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CINAHL Searching: Preparation

Beginning Your CINAHL Search

Before you sit down at the computer to start your CINAHL search, have a good think about your topic, and the search process. Preparing thoroughly and noting down what you are going to do at this point means you have a robust framework for your search. Reflecting on what you are doing at each step is also a good way of keeping in touch with what you want to achieve.

  • What search terms should I use to retrieve the most useful information?
  • Are these terms described in other ways? (synonyms)
  • Are these terms spelt in different ways? Think  British vs American English.
  • How old should my material be?
  • Am I interested in a particular age-group in terms of the research subjects? What about specific genders?
  • Do I limit to only research articles? Only peer reviewed articles?
  • Is there a particular publication type that will be most helpful to me? Systematic reviews? Quantitative research? Case studies?
  • How should I keep track of my search process? A narrative/learning journal? Printouts? Saving my search(es)?

Once you're happy with what you want to do, then you can make a start.

NOTE: For this libguide, our search will be looking at the risk factors of falls in elderly hospital inpatients.