkbox pointed out.