CINAHL Plus on EBSCOhost Search Strategy

  • CINAHL stands for the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. CINAHL Plus with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing and allied health journals, indexing over 7,900 journals and providing full text for more than 760 journals and 275 books. Below is a step-by-step search strategy that you can follow to find information in CINAHL Plus with Full Text on EBSCOhost.

    Search Strategies

    1. To access CINAHL Plus with Full Text, go to the library's home page and click on the Find Articles link, and then CINAHL Plus with Full Text under Nursing, Medicine, and Allied Health. This will take you to the Advanced Search screen for CINAHL Plus with Full Text.

    2. Click on the link for the CINAHL Headings. You will find this in the blue band at the top of the Advanced Search screen.

    • The CINAHL Headings are the official terms used by CINAHL to describe subjects.
    • Using the CINAHL Headings, as opposed to keywords, will help you to do more focused and efficient searching.

    3. Once in the CINAHL Headings, type the term you have in mind in the box labeled “CINAHL Headings" , click on relevancy ranked and then click on the Browse button.

    • If the word or phrase you typed in is a correct subject heading, it should be the first heading in the result list. If the word or phrase you entered is not the correct heading, CINAHL will usually direct you to the right one. In such a case, at the top of the result list your word or phrase will appear followed by the word USE in boldface. Following that will be displayed the correct subject heading to use in searching. It will be underlined and in blue. If your subject heading is not the correct one, but no correct heading is given, you should scroll through the resulting list of headings to see which one most closely fits the idea you are interested in. Sometimes there may be more than one. Write them down.
    • If you need more information on a heading to determine if it is the correct one to use, click on the icon to the far right of the heading. This will take you to the “Scope Note” (CINAHL’s definition for the heading). This should help clarify if you should use that heading.
    • Every term you want to use in your search should be searched in the CINAHL Headings.

    4. To enter your search in CINAHL, click on the New Search tab found in the blue band running near the top of the screen. This will take you back to the Advanced Search screen.

    5. Enter your subject headings in the “Search” boxes.

    • Using the pull down menus to the right of the “Search” boxes, choose MH (Exact Subject Heading). This will insure that CINAHL searches the words you have entered as subject headings and not just words appearing randomly in the retrieved citations.

    6. Scroll down to the section of the screen labeled “Limit Your Results” and click in the box labeled “Grace Library Print Journal Collection.” This will limit your results to only items owned in print by Grace library.

    • To search for research articles, click in the box next to “Research Article.”
    • To search for citations from nursing journals only, choose “Nursing” from the Journal Subset menu.
    • To search for online full text articles only, click in the box next to “Full Text.”

    7. To perform your search, scroll back up to the “Search” boxes where you typed your subject headings and click on the Search button, which is on the right side of the screen.

    8. To see more information about an article, click on its underlined title. If available you can print the full article by clicking on the PDF full text icon or the HTML full text icon.

    Logging Off CINAHL

    When you are finished using CINAHL Plus with Full Text it is extremely important to log off . CINAHL Plus with Full Text has a limit to the number of Carlow users that can access it, therefore when you log off you make the database available for other users. To log off CINAHL Plus with Full Text close your Internet Browser window.

    Accessing CINAHL from Off Campus

    If you would like to access CINAHL Plus with Full Text (EBSCOhost) from a computer that is not connected to the Carlow network, connect to the library's web page and click on the Off Campus Access link that is located on the right hand side of the homepage.

    Log into the system using your Carlow Active Directory username and password (the same username and password that you use to log into lab computers). Additional instructions are available on the off campus web page to help you to access library databases from off campus.