Research Guides

CINAHL

 

About CINAHL

CINAHL stands for Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature. There are several databases available to you with the name CINAHL. Understanding which one to use will save you a lot of time and energy.

  • CINAHL - This is the general CINAHL database. It provides access to abstracts and indexing, as well as some full text, for more than 1,835 nursing and allied health journals, publications of the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing, nursing dissertations, and selected other biomedical journals. Limited coverage of psychology and management literature is also included.
  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text - This database provides abstracts and indexing as well as full text for hundreds of journals, plus legal cases, clinical innovations, critical paths, drug records, research instruments and clinical trials with indexing back to 1937. Offering complete coverage of English-language nursing journals and publications from the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses' Association, the database covers nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines. In addition, this database offers access to health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, audiovisuals and book chapters, as well as Evidence-Based Care Sheets.
  • Pre-CINAHL - This database provides current awareness of new journal articles and includes a rotating file of limited bibliographic information (no subject searching), which are available to researchers only for the time when these articles are being assigned additional indexing. This enables users to gain access to article citations that otherwise would not be available. Once the bibliographic records are complete, they are added to the CINAHL database and removed from Pre-CINAHL. 

Basic Search

Log into CINAHL.

In the Find window, type in your search terms.

Use Boolean Operatorsand Truncation to limit your results. Put phrases in double quotation marks ( " " ).

Left-click on Search.

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 Advanced Search

The Advanced Search allows you to search within particular fields. Let's use the example of searching for articles that have the word "depression" in the title, but were published in the year 2006.

  • Left-click on the Advanced Search link.
  • In the first box, type indepression, and then selectTI Title in the drop-down menu.
  • In the second box, type in2008, and then select PY Year of Publication in the drop-down menu.
  • Left-click on Search.

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Narrow Results by Subject

If you find that you are getting too many results, you can quickly reduce your results by narrowing by subject (This is different from using CINAHL Headings).

  • Perform a search in CINAHL.
  • On the left side of the screen, look at the clusters listed under Narrow Results by.
  • Click on an appropriatecluster (circled in red) that you would like to view.
  • Click on a subject heading(circled in blue) that you would like to narrow your results to.

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Narrow Results by Publication Type

  • Log into CINAHL.
  • Type your search statement into the search box.
  • Scroll down to the Limit your results section. Click on the dropdown menu Publication Type, and select which type of publication you would like to search for.
  • Click on the Search button.

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CINAHL Headings

The articles indexed in CINAHL have various subject headings associated with them. These are the "official terms" used to categorize articles. When a new disease or procedure is discovered, there are often several terms that are used until one becomes the "official" term. Also, these terms sometimes change over time to reflect a deeper understanding of the concept in question.

When in CINAHL, you can search the CINAHL Headings (sometimes called the thesaurus) to find the official term for your topic.

  • Log into CINAHL.
  • Click on the link CINAHL Headings.

 

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  • In the Browse for: box, type your term (we'll use "cramps").

 

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  • Click on the term that matches what you're looking for (we'll select "Muscle Cramp").

 

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  • On the left, you'll see tree views of how your term relates to other terms in a hierarchy. On the right you'll see available subheadings and other notes on the term (such as historical terms used, other synonyms, etc.).

 

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  • Select the box next to themajor concept or any subheadings of relevance, and then click on theSearch Database button (we'll just select "Major Concept").

 

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  • Now you will see that the official term has been used to search the database, and you have your results!

 

 

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Creating a Search History

When you conduct a search in CINAHL, the database creates a detailed list of your search. This list will be deleted after you close out of the database, unless you create a Search History which will save your search. The Search History will include detailed information such as the search terms used and the results retrieved.

After you have conducted your search in CINAHL, complete the following steps in order to create your Search History:

  • Left click on the Search History/Alerts link.

 

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  • A detailed list of every search you conducted in CINAHL is provided. To save the history, left click on the Save Searches/Alerts tab.

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  • You can either log in, if you already have an EBSCOhost account, or you can left click on I’m a new user to create an EBSCOhost account.

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  • Give your search history a name, type it into theName of Search/Alertbox, and type in a briefDescription of the search.
  • Click on Save.

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 Retrieving a Saved Search

  • Left click on the Folder link (top right side of CINAHL screen).

 

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  • Left click on the Saved Searches link (left side of Folders screen in CINAHL).

 

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  • Left click on the Retrieved Saved Search link under the name of your saved search.

 

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