CINAHL is an essential resource for locating journal articles from the nursing and allied health literature. It is an electronic database providing indexing and full-text to articles from over 5,000 journals with coverage dating back to 1937. In addition to journal articles, CINAHL provides access to evidence-based care sheets which summarize the latest research evidence on various healthcare topics of clinical significance. Also indexed in CINAHL are student dissertations, conference proceedings, audiovisuals, books, book chapters, and more.
This video provides a live demonstration of CINAHL by UToledo Nursing Librarian Jodi Jameson.
To locate articles on a topic in CINAHL, there are two ways of searching: 1) keyword or 2) subject heading.
Keyword searching is a good way to begin your search, especially if you are not sure of the exact terminology to use as search terms. Search results will be based on the exact keywords that you entered. As you sift through your search results, you will begin to recognize additional terminology to use in your search strategy to locate more relevant articles. It will also help you to identify subject headings to use in a more advanced search. See a video tutorial here.
Subject heading searching is a targeted way to search for articles. Articles in CINAHL have been indexed with CINAHL Headings, which work like a thesaurus. If there is more than one way of describing a concept or topic (i.e. hypertension or high blood pressure), the subject heading will take all of those varieties into consideration, saving you the time of having to experiment with different keywords. See a video tutorial here.
On the left side of your search results page, under , you will notice some options to refine your search results, including Publication Date, Research Article and Peer-Reviewed. Click the Show More link to display a full menu of limits.
While you search, CINAHL keeps track of your search terms, including keywords, subject headings, and any limits applied, as well as the number of results retrieved for each search. To access the Search History to review previous searches you have conducted during that search session, click the link located above your search results. The Search History can also be used to combine previous searches together using the Search with AND or Search with OR options.
When viewing your search results in CINAHL, you will see different links depending on the availability of the full-text such as:
Click a link to immediately download the full article
If you do not see full-text links, click the link to see if the library has an electronic copy available elsewhere.