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Research strategies and resources

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  • 1.  As you prepare to begin your studies as a graduate student, the expectations of your ability to write and perform research using the literature will grow.
  • 2.  The University of Miami is a Level I Research Center that is known around the world. The University has access to the top databases to allow you access just about any resource you desire to read. The key is that you perform your literature searches in advance of your deadline so that there is time for an interlibrary loan (accomplished by submitting an online request) to take place if the University does not have access to the article. Here is the link to the Otto Richter Library: http://www.miami.edu/index.php/libraries/ The Libraries link is also on the www.miami.edu homepage
  • 3.  The beauty of online databases is that much of your research can be performed at home or on your smart phone and at your convenience online!
  • 4.  Some common databases relevant to nursing and health studies include: CINAHL Plus – Nursing and Allied Health MEDLINE - Medicine and Allied Health PUBMED - Medicine and Allied Health ERIC - Education PsycINFO – Psychology Health and Psychosocial Instruments Essential Nursing Collection
  • 5.  There is a research page on the library website that answers FAQ’s: http://library.miami.edu/research/ There is an expert librarian available for you to contact with questions Suzanne Stemler Contact Info Richter Library 305-284-4053 (office) 305-284-4722 (information desk)sstemler@miami.edu
  • 6.  When performing literature searches, try to perform an advanced search and limit your search to “peer reviewed” journals as well as current literature (5 years or less). Using these strategies will help you to find current, reputable sources.
  • 7.  Your term papers will require a bibliography or list of references at the end. There are wonderful resources such as EndNote RefWorks BibMe that allow you to import and create instant bibliographies. This will save you LOADS of time and is generally more accurate.
  • 8.  You should sign up for a training session on RefWorks or EndNote early in your program. These resources not only allow you to produce instant bibliographies, they allow you to directly import and store your references to accumulate a personal library. The resource person regarding RefWorks and EndNote is:Jameatris Y. (Johnson) Rimkus, M.S. in L.I.S.voice: (305)284-4042fax: (305)284-9848jyjohnso@miami.edu
  • 9.  The University has a writing center and academic resource center. The writing center will not “proofread” your papers per se, but they will help work with you to grow in your writing. If you struggle with grammar, you might consider purchasing the application of “grammarly” (but you would have to pay). As always, the trick to success is stay ahead with your studies and to make an appointment early!
  • 10.  One way to organize yourself when performing a literature review is to develop a synthesis table. The table will help you organize and elicit the key points of the studies you have read. The preferred approach to reviewing the literature is to synthesize the literature or perform an “integrated” review. Developing a table prior to writing will help you formulate common themes of knowledge and findings so you can organize your paper.
  • 11. Reference Purpose Method/ Sample Strengths Limitations Results of Study Design
  • 12.  Additional suggested headings may include: Source Purpose Sample Framework Concepts Design Instrument(s) Results Implications Personal Comments(Burns & Grove, 2009)
  • 13.  Any time you are preparing to write a large, in-depth term paper requiring a thorough investigation of the literature, consider writing to publish! Many students miss out on wonderful opportunities to publish important information because they only consider it after years have passed. Instead of just writing a paper just to complete an assignment, write for the betterment of society and to jumpstart your career!
  • 14.  Having this information before your program begins will help you be aware of the technology and tools to be more efficient, organized, and successful! Best of luck with your future direction in research!