A lot of the resources you need to study can be found by using Library Search.
You can also search for articles (and other resources such as reports and conference papers) by browsing journals or by searching databases.
Journals are like academic magazines, where researchers publish their findings. They are important because they allow you to find out about the latest discoveries in your subject area. Many are peer reviewed, which means articles are only published after evaluation by a panel of experts, ensuring high quality content. Read further down this page for more information about journals and journal articles, including how to find them.
Databases are one of the best types of resource to get familiar with. We use the term ‘database’ to describe a searchable collection of online resources which contain items such as journal articles, books, and images. Using databases recommended for your subject will help you find reliable information from trusted sources.
If Staffordshire University Library has access to a document you find on a database, the record will provide you with the full text of the document. If this is not the case, you can request access via the Document Delivery Service.
Please note: You DO NOT need to use the Log In link on the top right once on the BMJ Case Reports page. Once you access content on the site it will automatically show access via Staffordshire University
If viewing via a mobile or tablet after you will need to create a Kanopy account and download the Kanopy App. Please see the information provided here: https://help.kanopy.com/en-us/4213.htm (link opens in new window)
You can search for all available databases using eResources A to Z. Search by subject or name of database, or browse through the list.
You can use Library Search to find journals in two ways:
Use the link in the title above or you can use the link under the search bar on the Finding Resources page.
Search for your keyword in Library Search (using the 'Online articles and books' filter). Then select 'Journals' as the content filter on the left hand side. You will then see all the journals (both online and print) that are available for you to use.
Journals A to Z is another way to browse journal titles. Use this link to search for an eJournal title: Journals A to Z
Type in the name of the journal you are looking for. Once you have found the journal you want you can search within it or browse for relevant articles.
Journal of Public Health
International Journal of Public Health
European Journal of Public Health
Journal of Allied Health
To find journal articles on a topic (rather than browsing whole journals), use Library Search.
Identify the key concepts in the topic that you need information on.
For example, if your essay title is: Evaluate the risks associated with nurses prescribing medication, your key concepts will be:
You should then identify synonyms, or words and phrases that mean or relate to these concepts. For example:
It is helpful to match the concepts to PICO where possible:
P = Population (or patient, problem)
I = Intervention
C = Comparison (or control, or comparator)
O = Outcome
In this case, the population is nurses, the intervention is prescribing medication, the comparison is implied (i.e. as opposed to not prescribing medication) and the outcome is the risks involved in the intervention activity.
Once you have identified your key concepts and their synonyms, you can search for literature related to them.
Combine the concepts using Boolean operators (AND / OR / NOT). Find out more about how to use these in the Assignment Survival Kit.
risk AND nurse AND prescribing
danger AND nurse AND prescribing
and so on. Swap one keyword in at a time, be systematic! Write down what you are searching each time and get into the habit of recording the number of results you get back.
You can also search health databases for articles. See the Databases box on this page.