CINAHL tutorial

CINAHL, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature, is a library database for locating nusing articles.

To find CINAHL, click the "Search for articles by topic area" link.

Quick search boox

The "Databases by Subject" list will display a list of related databases for each area. The "Database QuickPicks" highlights databases for each subject area.  You can either find CINHAL under the Health and Medicine subject, or click on the CINHAL link under the "Database QuickPicks".

Database list

This is the main search bar where you would enter your search term/query:

CINHAL search box

When searching you will always want to make sure you have clicked on the box under Peer Reviewed. This makes sure the results you are getting have all gone through the peer-review process and can be considered scholarly.

Peer reviewed

You will also want to limit your results by date, usually to within the last five years. This makes sure you are getting results that are relevant and up-to-date.

Limit by date

Let’s do a search for ‘stem cells’ AND ‘ethics’. In this way we are doing a search for articles that are about the ethics of stem cells.

Sample search

This is the first result in our list. We can see that the PDF full text version of the article is available as there is a PDF Full Text notation at the bottom of the listing. To view more details on the article we would click on its title.

Sample result

Clicking on the article title in the results list brings us to the article abstract (basic summary of the article content) and the article’s publication information.

Detailed result

At this point, on the top, left side of the screen, there will be a link to the PDF full text of the article. This is where you click to read the article.

PDF link

The menu on the right side of the screen allows you to email an article to yourself, capture a citation in a specific format, or capture the permanent link to the article.

Further down the results list we run into an article that does not have a full text version immediately available. Note that instead of the "PDF Full Text" notation it says "Find Full Text or Request Copy".

Find full text link

If the article is available in another online database, clicking the Find Full Text link will bring you to the article. From here you can read the article in HTML format, or select the icon in the top left of the screen to download the PDF.

Full Text link

There will be instances in which the article cannot be located through another online source. At that point you would request the article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), by clicking on the Interlibrary loan online request form.

ILL box

The first time you use ILL you will be prompted to create an account.

ILL account

With Interlibrary loan, a request is sent to other libraries for the material. It is not an immediate fulfillment. Articles will be emailed to the address you have on file with your ILL account.


A. Steenburgh 10/7/2014