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An Introduction to the Library for Respiratory Therapy Students

Steps in Research

  1. Identify and define your topic.
    • Try turning your research topic into a question :"What are the new modalities or advances in respiratory care?". This makes it easier to identify the main concepts and keywords, including alternate terms, for your topic.
  2. Do some background reading on your topic.
    • This will deepen your understanding and help you identify the right search terms needed to develop an effective research question. 
  3. Use Discovery@KentState, and library catalogs, such as KentLINK and OhioLINK, to find books. 
  4. Use CINAHL, LWW Nursing and Health, and MedLine to find journal articles. 
  5. Search for reliable and authoritative website resources, if needed for your research. 
  6. Always evaluate the information resources you find. 
    • Consider currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.
  7. Cite your sources. 
    • Citing gives proper credit to the authors of materials you use and allows your professors to verify your conclusions. 

How to Evaluate Resources

Before you begin your research, have set of criteria in mind to use for evaluating sources you find. At first, evaluating sources will seem tedious and time consuming, but if you do it often enough it will become a habit that comes with ease. There are many different models for evaluating sources. 

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching is used by internet search engines, databases, and the library catalog. Keep in mind that the search will find matches for specific words, not concepts. The default in the library catalog (and most databases) is to find results that include every word in your search. Think of this as using AND between the words: 

  • ARDS and protocols
  • pulmonary disease AND children

If you want to find a specific phrase, with the words next to each other in order, use double quotation marks around the phrase:

  • "mechanical ventilation" AND respiratory

You might want to broaden your search to include synonyms or other related words. To find either of two words or phrases, use OR between them:

  • "passive smoking" OR "secondhand smoke"
  • ARDS OR "acute respiratory distress syndrome"

You can also use truncation to search for different forms of a word. The asterisk * is used in the library catalog and many databases for this. 

  • thora*
  • (thora* OR chest) AND disease

In the above searches, thora* will find the words thoracic, thorax

When combining searches, use parentheses () around different parts of the search, as in the examples above. 

Adapted from St. Louis Community College Libraries Libguide on Respiratory Care