Conducting a Library Search – NR- 500

Conducting a Library Search

Specific academic search in any scholarly database depends on individual’s ability to identify and to use the right search keyword. Right research strategies are also required to effect advance search and to ensure that needed information has been obtained. Advance searching entails the utilization of the thesaurus of medical subject heading. Although there are a number of strategies that can be employed, establishing the right key word is the major step into obtaining the right information (Cleary et al., 2009). In this case, the selected topic of interest is mental health nursing. The two selected databases include Wiley online library and science direct health category. The search for the topic involved accessing the home page of the database, nursing and health professional. From there the “mental health nursing” keyword was typed in the search tool and results obtained. This was followed by refining the search to the most recent publication using date aspect to refine the search.

The initial search in the Wiley Online Library contained 11 lab protocols, 1625 databases, 7894 books and 106746 journal articles. The refined search involved articles published between 2010 and 2015. This provided a total of 4 lab protocols, 1405 databases, 3656 books and 32393 journal articles. Refinement based on 2011 to 2015 years and topic of psychiatric nursing resulted to 4 lab protocols, 849 databases, 1389 books and 13979 journals (Wiley, 2015). In Science Direct databases the first search of “mental health nursing “resulted to 86248 journals, 8602 books and 902 reference work. After filtering the content based on the year of publication from 2011 to 2015, the result changed to 314 reference work, 2151 books and 21885 journal articles. Filtering based on publication title of psychiatric nursing resulted to 409 articles.  The search is a clear indication that one can get a more refined answer or information by using the right keywords that define the exact information one may wish for. Moreover date refinement makes it easier for the researcher to choose for the right articles (Elservier, 2015).


Cleary, M., Hunt, G., & Horsfall, J. (2009). Conducting efficient literature searches. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 47(11), 34–41.

Elservier. (2015). Science direct. Retrieved from < >

Wiley. (2015). Wiley online library. Retrieved from <>

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