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FAQ
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Nursing Resources   Tags: evidence_based_practice, health_sciences, nursing  

Resources for anyone affiliated with the University of Iowa College of Nursing or University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014 URL: http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/nursing Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Choosing and Citing Sources Print Page
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Definitions

Citation: Describes the source so that others can locate it. Includes publication information, author name, and various other pieces of information, depending on type of source and style requirements.

Citation Style: Provides guidelines for consistent method to follow for documenting sources and for writing style. Some styles are much more flexible than others.

Works Cited: List of sources that were used to prepare the work.

Bibliography: Detailed list of all sources consulted during research even if the sources were not directly referred to in the content of the paper/presentation.

Annotated Bibliography: Annotations can be added to a bibliography to provide a summary of content, value, and quality of the source.

Online APA Style Resources

 

APA Guides at Hardin

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
We have a copy on permanent reserve; ask for this at the information desk.

 

Choosing Sources

Different Types of Sources

Primary sources are those that are a direct report by the author who was involved in the research or experience and is reporting the results shortly after completion. Emphasis should be on relaying facts with minimal analysis. Primary source designation does not necessarily indicate a high level of quality. However, all original research falls into this classification, and original research may be required for many assignments. Examples: clinical trials, case reports, research reports.

Secondary sources aim to review or summarize several to many primary resources. Quality is variable. Some of these, such as well constructed systematic reviews, have tremendous value. There is more focus on interpretation. Examples include: reviews and guidelines.

Tertiary sources may be a compilation of both primary and secondary sources. Sometimes, textbooks fall under this category. Encyclopedias, directories, and manuals may be examples of this type.

Using Secondary and Tertiary Sources: These sources are often the first places to look for information to provide background on a topic. Library owned or subscribed resources have been carefully chosen and are usually of reasonable quality.

Peer Reviewed Journals

The peer review process ensures that articles submitted to a journal are subjected to review by subject experts, sometimes rigorous, prior to publication. Most library databases, which allow you to conduct a search by topic, offer a feature that can limit your results by peer reviewed publications. Still, it is possible to retrieve a poorly written commentary from a high quality publication. If you are utilizing a database or tool that does not offer this limit, you can use the Ulrich's periodical dictionary, also available on the Health Sciences databases A-Z list, to determine if a journal is refereed (synonym for peer reviewed).

Using and Evaluating Web Resources

It is easy to locate much more information using free web resources than necessary. Often, conflicting information adds complication to the research process. Try to get in the habit of using advanced features in search engines to improve the quality of results retrieved. Also, use web resources to get a sense of a topic, but be aware that you will need to evaluate these sources carefully before considering them reliable. One way to approach web site analysis is the CRAAP test, developed by Meriam Library in Chico, CA.

C= currency  R= relevance  A= authority  A= accuracy  P= purpose

Handout on CRAAP test

 

Citing your Sources

Consider using a citation management software, such as RefWorks or Endnote, to simplify the process of collecting, organizing, and formatting your citations. The library offers group instruction or individual consultation for both tools. For more information about either tool, view the citing sources guide.

In the biomedical sciences and allied health fields, the most popular citation styles are the APA Style (American Psychological Association) and Vancouver Style (also known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals) (http://www.icmje.org/

 APA style is commonly used in the nursing and allied health fields.

Citation Builders

Citation builders may help you learn the basics of formatting references.

  • EBSCOhost  Icon  Icon
    EBSCOhost databases offer a "cite" feature that will format references in the following styles: AMA, APA, Vancouver, Chicago, Harvard, and MLA. When looking at a citation, the "Cite" option shows up on the right side of the screen. You can also email several references and choose the style in which they should be referenced.
  • KnightCite
    Formats references in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.
  • Medical & Scientific Citation Generator
    This tool can create citations in AMA format using PMID, DOI, URL, or ISBN. This is useful if you only have a few things to cite.
  • NCSU Citation Builder
    If you only have a few references to do, you can use this resource to automatically format reference in APA, MLA, and CBE/CSE style.
  • UNC Citation Builder
    Formats references in APA, MLA, and Chicago style.
 

What to Cite?

Here's a short list of reasons you  should cite:

--To avoid plagiarism

--To give credit where deserved

--To help your readers with their research

--To indicate that there is support for your argument or idea

What needs to be cited?

--Direct quotes, sentences, or phrases

--Paraphrases, which are summarized or re-phrased content

--Articles or studies that you refer to in your paper

--Historical or statistical facts

--Graphs, images, or charts

--Use of author's argument

What does not need to be cited?

--Proverbs and very well-known quotations

--Common knowledge. This may be difficult to determine. Think about facts that are common knowledge for a well-educated adult (you could even have a test subject). When in doubt, however, cite.

What about information I find on the web?

--You need to cite it unless it meets criteria above

Additional Resources

 

RefWorks

Are we missing something?

Know of a great resource that is not on this list?  Let us know!

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