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Nursing: Articles / Journals / Research

KVCC Nursing Resources

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CINAHL  ‚ÄčAuthoritative journal articles for nursing and allied health. 

Films On Demand - Nursing Streaming videos of patient care and nursing

Health Source Nursing Edition: Journals on pediatric nursing, critical care, mental health, nursing management, medical law.

MedlinePlus  National Library of Medicine from the NIH

ProQuest Central Nursing and Allied Health Source  850+ journals and dissertations in nursing and related fields.

PubMed Central  PubMed Central (PMC) is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) biomedical and life sciences journals.

Salem Press Health  Provides general readers with authoritative info to bridge gaps between medical literature for professionals and popular self-help guides.  Over 38 databases and 1,950 selected websites, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. Government science information.

ScienceDirect -- Health & Life Sciences  1,000+ health and life science journals.

SMART imagebase: Scientific & Medical ART   20,000+ illustrations & animations depicting anatomy, physiology, surgery, diseases, conditions, trauma, embryology, histology. 

Search tips for Pub Med

Trade and Scholarly Journals

What is a scholarly journal?

Answer: A journal that has been created by academic authors and includes original quantitative and/or qualitative research and theoretical content.


  • Respiratory Care Online
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Harvard Educational Review
  • Respiratory Care Education Annual

What is a trade journal?

Answer: A journal that was created for professionals. The articles address professional or work-related issues and help practicioners by summarizing research for best practices.


  • Respiratory Care Manager
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • AARC Times

Scholarly Journals
(sometimes called Research Journals or Academic Sources)

Popular Magazines
(sometimes called General or Journalistic Sources)

Articles always have bibliographies and end/footnotes.

Articles lack bibliographies or references.

Authors are always named, and their institutional affiliation is given.

Authors may be anonymous.

Articles may be peer-reviewed or refereed.

Articles are not peer-reviewed.

Target audience is academic or professional.

Target audience is the general public.

Journal title may include terms such as "journal," "review," or "bulletin" - but not always!

Magazine title doesn't usually include terms like "journal," "review," or "bulletin." Notable exceptions includeThe Wall Street Journal and Ladies' Home Journal--these are NOT scholarly.

Journal covers and pages tend to be plain in design. Some scholarly or professional journals contain advertisements (like JAMA), so identify the target audience to make your final determination.

Magazines tend to include advertisements, graphics, color photos, etc.

Issues tend to be successively numbered, with the page numbering of each issue beginning where the previous issue ended.

Each issue generally begins with page 1.

Articles tend to be longer.

Articles tend to be shorter, some only 1-2 pages.

Issues tend to be published less often (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually).

Issues tend to be published more frequently (monthly, weekly, daily).

Search Tips

Use truncation (*) to find word variants. Adolescen* retrieves adolescent, adolescents, adolescence.

Use quotation marks (" ") around phrases to search for exact phrases. 

Example: "Mechanical Ventilation"

MeSH Subject Headings

MeSH, an abbreviation of Medical Subject Headings, is the National Library of Medicine's thesaurus of medical terms used to index articles from biomedical journals for the MEDLINE®/PubMED® database. In MEDLINE/PubMed, every article is indexed with 10-15 headings and subheadings.

The medical terms, called MeSH descriptors, are arranged in an alphabetic and a hierarchical structure. The hierarchical structure is referred to as the MeSH Tree and is organized into 16 main categories, or branches.

The first branch of the MeSH tree is Anatomy with subheadings Body regions, Musculoskeletal system, Digestive system, Respiratory system, etc. PubMed automatically searches the MeSH headings and more specific terms beneath that heading in the MeSH hierarchy. This is known as the explosion feature.

Some terms occur in more than one place in the hierarchy. For example, "Eye" appears under the Anatomy branch, but also under the Sense Organs branch.

Here is a portion of the MeSH Tree structure for abdominal pain:

Diseases [C]

     Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms [C23]

                           Signs and Symptoms [C23.888]

                                Pain [C23.888.646]

                                     Abdominal Pain [C23.888.646.100]

                                          Abdomen, Acute [C23.888.646.100.200]

                                          Colic [C23.888.646.100.600]

                                          Renal Colic [C23.888.646.100.800]

What does this mean?
A search of PubMed using the term "abdominal pain" will produce more relevant results than using the term "stomach ache."


Using the thesaurus or index terms, also called a controlled vocabulary and takes the guess work out of searching. Since we have many different ways of describing concepts, drawing these terms together under a single word or phrase in a database makes searching the database more efficient.

Conducting a search in a database that uses controlled vocabulary or indexing terms is efficient and precise.Once you do find the correct term, most of the information you need is grouped together in one place, saving you the time of having to search under all of the other synonyms for that term.

Open Access Journals


Open Access Journal are journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. The journals must exercise peer-review or editorial quality control to be included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). For more information, visit their website at: DOAJ -- Directory of Open Access Journals