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Nursing & Midwifery: Databases

Databases for nursing and midwifery

Grey Literature

Grey Literature

Grey literature is research material that isn’t formally published in a journal or a book. Some useful sources of grey literature are listed below.

Clinical Trial Registries


Other Sources

Quick guide to using databases

Before you begin to search the databases, it is important that you develop a well-planned comprehensive search strategy.

Break your search/topic into 2 or 3 key concepts.

Think of alternative keywords and synonyms for each concept including spelling variations.

For databases such as CINAHL and Medline, enter each search term one at a time.  If the term is available as a subject heading (blue, highlighted and underlined) select it.  If not, select the term as a keyword found at the bottom of the page.

Use Boolean operators (AND & OR) to connect search terms together.

OR is used to combine the similar keywords.  It tells the database that any one of the search terms can be present in the results.  It broadens your results.

AND is used to combine the key concepts.  It tells the database to retrieve results that contain all the search terms.  It narrows your results.



How effective are creative art therapies in improving the quality of life of people with dementia?

 Art Therapy OR Music Therapy OR Dance Therapy (Concept 1)


 Quality of Life OR Well-being (Concept 2)


 Dementia OR Dementia Patients OR Alzheimer's Disease (Concept 3)


Limits such as date range and English language can be used to narrow your results.

Searches can be saved, you just need to set up an account within the database.

To watch a short video on how to use CINAHL and Medline click on the video tutorials tab on top of this page.  If you require further help on using the databases or carrying out a literature search please get in touch.