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Nursing: Find Specific Types of Articles

Connect directly to a wide variety of resources to support your clinical and research needs.

What's On This Page

Sometimes you need to find specific types of research or articles from peer reviewed Nursing journals for an assignment.  

The resources on this page will show you how to find specific types of articles in the Nursing databases.

Find Articles from Peer-Reviewed Nursing Journals

Where to Search

Cinahl and Medline are the best databases to use when you're searching for peer-reviewed Nursing journal articles.  This is because these databases have special search options that aren't offered in the general Library Search.


Nursing Journals

In Cinahl or Medline, click on the "Show More" link under the Publication Date to see more search options. 

Under Journal Subset, choose Nursing.  This will limit your results to articles that are published in Nursing journals.  

In Cinahl, you can also try the "First Author is a Nurse" or "Any Author is a Nurse" checkboxes.  


Peer Reviewed Journals

In Cinahl, click on the "Show More" link under the Publication Date to see more search options. 

Select the "Peer Reviewed" checkbox.  This will limit your results to articles that are published in peer reviewed journals.  Keep in mind that peer reviewed journals do include some material that isn't peer reviewed, such as editorials and book reviews.

Important Note: Medline does not have a peer reviewed checkbox because articles in this database are not marked as peer reviewed or not peer reviewed.  This is because 99% of the journals included in Medline are peer reviewed.

Find Specific Types of Articles

Systematic Reviews, Randomized Controlled Trials, & Meta-Analyses

If you're looking for a specific type of research, it usually helps to add related words to your search terms.  For example, if you're looking for systematic reviews, use "systematic review" as one of your search terms:

Database search for diabetes and systematic review

You can use the same strategy to search for randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, etc. 

These types of articles are easy to identify in the databases because they usually tell you what they are right in the title (i.e. "Effect of exercise on the quality of life in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review").

Qualitative and Quantitative Studies

To find qualitative and quantitative studies, try adding one of these words/phrases to your search terms:

Qualitative Quantitative



Focus group



Grounded Theory



Randomized controlled trial

Clinical trial



The word "qualitative" or "quantitative" will sometimes appear in the title, abstract, or subject terms, but not always.  Look at the methods section of the article to determine what type of study design was used.

Need to brush up on some definitions?  Check out the Finding Qualitative and Quantitative Articles guide.