Use of the library: The researcher plans to concentrate the efforts on identifying information on a specific topic. If you are unfamiliar with a particular library get acquainted with the library facilities and holdings, card catalogue, various indexes, computer assisted search and other reference materials. The librarian will also inform you about photocopy services, policies and inter library loans, etc.
Locating literature source: Researcher is in the process of locating specific piece of knowledge and there are various sources such as the online public access catalogue, indexes, abstracts and computer assisted search mechanism that aids in locating of pertinent reference materials; as given below:
Books: Researcher needs to begin a systematic search first for books. Each library has a card catalogue. You need to locate the book from authors index or subject index. This may now be available on computer, many libraries have Online Public Access Catalogues (OPAC). Journals most research findings are reported in journals. There are cumulative journal indexes, international nursing journals and allied health and nursing studies index. You need to read the instructions in front and learn to use these indexes by locating topic heading and related words, e.g. eating disorders - search, G.1 disorders, anorexia in adolescents.
Indexes: Health science indexes are an important key to vast health science literature. The printed indexes are used infrequently due to availability of computerized searches. However, some older references are available on International Nursing Index, Nursing Studies Index, Hospital Literature Index, etc. The researcher need to locate references as described in preliminary page of each voiume, determine the proper subject heading, then subject section. Each reference contains the following information. Title of the article, author, journal volume number, issue number, page number and date of issuing. Once relevant reference is identified, the reader can locate the journals and proceed to record the research reports.
Computer Searches: It has become increasingly popular especially in case of multiple concepts. A computer search provides the reviewer with list of references with complete bibliographic information and in some cases abstracts. If you do not have knowledge of computer the reviewer fills out a library request form indicating the topic of interest and any limitations on the search, e.g. to the articles published in past five years. The librarian confers with the reviewer, devises the best search is done immediately on receiving the request.
MEDLAR (Medical Literature Analysis Retrieval System) and Medicine database are most commonly used by nurse researcher as it is one of the largest data base worldwide. MEDLINE centres are located at the libraries of one of major research centres; Medline covers all areas of biomedical literatire and corresponds with added coverage to nursing literature. Other data base that might be useful includes combined Health information data base ERIC (Educational material) Psychological Abstracts (Psychological literature) and SOCABS (sociological literature).