After you formulate your problem and develop and ask your research question, you need to develop a search strategy to acquire information.
Brainstorm keywords related to your topic.
Identify whether you need primary, secondary, or tertiary sources.
Search existing literature to find current and relevant articles and resources to use as evidence and to answer your research question
Use library sources for full access to research literature!
Primary Sources - The first place researchers publish their research findings. Typically in the form of journal or research articles that follow a typical research article structure. The hierarchy of evidence (the evidence pyramid) is based on the type of study and and quality of evidence. Examples: Randomized Controlled Trials, Cohort Studies, Case-Control Studies, Case Reports, Qualitative Studies
Secondary Sources - Summarizes primary research. Collates and evaluates research to answer a clinical question. Often this may involve a clinician reviewing research to answer a clinical question. Examples: Systematic Reviews, Meta-Analyses, Evidence-Based Guidelines, Some Clinical Database entries
Tertiary Sources - Health information sources that collate research literature from multiple sources. Evidence may be lacking currency compared to primary sources. Examples: Most guidelines and society statements, Most Clinical Database entries, Clinical Textbooks, Narrative Reviews
Sample topic: Is patient education effective in reducing COPD among smokers?
Identify the concepts in your topic:
Use a dictionary, thesaurus, textbook, database or CINAHL Headings to find alternative search terms:
Truncate words to increase your search results
Proximity searching decreases your search results
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