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St. Clair County Community College Library


Using CINAHL Complete to find an original research article

The SC4 library subscribes to a number of excellent nursing and allied health databases. When looking for research articles, it is sometimes easiest to use a nursing database to find information because it automatically narrows down your results to medical information.

CINAHL Complete is the largest nursing database. CINAHL stands for Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Although you could conduct the search OneSearch on the library homepage, it is often best to start with the subject database such as CINAHL Complete. CINAHL will automatically narrow your results to nursing materials. 


Finding Original Research Articles

You may have been given an assignment to find an original research article on a nursing topic. A research article is a primary source of information. Your instructor may refer to it as an "original" research article. You can narrow the results in CINAHL complete to research articles by using the Research Article limiter in the search screen.

Look for these features in your article to verify that is a research article.

  • Introduction. The beginning of the article might include a survey of existing research on the topic.
  • Methods. How the research was conducted, and the pool of subjects used for the study. There is usually a control group, too. 
  • Results. The cut and dried results of the research conducted without opinion added. This section usually includes charts or graphs.
  • Discussion. The researchers' interpretations of the results. Was their hypothesis met? What additional research might need to be done?
  • References. A list of articles, papers, and books the researchers consulted. 

Below is a link to an additional resource which may help you identify a research article.


Using CINAHL Complete to Find a Research Article - Video

Using CINAHL Complete to Find an Original Research Article - Written Directions

You can limit your search results to research articles in CINAHL. They may or may not include the term "original" on the full text. You cannot successfully search the term: "original research"

Begin by finding CINAHL Complete either using the A to Z Databases link on the library homepage to by using the Nursing Library Research Guide. 

Entered below is the search string: "breast feeding" AND nursing

To narrow the results to research articles, be sure to check the Research Article box as indicated.




If you would like to narrow your results to very current articles, use the date scroll bar in the left-hand column of your results. 


The results are narrowed to articles published from 2017 to date. You may only need to narrow to the last five or seven years. 



The ninth article in the result list looks relevant to the topic. 




More information about the article is given when you click on the title.




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