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Useful Tools

  1. Create a  account to manage your citations.

  2. Create an  account for ordering articles not available in UVA collections

  3. Keep current by reading your professional literature using Browzine.  Browzine is also available as an app: Apple and Android.

  4. Install RefGrab-It to easily import citation information from websites into RefWorks.  Note: RefGrab-It only works with Firefox and Internet Explorer.

RefGrab-It video 1:40

Research Databases

Use CINAHL and OVID Medline to determine subject headings and keywords.  Once you build your search terms, then search Web of Science, PubMed, PsycINFO (if applicable), and Google Scholar.

1.  biomedical literature from around the world (Coverage: 5,600 journal titles back to 1946)structured search interface for MEDLINE
           Exporting OVID Citations to RefWorks

 2.    articles in nursing and allied health

Exporting CINAHL Citations to RefWorks.pdf

3.    articles related to the psychological aspects of nursing

Exporting PyscINFO Citations to RefWorks.pdf

4. interdisciplinary database with over 12,000 journal titles

Exporting Web of Science Citations to RefWorks.pdf

5.   Google-like search interface for MEDLINE
              Exporting PubMed Citations to RefWorks

6. Google Scholar articles from online scholarly journals, books, and web sites. 

Google Scholar Settings.pdf

Creating Search Alerts

1. CINAHL  Create a free EBSCOHost account.  Run your search, click on the RSS symbol to the left of your search in the Search History section, and follow instructions. 

2. PubMed  Create a free NCBI account.  Run your search and then click on Create Alert underneath the search box and follow instructions.

Grey Literature

Grey literature is any literature not published in journals, such as reports, dissertations, and government documents.

Try this strategy for locating grey literature: search Google with search terms followed by  Repeat the search using and then 

Example: hospital preparedness bioterrorism

Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Resources 

Rating System for the Hierarchy of Evidence: Quantitative Questions
Level I: Evidence from a systematic review of all relevant randomized controlled trials (RCT's), or evidence-based clinical practice guidelines based on systematic reviews of RCT's
  • Cochrane Library, Joanna Briggs Institute, PubMed Health, and TRIP.
Level II: Evidence obtained from at least one well-designed Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)

Level III: Evidence obtained from well-designed controlled trials without randomization, quasi-experimental

Level IV: Evidence from well-designed case-control and cohort studies

Level V: Evidence from systematic reviews of descriptive and qualitative studies

Level VI: Evidence from a single descriptive or qualitative study

Level VII: Evidence from the opinion of authorities and/or reports of expert committees
Above information from "Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: a guide to best practice" by Bernadette M. Melnyk and Ellen Fineout-Overholt. 2005, page 10.
  • database of systematic reviews

  •  systematic reviews and other types of EBP information for nursing

  •  systematic reviews of clinical effectiveness research

  • registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world

  • TRIP Database  look for evidence based practice limits on the right-side column

  • Also search Research Databases above for all levels of evidence.

Clinical Decision Support

Patient Education Sources

  • MedlinePlus National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends
  • ClinicalKey select Patient Education from the drop-down menu to the left of the search box
  • UpToDate  medical conditions and treatment options
  • Micromedex select CareNotes from the Micromedex page
  • PubMed Health consumer health information
  • WebMD  commercial health information provider

Drug Information

  • Drug Information Portal gateway to selected drug information from the National Library of Medicine and other key government agencies
  • PillBox  tool for identifying drugs
  • commercial website that pulls content from reputable sources
  • ClinicalKey select Drug Monographs from the drop-down menu to the left of the search box
  • Micromedex  single source of clinical information — from need-to-know drug, pediatric, disease, lab, and toxicology information to comprehensive resources for patient and consumer education
  • UpToDate
  • Pubmed Health Drugs A-Z

Online Textbooks and Ebooks

These are electronic collections of books and texbooks.  AccessMedicine, for example, provides one-search access to over 80 medical textbooks, including Harrison's.

  • AccessMedicine e-book collection including Harrison's Online and Hurst's the Heart
  • ClinicalKey over 1000 medical and surgical reference books, along with over 500 journals
  •    e-book collection of nursing and medical textbooks
  •     includes over 100 medical and nursing e-books

  •   over 80 medical and nursing e-books

  •  over 300 nursing e-books

  •  clinical reference to synthesized medical information

  • VIRGO  search VIRGO by keywords and use Format facets on the left to limit search results to formats such as Books, Ebooks, Streaming Video, and Government Documents

Is it Peer Reviewed?

What is the peer review process?

Impact & Influence of Journal or Article

An article that has been cited by other authors has greater impact than other less-cited articles.  Keep in mind, that current artlces will be cited by fewer authors.

  • Journal Citation Reports tool for determining Impact Factor of a journal
  • Web of Science For articles, check Times Cited for number of times article was cited by articles in Web of Science.  Check Usage Count for number of times article was downloaded or exported to citation manager.
  • Google Scholar for articles, check Cited By for number of times article was cited by anything accessed by Scholar
  • Altmetric Bookmarklet tool for determining influence or interest in a journal article

Where to Publish

Check these sources to find the best match for an article you want to get published.

  • Directory of Nursing Journals a collective of nursing editors and publishers focused on meeting the research needs of the nursing profession

  • JANE (Journal/Author/Name Estimator) enter keywords and JANE will find best matching journals

  • JournalGuide in addition to searching by journal name, category or publisher, authors can use the title and abstract of a paper to discover journals that have already published articles on similar topics

  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR) tool for determining Impact Factor of a journal

Intro to JRC (3 min video)

What is Open Access? (8 min. video)

Images for Presentations

If you need images for a presentation, start with the sources below. 

  • AccessMedicine note that you can send the image directly to a PowerPoint slide

  • BioImage Search biomedical images you can use i.e., images with Public Domain & Creative Commons licenses

  • ClinicalKey search your term using the Multimedia limit under the All tab.

Tests, Surveys, and Measurements 

  • PsycTESTS provides access to psychological tests, measures, scales, surveys, and other assessments as well as descriptive information about the test and its development and administration

  • Mental Measurements Yearbook find reviews, reliability and validity information for commercially available tests

  • ERIC use Tests/Questionnaires limit in Publication Type

  • CINAHL use Questionnaire/Scale limit in Publication Type

  • UpToDate 

Global health

  • NationMaster extensive compilation of political, social, economic, environmental, etc. data on nations
  • CDC Global Health global health information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Historical Literature

Searching for historical nursing literature can be challenging.  CINAHL can yield results, however, keep in mind that the online CINAHL databases goes back only until 1981.  Therefore, to find earlier articles, search the library's CINAHL print indexes, which are located in the lobby and go back to 1956. Searching VIRGO can also yield results, as will a MEDLINE search, which goes back to 1879 in print (Index Medicus) and online (PubMed or OVID MEDLINE) the late1940s. Historical literature can also be found in the following indexes:


  • VIRGO search UVA's collection of books and ebooks combining your topic with History in the Subject field (e.g. polio AND history)

  • Google Books enter topic in search box and then limit by century or date range using Search Tools-->Any time


  • JSTOR older issues of scholarly journals
  • American Periodicals periodicals published between 1740 and 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically-significant periodicals 


Letters & Diaries