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Allopathic Medicine: NSU MD Library Guide: Journal articles?

An instructional pathfinder to researching for Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine

Start Your Research Here!

A great place to start is with Ebsco.

Click [Choose Databases] to add the following additional databases:

I recommed you add the following databases to your search: Biomedical Reference Collection, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Methodology Register, Health Technology Assessments, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Nursing & Allied Health Collection

Impact Factor

Your Instructor may ask you to find the "Impact Factor" of a publication.

You will use the database Journal Citation Reports to find this number.  


Journal Citation Reports® offers a systematic & objective way to evaluate journals by using a scientific equation which shows research influence and impact at the journal and category levels, and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals. 

Finding Full-Text

Finding the full-text of an article is easy!

Use the button within the database. This will open a new window called the Web Bridge where you can obtain the article through one of these methods:

Full Text Databases (if available)  →  click on database name, i.e. ScienceDirect or HighWire Press

NSU Electronic Journal Collections  →  Search Journal Finder

Library Catalogs (In-Stock)  →  Search NovaCat

InterLibrary Loan/Document Delivery  →  Order the item through ILLIAD

Note: using the Journal Finder, NovaCat, or ILLIAD may be done independently from the HPD Library Home Page. Look under the column titled QUICK LINKS on the left side of the page.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is an online search engine for articles and other scholarly materials. It is not a library database. 

Google Scholar is easy to use if you are familiar with Google, and it can be a helpful tool for investigating what articles may exist on a topic or how many times an article has been cited. 

However, in many cases, the full text of an article is not available without paying a fee.  Also, the disciplines and subject areas covered in Google Scholar are limited.

HPD Library databases provide scholarly materials on a much wider variety of disciplines and often include links to the full-text for free. 

If you decide to use Google Scholar, use it through the library's website, which provides a Find It! @ NSU feature with direct links to free full-text articles in the library's databases (when available).

What's a primary research article and how can I find one?

A primary research journal article is one that reports on the details and results of a research study conducted by the authors themselves. These articles are often have the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. 

While these articles may start with a brief literature review of previous and similar research, the rest of the article focuses on the authors' original research. For example, the "methods" or "methodology" section describes the participants in the study, the sample size, and the research procedure used.

You can search for primary research articles in a similar way that you search for other peer reviewed articles. From your results list, you can read the abstracts of the articles. If you get hundreds or thousands of results, there are a few different techniques to try to focus your search on primary research articles, 

  1. Original research articles must also be peer reviewed.
  2. Dissertations are not considered peer reviewed.
  3. Add the keywords results AND method* (this yields both methods and methodology) to your search along with your other keywords. With both of these techniques, you will still need to examine each article closely to see if it is reporting on the authors' original research and not a synthesis of others' research.
  4. Filter by Document Type on the Advanced Search page of most databases and choose Case Study (a case study is one type of primary research article).
  5. All of these results are generally primary research articles, but keep in mind that while all case studies are primary research, not all primary research is in the form of a case study, so you may be missing some primary research articles on your topic by searching this way.
  6. If you are reading an article that isn't primary research but is peer reviewed and on your topic, chances are the authors will mention research done by others and include some primary research articles in the references section of the article you're reading. You can then search for those articles.

Finding Landmark Articles

Why Look for Seminal Works?

Seminal works, sometimes called pivotal or landmark studies, are the initial pieces that presented an important or influential idea within a particular discipline. These articles are referred to (referenced) repeatedly in the literature, so you're likely to see the citations again and again. A landmark article is a paper that reports on an important clinical trial, often a trial with practice-changing implications. Landmark articles are typically widely read, circulated, and cited by others. 

There is not a single strategy for finding seminal articles, but rather any strategy relies on a thorough examination and synthesis of the literature. Don't expect to see a "seminal article" label, rather you'll start seeing the same author and title frequently. Tip: remember that seminal articles may have been published a long time ago, so don't set a date range limited when you search for them.

You can find landmark articles either by consulting a curated list or by running a targeted search.

Please take a look at these resources here from National University and Lebanon Valley College to assist you with finding these articles.

Medline = PubMed

Choose which "interface" or the way you would like to search the contents of Medline.

Each of these interfaces will be searching the same information. Pick the one you prefer:



Keeping Track of what you Find

Find it! AND Google Scholar

OTHER Frequently Used NSUMD Databases

Interlibrary Loan

Do you need a article that we do not own (electronically or in print)? 

If so, use Interlibrary Loan!

***ONLY Distance Students can request electronic delivery of documents in the HPD Library Collection (this service is called Document Delivery)