Literature searching BSc Veterinary Nursing year 1 2013

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  • Why is research important in health care? EBP = use of research evidence in practice.Allows informed decisions to provide a better standard of careEvidence-based practice in vet nursing still quite new (in Vet Medicine from early 2000s)Partner with vet surgeon in making decisions – confidence to nurse autonomouslyWithout the support of evidence – expertise can deteriorate and practice becomes outdated.
  • So now that you know a bit about the resources the library has, we are going to think about where can you find information. So for example, if you are given an essay to write, where would you start to look for information? (Let them tell you - Books, Newspaper, online, Journals,).
  • Often finding the best and most up to date evidence involves reading around the subject – may be useful ideas from human nursing. Feel informed and provide best care.This is all part of Clinical Governance – described in RCVS code of professional conduct as "a continuing process of reflection, analysis and improvement in professional practice for the benefit of the animal patient and the client owner” “Reputable” sources
  • Links we’ll be using today.
  • Exercise 2Example search – ‘Nursing care plans’ > refine to ‘veterinary nursing care plans’ (relates to case report assignment for VET1605)Show types of resources – human and veterinary nursing, books, journals, news etc
  • Exercise 3Dog/canineObese/overweight/ weight management/loss etcBroader terms: “Small animals” “Companion animals”, petsRelated: diet, nutrition, exercise, body condition (scoring)Other conditions eg diabetes, osteoarthritis, Cost to client, communication, education etc.
  • Ask them for examples! Then show ideason next slide
  • Compare to database A-Z list – these are pre-selected for their subject.
  • Demo a search on Science Direct (depending on group etc...). Search tips on next couple of slides (and on handout)
  • Get them to give you ideasCurrentAuthoritativeObjective – balanced, unbiased – what’s their intent? EtcRelevant – who is it aimed at? Level, Context e.g. UK/US
  • Author can be organisation etc (also for referencing)
  • Can also mention plagiarism/referencing guide...
  • Do the referencing exercise / any questions if time
  • Mention that they can make appointments through LibGuide


  • 1. Introduction to literature searching study/library/
  • 2. Housekeeping • How’s it going? • Can you find the books on your reading lists? • Can you renew and reserve books? • Do you know who to contact for help? • Library Subject Guides?
  • 3. Today we are going to cover... • Finding the evidence • Searching effectively for journal articles • Evaluating information • Using information ethically (citing and referencing)
  • 4. Evidence Exercise 1 - Discuss in pairs • What is evidence? • How and why might evidence be useful in veterinary nursing practice?
  • 5. What Is Evidence? “Information or signs indicating whether something is true or valid” Compact Oxford Dictionary for Students (2006) You will need to provide appropriate evidence to support any claims or arguments made in your assignments
  • 6. Evidence-Based Practice “…involves the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care…” Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: a guide to best practice (2005) ‘the use of current best evidence in making clinical decisions’. Cockroft and Holmes (2003) Handbook of evidence based veterinary medicine.
  • 7. Where’s the evidence?
  • 8. Where’s the evidence? • Clinical guidelines and other procedures and protocols for practice are based on research evidence from specialist resources • High quality, peer-reviewed research in journal articles • Articles can be found using specialist subject databases
  • 9. Starting your search
  • 10. Summon Searches journals, books and more Good starting point for your research Covers ALL subjects taught at the university
  • 11. Today we’re going to search for literature on... Preventing obesity in dogs Exercise 3 What are the important concepts in this topic? Are there other terms for the same ideas? Related ideas?
  • 12. Keywords 1. Pick out your concepts and separate them – Obesity, dogs, prevention 2. Think of other words that are similar to your key words but represent the same concepts – e.g. Overweight, weight gain, weight management etc
  • 13. Canine obesity Canines Obesity Prevention /management etc • Dogs • Ages? • Breeds? • Overweight • Weight management • Healthy weight • Related conditions e.g. diabetes • Diet • Nutrition • Food/feeding • Exercise • Attitudes (owners, professionals)
  • 14. Library Subject Guides
  • 15. Finding the databases • In myUniHub, go to My Study – Library Subject Guides. • Select the Veterinary Nursing guide • Click on Resources • Then Finding Journal Articles Using Databases • Choose a database (e.g. Science Direct)
  • 16. Exercise 4 • Use Summon and/or Science Direct for articles on “preventing obesity in dogs (and/or cats)” • Remember to try other related keywords too
  • 17. A Few Search tips • Search for phrases (“”): eg. “animal welfare” • Broaden your search (*): eg. prevent* (finds prevent, prevents, preventing, preventative etc)
  • 18. A Few Search tips • Widen your search eg. Obesity OR overweight OR weight management • Narrow your search eg. obesity AND canine
  • 19. But is it any good? Is it what you need and is it trustworthy? What criteria would you use to assess the relevance and quality of the information?
  • 20. The C A R P test
  • 21. C A R P • Currency - How old is the information? When was it last updated? • Authority - Who is the author / creator? What is their background? Is the article published in a scholarly/peer reviewed journal? • Relevance - Is this what I need? Will it answer my question? Is it at an appropriate level? • Purpose - What is the purpose of the information e.g. financial gain, propaganda, academic research, etc.
  • 22. Exercise 5 • Work in groups • 4 resources and evaluation sheet • For each resource, decide as a group if it meets the criteria. • No need to read the whole thing!
  • 23. Referencing • Is very important • Acknowledges other people’s work (avoids plagiarism) • Shows you’ve read around the subject • Supports your discussion and arguments • Gets you better marks! • Enables others to find your references
  • 24. Referencing – style guide
  • 25. On the front page of the VN guide...
  • 26. Need help? • Librarians in the Specialist Zone (1st floor) during core hours Monday – Friday • Ask a Librarian • Veterinary Nursing Library Subject Guide