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Nursing - Denton

Nursing research guide for Denton students, faculty, and staff.

Dissertation Help & Expert-Level  Resources

When performing research for a Dissertation Literature Review, the search will be complex:

  1. INFORMATION Search: Look for background information FIRST. Be sure you have no basic knowledge gaps on your topic. Background information will be names of experts in the field and seminal works, as well as the history and evolution of the topic.
  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. Research studies TEST hypotheses.

ADVICE: Create Citation Folders to archive 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Most Dissertation resources will be found in Library Databases, but some information resources will not be published through commercial publishing sources.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 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.

       Gray Literature


Hopewell S, Loudon K, Clarke Mike J, Oxman Andrew D, Dickersin K. Publication bias in clinical trials due to statistical significance or direction of trial results. 
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [serial on the  Internet]. 2009; (1): MR000006.

Looking for Conference Proceedings? Try this resources:



Unpublished Results Initiatives

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Dissertations and Theses

NOTE: Universities archive dissertations written by their students. Search individual university library catalogs.

​RefWorks 3.0

The TWU Libraries will transition to RefWorks 3.0 by the end of 2017.       Watch for announcements.

For help using RefWorks, see the Libraries' RefWorks 3.0 webpages below.

Folder Structure
Use a folder system for organizing your research.

           RefWorks folder structure example

Folder Icon   MAIN FOLDER -- Dissertation Topic Folder - The main topic of the dissertation is the head folder.

  Folder Icon    SUB-FOLDER  
      Dissertation Subtopic 1, 2, 3, etc.
 - Beneath the main folder, add as many subtopic folders as needed. These subtopics may be background information, research methodology, statistical information or subject chapters, etc. You decide. 

Folder Icon

      ILL Requests:
 Hold the citations of articles and books that require TWU's ILL service. After you receive the full-text item, move the citation back to the appropriate subject folder. This process tracks requests and ensures you receive all ILLs.

Folder Icon

Delete or Trash - Do NOT delete citations --- even if you think you do not need them! Hold on to any citations that seem to be irrelevant. Later on you may discover you need or want them. This folder is a safe spot.

Folder Icon

 Hold all the citations used in your final dissertation manuscript. As you write, move or copy the citation to this folder. Once you've finished writing, your bibliography will be readymade!

Folder Icon

 - Hold interesting or tangential articles for future research.

Create a folder:

Click the Down Arrow beside My Folders to expand the options. Click + Add a Folder. Then name your folder and click SAVE.


Create a sub-folder:

Hover your mouse over the folder name. Three vertical dots will appear on the right. Click on the dots, then click on Add subfolder. Name your folder and click SAVE.

               RefWorks 3.0 Folder Menu

Search Hedges

Search Hedge Title

A Search Hedge is a readymade search strategy created by expert researchers.

These special search strategies return higher quality results.

Hedges are created uniquely for individual databases and are tested.

Below are some sources of readymade Search Hedges.

Want help determining where to publish? Use JANE below for help.

WARNING: Please contact Amanda Zerangue BEFORE publishing any part of your Dissertation. Many PhD students have lost their copyrights and intellectual property due to publishing too soon. Amanda is a specialist in INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY and COPYRIGHTs.

Journal/Author Name Estimator

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.