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Health Science Campus Library Services and Resources for Graduate Students

Finding Research-Based Materials

There is increasing use of research-based resources in the health care fields. Evidence-based healthcare practice relies upon research-based resources, and many academic programs at the University emphasize the use of research materials by students.

In PubMed, searches can be filtered for systematic reviews, reviews, meta-analysis, and clinical trials.

Some databases, such as Cochrane Library, contain only research-based material. See the Evidence-Based Practice LibGuide for more information.

In CINAHL, you can limit a search to research. After retrieving search results, click on the Show More link in the left-side menu labled Refine Your Results .  From the pop-up window of search limits, check the box next to Research Article.


For other databases, such as Science Citation Index, there is no way to limit only to research materials. Use a record's title, abstract, and subject headings to determine if it is research. Look for such things as:

  • structured abstract
  • mention in the abstract of research terms such as statistical significance, response rate, sampling, test statistics, etc.
  • subject headings that deal with research design, such as pretest-posttest design, or statistical tests, like chi-square analysis or analysis of variance
  • publication types like clinical trial, meta-analysis, systematic review