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Nursing (Graduate): Thesis / SIP / DNP Projects

Comprehensive Search Checklist

This checklist is intended as a general outline of items to complete. In practice, the database searches will likely require multiple sessions. In the literature discovery process, you are likely to learn new keywords, MeSH terms and Subject Heading (CINAHL) that will alter your searches. You may also need to readjust elements of your PICO based on initial searches. A search log is highly recommended to track terms and results. 

  1. Search CINAHL
  2. Search in PubMed
  3. Search in additional relevant databases such as: PsychArticles, Science Direct, or OVID
  4. Mined references (backward referencing) of highly relevant articles (See Citation Mining)
  5. Forward searched highly relevant articles in Web of Science, Google Scholar and PubMed (see Forward Searching)

It is also highly recommended that you meet with a librarian to review your search. A librarian can help verify if your database searches are exhaustive.  

Forward Citation Searching

While a reference list provides an excellent source of similar articles at the time an article is written. many databases also provide lists of articles that cited the article later. This is often called forward searching, since it works something like a reference list into the future. Several databases include a list of "Cited By" articles, including: 

  • PubMed 
  • OVID
  • Web of Science
  • Google Scholar

Cited By in PubMed

From the article record / abstract page, find link to "Cited By" on the right sidebar.

A Cited By list also appears at the bottom of the record.





















Forward Citation Searching in CINAHL

In an article record, look on the left for Times Cited in this Database. If this is not there, CINAHL did not find a citing article. This is especially common with very recent articles. 



Citing Articles in OVID

From the main article record page, open the Full-featured View. Under the Tools section, select Find CIting Articles. 


Citation Mining

Citation mining refers to using the references of relevant articles to find additional sources. This is also called backwards citation searching since the reference list only includes articles that were published before the article referencing them. 

Search by DOI or PMID

If the citation includes a PMID or DOI, you can search with only that unique identifier. 

Lookup a journal article by DOI or PMID


*Tip: DOIs start with 10.###   Omit any HTTP or HTTPS. See this FAQ for details

Search Logs