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Surgical Technology Research Guide

Identifying Research Journals and Peer Review

If you are asked to find Evidence Based articles, your instructor wants you to review research studies to find supportive evidence of best practices.

When determining whether to use a information from a specific journal, find out whether the journal publishes research articles, and what areas they primarily publish in.

See if the journal undergoes a peer-review evaluation of the articles submitted to them before they are accepted for publication. Learn about Peer Review in 3 Minutes from the NCSU Libraries.

In CINAHL: click on the journal title in the Source field for a description of the journal, major subjects covered, and to find out if the journal is peer-reviewed.

In PubMed: search the journal title on the Internet to find the publishers information that will include a description of the journal.

Population/Problem, Intervention/Issue of Interest, and Outcome of Interest

Start by defining:

Who is your patient population/diagnosis or problem?

What is the intervention or clinical issue of interest you are studying?

What is the desired patient outcome?

You will transform the population or problem, intervention/issue of interest, and outcome of interest into various search statements to find relevant research articles.

Medical Subject Headings - CINAHL and MESH Headings

Medical Subject Headings are a structured list of descriptors that reflect the medical discipline. These Headings help you identify the preferred health professions terminology to use in the database and are also called Controlled Vocabulary. All articles in the CINAHL and PubMed databases are coded using these subject headings. Searching using these headings will provide you with a more inclusive set of results.

In CINAHL: use CINAHL Headings

In PubMed: use the MeSH Database 

Using Advanced Search the AND Connector

In CINAHL and PubMed, use Advanced Search to create search statements that string together your search concepts with the AND connector.

CINAHL Limiters

In CINAHL: click on "Show More" in the Refine Results column under "Limit To" to see an extensive list of limiters. Select Published Date year ranges, English Language, Peer Reviewed, and Research Article. To limit to a specific journal like the AORN Journal, or MedSurg Nursing use the Publication field.               


PubMed Filters

In PubMed: Limit by Article Type including Clinical Trials, Randomized Control Trials, Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis to retrieve research studies. Limit by Publication Date. Add terms as relevant like pathology, surgical anatomy, equipment, instruments, supplies, preoperative or postoperative considerations, positioning, draping, anesthesia to your search to improve results for viewing articles from relevant journals.