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Nursing - Annual Colloquium 2021

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Dissertation Help & Expert-Level Research Resources

When performing a Literature Review at the doctoral level, the search will be complex:

  1. INFORMATION Search: When beginning a research project or a Dissertation Literature Review, look for background information FIRST. Be sure you have no basic knowledge gaps concerning your topic. Background information will be names of experts in the field and titles of seminal works, as well as the history and evolution of the topic and possibly statistics. This initial work lays your foundation.
  2. INFORMATION Search: Look for information to identify and then explore important sub-topic areas. Perform background research on each sub-topic.
  3. RESEARCH Search: Look for existing RESEARCH studies on your topic. Know the difference between INFORMATION published on your topic and RESEARCH published on your topic. They are NOT the same.
    1. Research studies TEST hypotheses and ask questions looking for what we DON'T know yet.
    2. Information resources published on your topic will be "state of the science" articles delineating and explaining what is ALREADY known. 

Pay close attention to the date of publication of both Information resources and research studies.


ADVICE: Create multiple Citation Folders to gather article citations, book chapters, blogs, videos, etc., for each type of information sought. Do NOT mix INFORMATION resource citations with RESEARCH study citation resources.

Most Dissertation resources will be found in Library Databases, but some information resources will not be published through commercial publishing sources. Information items published outside the normal publishing processes are called Gray Literature. Your Dissertation topic may (or may not) require gray literature. Consult your faculty and your librarian. 

Finding Search Terms

Search for search terms:

  1. Test search terms in Google Scholar (best guess).
  2. Look for additional terms / alternate spellings.
  3. Make a list > go to the databases.

Search for Controlled Vocabulary using the databases below:

MeSH Help On Demand

MeSH on Demand logo



Identify MeSH terms QUICKLY.

1. Copy/Paste article abstract into
     the MeSH on Demand textbox. 
2. Click the button.
3. Wait 30-45 seconds 
4. See your list of MeSH terms.