Using CINAHL Plus with Full Text
Welcome to the CINAHL Database Information Screen! To find what you are looking for, browse the topics listed below.
- [About the Database]
- [Searching Tips]
- [Searchable Fields]
- [Definition of Fields]
- [CINAHL Subject Headings]
- [Free Floating Subheadings]
- [Publications Authority File]
- [Index Browse]
About the Database
CINAHL provides indexing for over 1,700 current nursing and allied health journals and other publications dating back to 1982, and contains over 1,000,000 records. Offering complete coverage of English-language nursing journals and publications from the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses' Association, CINAHL covers nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines. Examples of titles offered inCINAHL include: AANA Journal, California Hospitals, Gastroenterology Nursing, Maternal and Child Health Journal, Paediatric Nursing, Parents, etc. In addition, this database offers access to health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, audiovisuals and book chapters. Full text material includes 60 journals plus legal cases, clinical innovations, critical paths, drug records, research instruments, clinical trials.
There are a number of helpful tips and hints you can use to improve your search results. For example, you can use Boolean operators to link terms together; limit the search to a specific title; and /or restrict the search to a particular date range.
Note: Stopwords are commonly used words such as articles, pronouns, and prepositions. These words are not indexed for searching in the database. For example, 'the', 'for', and 'of' are stopwords. When a stopword is used in a query, any single word or no word is retrieved in place of the stopword. When searching strings that contain stopwords or a Boolean operator, it is necessary to use quotation marks.
Sometimes a search can be overly general (results equal too many hits) or overly specific (results equal too few hits). To fine tune your search, you can use AND, OR, and NOT operators to link your search words together. These operators will help you narrow or broaden your search to better express the terms you are looking for and to retrieve the exact information you need quickly.
USING THE "AND" OPERATOR: If you have a search term that is too general, you can append several terms together using "AND". By stringing key terms together, you can further define your search and reduce the number of results. Note: Unless you define a specific search field, the result list will contain references where all your search terms are located in either the citation, full display or full text.
• For example, type high risk AND injury to find only articles that reference high risk injuries.
USING THE "OR" OPERATOR: In order to broaden a search, you can link terms together by using the "OR" operator. By using "OR" to link your terms together you can find documents on many topics. Linked by this operator, your words are searched simultaneously and independently of each other.
• As an example, search high risk AND injury OR trauma to find results that contain either the terms "high risk" and "injury", or the term "trauma".
USING THE "NOT" OPERATOR: In order to narrow a search, you can link words together by using the "NOT" operator. This operator will help you to filter out specific topics you do not wish included as part of your search.
- Type: high risk OR injury NOT trauma to find results that contain the terms "high risk" or "injury", but not the term "trauma".
- To further define your results, type: high risk AND injury AND trauma to constrict the search to include all terms linked by the "AND" operator.
Grouping Terms Together Using Parentheses
Parentheses also may be used to control a search query. Without parentheses, a search is executed from left to right. Words that you enclose in parentheses are searched first. Why is this important? Parentheses allow you to control and define the way the search will be executed. The left phrase in parentheses is searched first; then based upon those results the second phrase in parentheses is searched.Generalized Search: heart or lung and blood or oxygen Focused Search: (heart or lung) and (blood or oxygen)
In the first example, the search will retrieve everything on "heart" as well as references to the terms "lung" and "blood", and everything on "oxygen".
In the second example, we have used the parentheses to control our query to only find articles about heart or lung that reference blood or oxygen.
Limiting a Search Using Entry Date (EM)
Using the entry date field (em), you can narrow the search to a specific date. To search the most current articles of the database, the entry date field code is essential. For example,
• Type: critical care and em 200012
In the example above, the entry month field will produce only results concerning critical care entered into the database in December 2000. Note: you can use a hyphen to indicate an open-ended date range. Entering a hyphen either before or after an entry month will find results "on or before" or "on or after" the date entered.
- Example: type nursing home and em 200012- (to retrieve articles about nursing homes entered from December 2000 to the present).
- Example: type twins and em -200012 (to retrieve articles about twins entered previous to and including December 2000).
The default fields for unqualified searches consist of the following: Title, Abstract and Subject headings.
The following list will help you locate detailed information using field tags.
Searches for records that contain an abstract of the document. Values searches are either "Y" or "N."
|AA Y or AA N|
Searches the abstract summary for keywords.
Institution of affiliation or address of the first author.
|AF Harvard Medical|
Searches for words within the age groups identified in a document.
|AG Aged, 80 and Over|
The unique number assigned to each record by CINAHL. These numbers are searchable and can be used to locate specific citations.
Searches the exact author name in last/first name format.
|AR Smith C|
Searches personal author names in the format last name followed by one or more initials.
|AU Smith T|
Searches for words within the title and/or bibliographic reference information
|BG Ettinger WH|
Name of the corporate author if the document was not authored by individuals.
|CA Nursing Society|
|CC||Exact Major Subject Heading
Searches the exact Major Subject Heading from the Major Subject Heading field.
|CC Therapeutic Touch|
Y value searches for CINAHL Interactive CE.
|CF||Cochrane Record Flag
Y value searches from the Cochrane Library.
|CH||Exact Subject Heading
Searches for words in the Major Subject Heading field.
List of features that are part of the specific record. Some records contain a searchable list of features within the record.
|CN Table of Contents|
Lists individuals who contributed to a work, but who are not principal authors. Searches article in the format last name followed by one or more initials.
|CO Brown G|
Citations for published comments or responses to this article.
CINAHL subject headings that specify particular aspects such as age groups and gender; values consist of the following:
Age Related -
Note: When searching the descriptive text of a check tag, it is necessary to use quotation marks if the description contains a Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT), e.g. CT "Aged, 80 and Over".
|CW||Core Heading Word
See MJ: Word in Major Subject Heading
|CW color therapy|
Searches the exact subject headings which describe the focus of the document.
|DE Dairy Products|
May contain information about the publication or describe a protocol or standard.
Searches the exact Dissertation Order Number.
|DT||Date of Publication
Searches the date of publication in YYMM, YYMMDD or YYYYMMDD format. See also the 'PD' tag.
Searches editor names in the format last name followed by one or more initials.
|ED Moore K|
Date of entry of an article into the CINAHL database in YYYYMM or YYYYMMDD format.
|FM||Full Text Indicator
Searches for full text. Value of 'T' retrieves HTML full text.
Performs an exact search for the value "Y" indicating that an article contains references.
|FT||Full Text flag
Y value searches for items which contain the full text of an article in either PDF or ASCII format.
Searches funding information including the institution(s), and grant number if available.
|GI Red Cross|
Searches the exact International Standard Book Number; can be searched with or without the dash.
|IB 0-323-00996-4 or IB 0323009964|
Searches words in the Instrumentation field which includes statistical instruments discussed in an article.
|IN depression scale|
Searches the Issue/Part/Supplement of a serial publication.
Searches the exact International Standard Serial Number; can be searched with or without the dash.
|IS 0028-4793 or IS 00284793|
Searches words in a Title of supplementary issue.
|IT The Life You Save...|
Searches either abbreviation or full title.
|JT||Journal Title Abbreviation
Searches words in the journal title abbreviation.
|JT Acad Nurse|
Searches the language of publication of an article; values consist of the following: Afrikaans Chinese English Finnish French German Hungarian Italian Norwegian Portuguese Spanish Swedish
Searches for legal cases found in indexed materials. This field can lists the names of the parties, court case number, and possibly the place, name of the court, and the year.
|MH||CINAHL Exact Subject Headings
Searches the exact CINAHL subject heading; searches both major and minor headings. May use qualifier abbreviations (also captures tertiary headings) or spelled with formatted dashes (truncate to capture items with tertiary headings).
|MH arm/su or MH arm--surgery*|
|MJ||CINAHL Word in Major Subject Headings
Searches words in the major subject headings or core concepts, including subheading words or two letter subheading codes
|MJ resistance or MJ "EI"|
|MM||CINAHL Exact Major Subject Headings
Searches the exact CINAHL subject heading as major concept of the article. May use qualifier abbreviations (also captures tertiary headings) or spelled with formatted dashes (truncate to capture items with tertiary headings).
|MM Drug Resistance/EV or MM Drug Resistance--evaluation|
|MW||CINAHL Heading Word
Searches words in a CINAHL Subject Heading; searches Major Headings, Minor Headings, and Keywords (Terms in Process), including subheading words or two letter subheading codes
|MW infections or MW "EV"|
Searches words in the Author, Corporate Author, Named Person, Contributor, or Editor fields.
|NM Andersen GD|
Searches biography names for a person discussed in the source document in the format last name followed by one or more initials.
|NP Curie M|
Performs a keyword search for words within the notes and conference notes fields.
Searches for words within the Original Study information, which may include author, title, and source. Accession numbers may be included to reference original articles.
|OS Fiore LD, Ezekowitz MD|
Searches words in the Publisher field.
Searches the date as published in text format, i.e., month or season. See also the 'DT' tag.
|PD 2000 Mar or PD 2000 Jul 31 or PD 2000 Fall|
|PG||Number of Pages
Searches for the total number of pages.
The National Library of Medicine's PudMED ID is new for 2001 replacing the UI (was MN search).
Searches first, last, or page range of an article. See also the 'SP' tag.
|PP 12 or PG 19-23 or PG 23|
Searches the exact type of publication, values consist of the following:
Note: When searching the descriptive text of a publication type, it is necessary to use quotation marks if the description contains a Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT), e.g. PT "Questions and Answers".
|PY||Year of Publication
Searches the publication year of the source document; can be used in date range searching.
|PY 1977 or PY 2002-2004|
Searches the last revision date in YYYYMMDD format.
References site at the end of the article in selected nursing and allied health journals are included.
|RP "1 videocassette (27 min): sound, color, 0.5 inch [Item 80484-HAVT]"|
Bibliographic information for materials cited in the article. Use quotation marks for exact title matches.
Performs a search for the value "Y" indicating that the article is from a peer-reviewed publication.
Searches for words within the information in the review field.
Searches the journal subset; values consist of the following:
** New subset to be added to data: -Behavioral Sciences
Searches the special interest current awareness categories; values consist of the following:
Note: When searching the descriptive text of a special interest category, it is necessary to use quotation marks if the description contains a Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT), e.g. SC "Pain and Pain Management".
|SC Sports Medicine|
Searches for words within the Series Title field.
|SE Alcohol Alert|
Searches the exact Serial Identifier or serial Unique Identifier number assigned by the NLM.
Searches words in the full journal title, source publisher name, or journal title abbreviation.
|SO New Zealand|
Searches the start page of an article. See also the 'PG' tag.
Searches words in the series title for books, pamphlets, and journals.
|ST Public Health|
|TC||Table of Contents
The author, title of item, and pagination of journal articles or chapters indexed as part of an overall record.
Searches words in the article title.
Searches for keywords in all indexed fields.
Searches the exact number assigned to a MEDLINE citation. (This number will be removed next year. Prefer PMID).
Searches for the exact volume number of a publication.
Searches year of publication in YYYY format. Note: if year is a range, the first year is searched.
Definition of Fields
The following table explains the contents of each field in a CINAHL record's detailed display (not all fields are listed in every record).
|Title||The title of the article, pamphlet, chapter or book.|
|Author(s)||Personal author(s) name entered in format last name followed by one or more initials.|
|Corporate Author(s)||Name(s) of the corporate author(s) if the document was not authored by individuals.|
|Affiliation(s)||Institutional affiliation and geographical location of the primary author.|
|Contributor(s)||Contributor name(s) in the format of last name followed by one or more initials.|
|Editor(s)||Editor name(s) in the format of last name followed by one or more initials.|
|Source||Source information includes the full journal title, journal title abbreviation, date of publication, volume/issue, pagination, and number of references when available.|
|Series Title||The title of the series or collection of work for books, pamphlets, and journals.|
|Original Study||This may include author(s), title, and source. Accession numbers may be added to each reference to indicate if original article is indexed in the database.|
|Commentary||Lists the bibliographic details of articles commenting on or responding to this article.|
|Publication Type||Identification terms that describe the article type such as Journal Article, Bibliography, Book, etc.|
|Language||The language of publication of an article.|
|Major Subjects||Major subject headings that describe the content of an article.|
|Minor Subjects||Minor subject headings that describe the content of an article; check tags are included in this field and represent age and population groups.|
|Keywords||Terms in Process which are being considered for inclusion in the CINAHL Subject Headings Thesaurus.|
|Abstract||An English-language synopsis, or author abstract of the source document.|
|PDF Image||Provides a link to the Full Page article visible through Adobe PDF Reader.|
|Named Person||The named person (biographee) who is the subject of biographical information, an obituary, or an entire article.|
|Journal Subset||Subsets of broad journal and pamphlet categories as specified by CINAHL.|
|Special Interest||Specific categories of special interest which describe the content of an article.|
|Legal Case||The name(s) of legal cases found in indexed materials.|
|Instrumentation||Statistical research instruments used in research studies; names of clinical assessment tools may also appear in this field.|
|Review||Bibliographic information including author, journal, date, etc. of reviews on the document.|
|ISBN||The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for the book cited in the article.|
|ISSN||The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) for the journal in which an article was published.|
|MEDLINE Info||This field contains information such as the MEDLINE PMID, NLM Serial ID and NLM UID.|
|CINAHL Document Delivery||URL of PDF journals available at the CINAHL website.|
|Direct URL||This field contains a permanent link to a CINAHL table that will forward the user to the specific article site.|
|Cochrane AN||Accession number assigned to the record in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.|
|Document Number||Report number or UMI Order number.|
|Publisher info||May include extended source info for non-journal materials. Publisher name or Source agency, or Legal Case name. May also contain a publisher URL, a permanent link to a CINAHL table that will send user to the journal or publisher homepage.|
|Literacy Level||Indicates the readability level of consumer documents in full text.|
|Grant Information||Contains funding information, including the institution(s) and grant number, if any.|
|Related Websites||Websites mentioned in the article; a brief description of the site may also be listed, for example, "http://www.webmd.com WebMD".|
|Note||Used in Journal Descriptions records for inactive titles to note historical details, e.g., for ceased publications, name changes, etc. Used in book records to give details about publisher history. Used in journal articles to indicate article published in multiple journals. May also contain audiovisual and software details.|
|Entry Date||The issue (year and month) in which a document was added to the CINAHL database in YYYYMM or YYYYMMDD format.|
|Revised Date||Indicates the date a record was revised in YYYYMMDD format.|
|Accession Number||A unique number assigned by CINAHL to identify each document.|
CINAHL Subject Headings
The CINAHL Subject Headings authority file is a controlled vocabulary thesaurus that assists in more effectively searching the CINAHL database. Each bibliographic reference in the database is associated with a set of subject terms that are assigned to describe the content of an article. There are more than 10,600 main subject headings as well as thousands of cross-references that assist in finding the most appropriate subject heading. CINAHL accepts the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) as the standard vocabulary for disease, drug, anatomical, and physiological concepts.
CINAHL subject heading terms are arranged in a hierarchy, or "tree structure", that permits searching at various levels of detail from the most general level to more narrow levels to find the most precise terms. The subject headings include indexing annotations, tree numbers, scope notes, entry vocabulary, history notes, and allowable qualifiers. The headings can be exploded to retrieve all references indexed to that term as well as all references indexed to any narrower term(s). Searches can also be limited with specific qualifiers (subheadings) to improve the precision of the search, and limited to major subject headings indicate the main focus of an article. The list is updated annually by subject specialists.
This authority file defaults to an alphabetical listing of subject headings. Browsing the list provides a relevancy ranked list of related descriptors.
Free Floating Subheadings
Not all qualifiers (subheadings) are valid with all Subject Headings.
Qualifiers can be searched independently of the Subject Headings by using the appropriate two letter code in the word indexed Mesh search fields (MW and MJ). If you wish to associate subheadings that are not valid with a given Descriptor, you may ‘AND’ the Descriptor and a Free Floating Subheading.
Ex. MW Bicycles AND MW “SU” to retrieve surgical treatment of bicycle related injuries.
Be sure to enclose your code in quotes so the system will not try to interpret your code as a search field tag. You may search the expanded text versions of your subheading, but this will also retrieve Descriptors containing those terms.
|Author(s)||Personal author(s) name entered in format last name followed by one or more initials.|
|Administration and dosage||AD|
|Analogs and derivatives||AA|
|Anatomy and histology||AH|
|Antagonists and inhibitors||AI|
|Equipment and supplies||ES|
|Familial and genetic||FG|
|Legislation and jurisprudence||LJ|
|Prevention and control||PC|
Publications Authority File
The publication authority file is an alphabetical list of the journal titles included in this database. Any publication found in the product's data will be listed in this authority file. As a result, any exclusive search of a publication in this list is guaranteed to create results.
Index browsing allows the user to view all values that occur in specified fields in a database, along with corresponding hit counts. Access the index browse feature by clicking the green "Indexes" button on the upper portion of the "Advanced" search screen. Use the drop-down menu to choose an index to browse. Indexes can also be searched using tags. Since browsable indexes are phrase indexed, the exact form and spelling of terms as they appear in the database must be used in conjunction with the tags when entering a search manually. Indexes available for browsing in the CINAHL database are listed below. Tags for all fields included in the index browse feature begin with "Z" (e.g. "ZA" for Author).
|ZE||Subject Heading Major|
|ZR||Year of Publication|