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Physician Assistant Research Resources

PAS Personal Librarian

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Craig Gable
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Accessing Resources Off Campus


If you're having problems with off-campus access to an online library resource, the most common reason is that it doesn't recognize you as an authorized user. An easy way to fix this problem is to go to the MyUrsuline webpage and log in. Then continue to use that same browser when accessing library resources.

Research Databases


Textbooks, Reference Books, and More

Includes full-text textbooks; "quick reference" components; infographics; drug information; multimedia; cases with quizzes; study tools; and patient education handouts.


EBP Resources

Cochrane Library
Provides up-to-date information and evidence to support decisions taken in health care and to inform those receiving care. Updated quarterly.


Trip Medical Database (click on PICO immediately above the search box)
A clinical search engine for finding high-quality research evidence to support practice and/or care. Describes itself as the internet’s premier source for locating evidence-based content. Online since 1997.


Other Databases

CINAHL Plus with Full Text
Core research tool for all areas of nursing and allied health literature. Provides full text for more than 770 journals, with coverage dating back to 1937.


MEDLINE with Full Text
Comprehensive index for professional medical publications. Includes full text for more than 1,470 journals.


Largest resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health, with journal coverage, dating from the 1800s. Produced by the American Psychological Association.


Comprises more than 35 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Produced by the National Library of Medicine.

Database Search Tips


Start with one or two keywords, then combine concepts one at a time.

  • Limiters and filters refine search result lists.
  • Add limiters (date, article type, etc.) after you're sure your keywords are productive.
  • Beware that sometimes limiters can eliminate potentially interesting results. This is because databases don't simply look at keywords and titles. Databases also look for your search term(s) in descriptive notes included in records.
  • Databases use Boolean logic, which means you can combine terms using the uppercase words AND and OR to explore the literature more strategically:
  • Use truncation (keyword plus an asterisk) to include variant endings. Example: therap* searches for therapy, therapies, therapeutic, etc.
  • Use quotation marks to bind keywords as a phrase. Example: "fetal alcohol syndrome"
  • Use a database's search history and/or advanced search features to review previous searches and combine them to build new ones.

Use a database's controlled vocabulary to refine and focus results.

The term "controlled vocabulary" refers to the specialized set of keywords that each database uses as a means for categorizing its content. Articles within a database are tagged with relevant keywords (which are clickable), thereby making it easy to find related articles.

The PubMed and MEDLINE databases both use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) as their controlled vocabulary. CINAHL's controlled vocabulary is based on MeSH, with additional specific nursing and allied health headings added as appropriate.

Here are some tutorials to help you understand how to take advantage of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):

Find Full Text


What to Look for in Databases to Find Full Text Articles:

  • PDF Full Text Link.PDF icon
  • Find It! button connects to full text where it resides in another database.  Find it button


What to Do for in Databases When Full Text Isn't Available:

  • Don't see a PDF Full Text link or Find It! button? Or perhaps the Find iI! button didn't work properly? Try searching for the journal title in Journal Finder.
  • Still can't find the full-text? Submit an Article Request form. We can often provide full-text access right away. If we can't, we will request the article through interlibrary loan (ILL).