Journal Articles

Journal Articles


Research Help is still available during Spring 2020 remote instruction!

Email or chat your subject librarian using the contact information on the right of this page. We can provide remote research assistance via Zoom (which allows for screensharing), chat, email, and phone.  

Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
CINAHL Complete

CINAHL, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature, provides indexing for articles from 5,400 journals in the fields of nursing and allied health. This database provides full text access to more than 1,300 journals dating back to 1937.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1937 to current Most
PubMed @ CSUSM

The premier database of world biomedical literature on clinical medicine and preclinical research. Medline provides a more user-friendly interface, but less updated content.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1966 to current All
OVID Nursing Journals

This collection from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) includes full text access to journal articles in the field of nursing and health sciences as well as multimedia content.

Some full-text current Most
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

The Cochrane Library is a collection of six databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making, and a seventh database that provides information about groups in The Cochrane Collaboration.

Full-text current Most
Google Scholar CSUSM

Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It current to current All

Also Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly

Available via EbscoHost: A comprehensive international database of psychology, covering the academic, research, and practice literature in psychology from over 45 countries in more than 30 languages.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1887 to current All
Web of Science

Contains citation Idexes for Science, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Book Citations from 2004 to present. Select "Web of Science Core Collection" to conduct cited reference search.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current All
Sociological Abstracts

Provides access to the latest international findings in theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and political science.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1963 to current All
Social Services Abstracts

Abstracts of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1980 to current All
Social Work Abstracts

This database provides access to social work and human services journals from 1965 to the present. Topics include addictions, therapy, child and family welfare, civil and legal rights, mental health, education, and human services.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1965 to current Most

Quick Search Tips

Quick Search Tips


Tips for the search!


1) Generating keywords

  • think of more than one way to discuss your topic and use a variety of terms/synonyms to search
    • ("academic achievement" OR "academic performance") AND (coping OR resilience)
  • look up your topic online to find more keywords (wikipedia is a great resource for this!)


2) Boolean Operators

  • AND - returns literature that includes both terms
  • OR - returns literature that includes either terms
  • NOT - excludes literature with the term

Image of venn diagrams displaying boolean logic examples.


3) Truncation

  • putting an asterisk at the root of a term will return variations of word
  • tour*  =  tour, tours, tourist, tourism, toured


4) Parenthesis

  • use parentheses around synonyms for the same concept
  • (coping OR resilience) AND stress AND (program* OR treatment)


5) Controlled Vocab

  • The "subjects" attached to each result represent the controlled vocab for that database


6) Still not getting good results?

Research Help Videos: CINAHL

Research Help Videos: CINAHL



The 3 videos below provide a brief introduction to using the nursing and allied health database, CINAHL. Always remember to enter CINAHL through links on the CSUSM Library website to ensure you will be connected to the full text articles available.

If you have questions, contact your librarian!

Finding articles in CINAHL: The basics of searching and accessing articles. 

Searching by CINAHL Subject Headings: Focused searching using Subject Headings.

Database Comparison: Highlights the differences between CINAHL, Google Scholar, and PubMed. Covers when to use each database and why. 


Research Help Videos: PubMed

Research Help Videos: PubMed


Searching the PubMed Database 

The 3 videos below provide a brief introduction to using the database, PubMed. Always remember to enter the PubMed database through links on the CSUSM Library Website to ensure you will be connected to the full text articles available.

Want to learn more about PubMed? Review this tutorial from the National Library of Medicine.

If you have questions, contact your librarian!

Accessing Pubmed and Getting Full-text Articles


Searching PubMed: MeSH Subject Headings and Filtering Results


Searching PubMed: Finding Literature Reviews and Requesting Articles through Interlibrary Loan




Books often provide a broader treatment of a topic or issue. A book on the issue you are studying can provide background and a base of knowledge. A research project always needs some sort of background or context before discussing the focused issue.

Library Catalog - Find physical and online books at Cal State San Marcos. 
You can also request books from other libraries through CSU+ and InterLibrary Loan (ILL).  

In order to place a request:

  • Start your search in OneSearch.
  • When you locate an item you want to request, click the "Get it through CSU+" link, which will prompt you to sign in with your CSUSM credentials in order to place the request.  
  • If the CSU+ link is not visible, that means that a CSU library doesn't hold the item, but you can still request it through ILL by clicking the "Get it through Interlibrary Loan" link.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) enables CSUSM Library to borrow materials from libraries all over the world.  ILL can take slightly longer than CSU+ for materials to be received (up to 7-12 days).

Screenshot of the OneSearch interface for a book called "Systems engineering for microscale and nanoscale technologies" highlighting the "Get it through CSU+ (2-3 days for delivery)" link

I need to find specific materials that I can't always find in OneSearch - no CSU has them.  How will I find them and request them?

If you cannot locate materials you need in OneSearch, try WorldCat.  WorldCat is a database of library books and materials held at thousands of libraries worldwide.  When you find a book you are interested in through WorldCat, use the "GetIt! @ San Marcos" link to check if the item is available at CSUSM, or the "Request through Interlibrary Loan" to send the item information to CSUSM's ILL system to place the request.

Screenshot of web showing embedded ILL request buttons for a book called "the practitioner's guide to user experience design"

Important note: Off-campus, you must use the link to WorldCat from the Library's Research Databases by Title list and login as a CSUSM user when prompted in order to seamlessly place requests from WorldCat through CSUSM ILL.  This is because when you are on campus, WorldCat knows you are a CSUSM user; but off-campus, you will need to login in order to be identified as a CSUSM user and see CSUSM's custom ILL links in WorldCat.

You can also directly fill out a request form for any items you need using the Library's ILL request form.


Searching for books by Subject Headings

  • Subject headings are words and phrases specifically created to tell you what a book is about.
  • They are the controlled vocabulary of the catalog.

One way to search by subject headings is to begin with a keyword search in the library catalog.

  • Locate a relevant item and click details to view the record.
  • Click one of the links under "Subjects" to view a list of other items that have been assigned the same subject heading. 

This image shows the details of a book record in the catalog. The subject headings of the book are highlighted. These headings can help to revise a search strategy.

What's the difference between searching by keyword and searching by subject headings?

Keyword Searching
  • Searching by keyword will return all results that include your search terms anywhere in the item record.
  • It is a more broad, less focused search.

This image shows an example of a keyword search. 21 results are found with the following search: (veterans ptsd).

Subject Searching
  • Searching by subject will only return those results that have been tagged with that specific word or phrase as a subject heading.
  • It will result in a more focused search.

This image shows a subject search. The title of the subject heading is (Veterans Mental Health Services United States). Subject searches can return more relevant results.

Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research



Quantitative research (empirical) articles will tackle research questions that can be measured numerically and described using statistics. An example of quantitative research would be a randomized controlled trial.



Contains statistical analysis

Large sample size

Objective-little room to argue with the numbers

Type of research: descriptive studies, exploratory studies, experimental studies, explanatory studies, predictive studies, clinical trials


Ways of finding quantitative studies

1) Search your keywords with quantitative or with the type of study you want to find. For example:

“chronic pain” AND quantitative

“chronic pain” AND “clinical trial*”



2) If using the CINAHL database, choose the limiter shown below before you search:




Qualitative research articles will attempt to answer questions that cannot be strictly measured by numbers but rather by perceived meaning. Qualitative research will likely include interviews, case studies, ethnography, or focus groups.



includes interviews

Small sample size

Subjective-researchers are often interpreting meaning

Methods used: phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, historical method, case study


Ways of finding qualitative studies

1) Search your keywords with qualitative or the type of study you are looking for. For example:

“chronic pain” AND (“case study” or “grounded theory” or ethnography or “historical method” or phenomenology)

“chronic pain” AND qualitative 




2) If using the CINAHL database, choose one of the 3 limiters shown below or select all 3 for the broadest search:

Qualitative clinical queries:

  • High Sensitivity – the broadest search to include ALL relevant material. It may include less relevant materials.
  • High Specificity – the most targeted search to include only the most relevant result set, may miss some relevant materials.
  • Best Balance – retrieves the best balance between Sensitivity and Specificity. 


Finding Articles in Nursing Journals

Finding Articles in Nursing Journals


This page provides tips on how to determine if an article is published in a Nursing-specific journal and how to narrow your database searches in CINAHL and PubMed to articles published in Nursing Journals. 


How can you tell if an article is published in a Nursing Journal?

Step 1: Identify the title of the journal.



Step 2: Look up the journal title in a search engine to find the homepage of the journal.   

Google search of a journal title.


Step 3: Find the "About" section on the journal website homepage, this will give you the scope and audience of the journal. This information will help you determine whether the publication falls under nursing or some other discipline (medical, psychology, sociology, etc.) 

Note: Many journals are multidisciplinary and include nursing as part of a broader scope. Nursing-only journals will often have the words "nurse" or "nursing" in the title.

Image of the scope section on a journal website.



Can I limit my database search to Nursing Journals?

Yes! However, make sure you double check the articles that come up in these searches with the process outlined above. 

CINAHL Advanced Search - option to limit by Nursing Journal Subset

Image of advanced search options in CINAHL. Narrow in the


PubMed Journal Categories Filter

Image shows the PubMed Journal Categories limiter. Narrow by


Writing Literature Reviews

Writing Literature Reviews


A literature review is not research, it is a review of the research that has been done on your topic. A literature review is NOT just a summary, but a conceptually organized synthesis of the results of your search. It must

  • organize information and relate it to the thesis or research question you are developing
  • synthesize and critically analyze the results comparing and contrasting their findings
  • identify controversy and themes that appear in the literature

A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another. It's usually a bad sign to see every paragraph beginning with the name of a researcher. Instead, organize the literature review into sections that present themes or identify trends, including relevant theory. You are not trying to list all the material published, but to synthesize and evaluate it according to the guiding concept of your thesis or research question. (From Univ. of Toronto)

Check out these sites for more help understanding literature reviews


Tips on conducting research for a literature review

  • Use bibliographies and reference pages of articles to direct your research. You may start to see some trends with the people who are writing about your topic. Check the bibliography for more articles about your topic.
  • Use the authors who you have found to be writing on your topic as starting points. Look for additional articles, and rebuttals, retractions or responses to their research

Use this chart to track articles you read for your literature review:




Finding statistical information for a population of interest

Use the video and the list of reputable statistics resources below for tips on how to find statistics for the community you're researching. If you have any questions, follow up with your librarian! 



Mental Health
Cultures and Health

Tests & Measures

Tests & Measures

Tests and Measures in Psychology


Test collections and reviews

Start here
Many students find what they are looking for in the books listed below. The items listed below are collections of measures and include information on scoring, validity, reliability, etc.

Measures for clinical practice : a sourcebook  
 Available at Check Out Desk
View Volume 1 Table of Contents
View Volume 2 Table of Contents

  • One of our most useful collections of measures.
  • Useful in clinical psychology with tests for children through adults.
  • Specifically useful for marriage and family assessments.
  • Contains reviews of test and example tests.

Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes 
 Available at Check Out Desk
View Table of Contents

  • One of our most useful collections of measures.
  • Provides a wide range of scales and measures used in the social sciences.
  • Focuses on attitude and personality scales for use in research and lab settings.
  • Includes the tests.

Rating scales in mental health
View Table of Contents

  • Provides a wide range of scales and measures.

Measuring violence-related attitudes, behaviors, and influences among youths: a compendium of assessment tools
View Table of Contents

  • One of our most useful collections of measures.
  • A wide ranging collection that has measures far beyond violence-related topics.

Measures included

  • Contains a wide variety of tests, despite the title.
  • Includes the tests.
  • Reviews reliability and validity.

Handbook of sexuality-related measures 
View Table of Contents

  • A systematic review of sexuality-related measures.
  • Organized by topic and includes description, scoring, reliability, and validity.
  • Includes the tests.

Handbook of family measurement techniques 

Volume 1 Table of Contents
Volume 2 Table of Contents
Volume 3 Table of Contents

  • While this source has many measures that may be of use, it can be confusing to navigate this 3 volume set. Please contact Yvonne Meulemans if you need help.
  • Includes measures as well as detailed abstracts about the measures.

The measurement of attitudes toward people with disabilities : methods, psychometrics, and scales
View Table of Contents 
scroll to Part 3 for list of measures included


Measures of political attitudes
View Table of Contents

  • Comprehensive collection of political attitude measures.
  • Includes measures of: liberalism and conservatism, economic values, racial attitudes, trust in government, and other related concepts.

Handbook of tests and measurements in education and the social sciences
View Table of Contents

  • Provides a variety of measures that could be used in an educational setting. (e.g. Self-efficacy in teachers, Teacher burnout.)
  • Includes a very informative first chapter on data analysis.

Borg's perceived exertion and pain scales
View Table of Contents

  • Includes actual scales and instructions for use.

Measuring health
View Table of Contents

  • Provides measures on disability, psychological well-being, quality of life, and other aspects of health.
  • Includes validity, reliability and scoring parameters.

Handbook of psychiatric measures
View Table of Contents

  • A collection of measures for the clinical setting.
  • Includes the tests and reviews.
  • Accompanying CD-ROM includes over 100 actual measures.

Handbook of measurements for marriage and family therapy

Assessing children's well-being : a handbook of measures 
View Table of Contents

  • 20 measures of children's health, perceptions of health, and related issues.
  • Includes validity, reliability and scoring parameters.

Measurement of nursing outcomes
Volume 1 Table of Contents 
Volume 2 Table of Contents 
Volume 3 Table of Contents

Handbook of community-based and home health nursing practice : tools for assessment, intervention, and education 
View Table of Contents

Assessing alcohol problems : a guide for clinicians and researchers
View list of 53 instruments

Multi-dimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research

  • A collection of measures of religiosity and related areas.
  • Includes the tests, reviews, validity and reliability information.

Pereira, MA. FitzerGerald SF, Gregg EW, et. al. (1997). A collection of Physical Activity Questionnaires for health-related research. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29 (6 Supplement), S1-S205.
Journal’s call number: RC1200 .M44 

  • A collection of questionnaires to measure physical activity.

Lists, descriptions, and references to measures

Mental Measurements Yearbook aka Buros mental measurements yearbook
Z5814.P8 B932 5th Floor Stacks

  • The comprehensive source for test reviews.
  • Organized alphabetically by measure title.
  • Indexes measures by title, title acronym, subject, and authors.

Tests in Print 
Z5814.E9 T47 Reference and 5th Floor Stacks

  • Describes what the test is useful for.
  • Provides information on how to acquire the test.
  • Indexes test by titles, subject, author, acronyms.

Tests: a comprehensive reference for assessments in psychology, education, and business 
BF176 .T43 4th Floor Stacks

  • For use by experimental and clinical psychologists, business administration, and educational professionals.
  • Indexed by test title, author, publisher, as well as by tests for the hearing impaired.
  • Great book for general review of psychology, education, business.

Test Critiques
BF176 .T418 4th Floor Stacks

  • Indexed by author, publisher, subject.
  • Has reliability and validity information, and a critique of the test.
  • Does not include the test.

Handbook of multicultural assessment 
BF176 .H36 2001 4th Floor Stacks 

  • Useful when studying cultural differences or cultural biases.
  • Categorized by type of assessment test (i.e. personality, cognitive abilities).
  • Includes a review of the test with samples questions, but not the actual test.

Directory of unpublished experimental mental measures 
BF431 .G625 4th Floor Stacks 

  • Focuses on unpublished, non-copyrighted tests.
  • Lists tests in behavior, creativity, perception, achievement, aptitude, communication, development, interest, and motivation.
  • Tests not included.

Gender roles: a handbook for tests and measures
HM253 .B43 4th Floor Stacks

  • A comprehensive listing of sex/gender role measures.
  • Includes complete list of references that have used measure.
  • A similar publication is Handbook of sexuality-related measures. (see above) 

Directory of psychological tests in the sport and exercise sciences
GV706.4 .D57 2002 4th Floor Stacks

  • Chapters organized by general areas of study.
  • Includes reliability and validity information.
  • Indexing by subject and author.

The Survey Kit 
HN29 .S724 2003 v.1-10

  • Enables reader to prepare and conduct surveys in addition to evaluating survey results.
  • Useful to those who must create a survey not already in use.
  • No sample tests included.

Assessment of family violence : a handbook for researchers and practitioners 
HV6626 .F45 2003 4th Floor Stacks

  • Provides in-depth information on a variety of measures of partner violence.
  • Provides primary reference for each measure.
  • Organized by measure name with good subject index. 

Assessment of partner violence : a handbook for researchers and practitioners 
RC560.S44 R38 2004 5th Floor Stacks

  • Provides in-depth information on a variety of measures of partner violence.
  • Provides primary reference for each measure.
  • Organized by measure name with good subject index. 

The ETS Test Collection catalog 
LB3051 .E79 1986- Reference

  • Contains over 18,000 published and unpublished tests.
  • A multiple volume set.
  • Does not contain the actual test.


Searching the web

Web sites with tests and measures that are worth using in your research are rare. The web sites below are the best places to search for tests and measures. Most often, your result list will direct you back to the professional literature or provide test publisher information.

Mental Measurements Yearbook aka Buros Institute of Mental Measurement

  • Not a substitute for the print edition of MMY.
  • An online version of Buros Mental Measurement Yearbook.
  • Provides test reviews and references to tests.

Finding Psychological Tests

  • From the APA web site.
  • Provides basic guidelines to finding tests.

Cultural Resources

Cultural Resources


Cultural groups: suggested web sites


United States Census and Government Data

The US Census 2010 briefs are a great resource. Here are a few related to ethnic subpopulations:


Books on a cultural group

When searching the library's collection for books on a cultural group, start with broad, basic terms.

  • Looking for: information on Mexican-Americas and health attitudes--------->  Search: (mexican* OR chican* OR hispanic*) AND health*
  • Looking for: information on African-American mental health------------>  Search: (black OR african*) AND ("mental health" OR "mental illness" OR psycholog*)


Other Sources 

Copy and paste the title into the catalog to see if it's available. All reference books are kept in the library.

  • Guide to culturally competent health care  RA418.5.T73 P87 2005  available in REFERENCE  and 5th Floor Stacks
  • Encyclopedia of medical anthropology : health and illness in the world's cultures   RA418 .E53 2004 REFERENCE
  • Cross-cultural medicine  RA418.5.T73 C765 2003 5th Floor Stacks
  • Refugee and immigrant health : a handbook for health professionals  RA418.5.T73 K45 2004  5th Floor Stacks
  • Cultural diversity in health & illness  RA418.5.T73 S64 2004 5th Floor Stacks
  • A nation of peoples : a sourcebook on America's multicultural heritage   E184.A1 N2866 1999  REFERENCE
  • Encyclopedia of immigration and migration in the American West   HB1965 .E53 2006  REFERENCE
  • American immigrant cultures : builders of a nation   E184.A1 A63448 1997  REFERENCE
  • Multiculturalism in the United States : a comparative guide to acculturation and ethnicity   E184.A1 M85 1992 REFERENCE and 4th Floor Stacks
  • Gale Encyclopedia of multicultural America
  • Encyclopedia of multiculturalism    E184.A1 E58 1994 REFERENCE

Grants & Funding

Grants & Funding


General Funding Resources

  • Pivot - *CSUSM only.* Pivot contains information on available grants, awards, fellowships, from federal/non-federal, corporate/private foundation, and international funding sources.
  • Federal Grants - Find and apply for federal grants at
  • Book: The Foundation Directory  Location: Library Reference (3rd Floor)  AS911.A2 F65
  • Book: Annual Register of Grant Support  Location: Library Reference (3rd Floor)  AS911.A2 A67
  • Foundation Center  Use this resource to find funders. Locate basic information by organization name, contact information and 990 IRS returns. Contains statistics on foundation and grant activity, search for RFP announcements for calls for grant applications. 
  • The Grantsmanship Center  Lists funding sources by state.
  • Guidestar  Use this website to find foundations and non-profit organizations that are interested in programs like yours. You will have to go separately afterwards to the organizations' websites to see what granting opportunities they offer. To find relevant foundations and organizations, click on "Take Action for Your Favorite Causes" and select the issue your program deals with.

Local Funding Resources



Nursing-Related Grants



Health-Related Grants


Distance Students

Distance Students

Thesis Submission Guidelines

Thesis Submission Guidelines

APA Citation Help

APA Citation Help


Citing sources is expected in scholarly communities and is almost always required in research papers. Scholars cite:

  • to give credit where credit is due;
  • so your reader (professor) can find the source that you mentioned in your assignment;
  • to add credibility to your research - shows you did the work;
  • and to avoid plagiarism!

Not sure where to start? Review this Flow Chart of the citation process before you continue!

APA Style

APA stands for the American Psychological Association. This is the preferred citation style of many of the social and behavioral sciences. Always remember to check your assignment guidelines or ask your professor which citation style they prefer for your work.

Please note that the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in October 2019.  The American Psychological Association expects students and professors to transition to this new edition in the spring of 2020 or thereafter.  The CSUSM library is awaiting the delivery of the new guides and the transition of other reliable sources to the 7th edition before updating its own citation guide. If you are required to use the 7th edition prior to our updating our APA page, please go directly to the APA's Style and Grammar Guidelines website or contact a librarian directly for assistance.

Official APA Style Manual Resources

  • APA Style Manual (BF76.7 P83 2010)  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: the most current APA style manual is available at the Kellogg library. Click on the above link to find a copy. 
  • The official APA website  Off campus or need APA guidelines right now? Access the official APA website for citation help by clicking the above link. This site has useful tutorials and up-to-date facts about citing in APA.  


Helpful Online Resources


Also Helpful: Citation Generators

  • Zotero  Zotero is a tool for storing citations and generating bibliographies using data collected from the library catalog or websites such as Amazon or Google. For more information on using Zotero, see our Zotero Guide. Always double check your results with citation generators, they are not always perfect!
  • KnightCite Citation Service   This citation generator formats your citations for you. This can be a convenient tool, especially if you have a lot of sources to cite, but it is NOT 100% accurate. ALWAYS check an additional resource like the APA Manual or Purdue OWL to make sure that the citation is formatted correctly!


Sample Papers in APA format


In-class Activity

In-class Activity