Introduction to Library Resources

R19–0643 NURS60035 & NURS9307C

Supporting materials


  • Group: 16
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Room: Seminar room
  • Discipline: FBMH-Nursing
  • Level: created for PGT students but also suitable for UG

Learning outcomes

After engaging with this support, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different search tools
  • Identify an appropriate tool to use for finding information for your specific purpose
  • Identify and use key databases in your discipline
  • Develop an awareness of a wide range of information sources available to use in academic work
  • Use correct academic practices in quoting, citing and paraphrasing

Suggested online resources

Session content

The purpose of this session is to introduce students studying a CPD unit ‘The Principles of Breast Cancer Nursing’ at the Christie to the resources and services provided by the University of Manchester Library.

Introduction (3 mins: Slides 1–3)

Outline the objectives of the session and highlight the resources available to support the session ins Blackboard:

• How to access key resources
• Searching for information
• How to integrate sources in your writing
• Skills support from My Learning Essentials

Finding books and journal articles (5 mins: Slides 4–5)

Demonstrate how to use Library search to find books and journal articles, using “breast cancer nursing” as the search term. Show students how to narrow down their search results using peer reviewed journals, data and source type filters.

Search strategy: What, Where, How (2 mins: Slides 6–7)
Introduce students to the “What, Where and Who” model of searching. Emphasise that taking more time at the planning stage, before you dive into searching, can save you a lot of time in the long run. Explain that we will cover each of these in order during the remainder of the presentation.

What am I looking for? (7 mins: Slides 8–12)
Explain the steps which can be taken to help students define search terms in relation to a given topic:

  1. Highlight the key concepts in your research question
  2. Map out synonyms — are there any related concepts or other ways to express the same idea which need considering?
  3. Consider alternative spellings or word endings

Activity: define your search terms (7 mins: Slides 13–15)

Students work in small groups of 3 or 4 to analyse the example question (below) and map out relevant search terms:

Evaluate the training provided for health workers in the care of people with breast cancer

Feedback (5 mins): Ask each group to suggest some of the search terms they came up with and make a list on the whiteboard. Highlight some of the responses and stress that if a theatre full of students come up with so many ways of describing an idea, thousands of researchers in the field will also describe the idea differently — it is important to think about how others will describe an idea when searching.

Where will I look for it? (Slides 16–22)

Facilitator should demonstrate the following search engines/databases as places to go to find information.

Library search (5 mins: Slide 18)

Briefly open Library Search and show students the advanced search option and filters on the left hand side e.g. resource type/date range.

Google Scholar (5 mins: Slide 19)

Briefly demo some of the main features of Google Scholar (FindIT@Manchester, date range filter, quick citations). Then discuss the pros and cons of Google Scholar.

  • Pros: Google Scholar is good for getting a broad view of what is out there, user friendly, content growing, using FindIt@Manchester can link to full text University of Manchester articles.
  • Cons: Not all journals are indexed, there can be a 6–12 months delay, the advanced search options limited, does not allow you to narrow your search and not everything on Google is available at the Library.

Subject guides (2 mins: slides 20–21)

  • Explain what their subject guide is and where they can find it. (Slide 16–17)
  • Mention the other services they can access via their subject guides, e.g. referencing and My Learning Essentials. (Slide 17)

Subject databases (1 min: slide 22)

Explain that the Nursing subject guide links out to key databases for their discipline, highlight the databases on the slide; CINAHL, British Nursing Index; Medline; Web of Science.

How will I look for it (8 mins: slides 23–28)

Facilitator explains how and why researches would use AND/OR search operators to combine key concepts and alternative search terms. Explain why researchers would use filters to narrow down their search further and go over additional search terms such as phrase searching and truncation.

Activity (15 mins):

In their groups students should use their list of search terms generated earlier and practice inputting these into CINAHL. Students have been asked to bring their own devices with them prior to the session in order to achieve this activity.

Feedback (7 mins): Facilitator should ask each group if they were able to find relevant resources and whether they encountered any challenges.

Wrap up this section by highlighting the online resource ‘Guide to searching databases’ for further support.

Integrating sources into your writing

Why do we reference? (6 mins: slides 29–30)


Students discuss the following questions with the person next to them (3 mins):

What is the purpose of referencing for the reader?

What is the purpose of referencing for the writing?

Facilitated feedback should highlight the following points: (3 minutes)

- Avoiding plagiarism
- Acknowledging the work of others
- Making it easy for the reader to follow up your thought process
- Referencing is a key part of constructing a critical piece of writing
- It demonstrates your ability to collect high quality sources of information, understand them and integrate them with your own argument

How do we reference? (6 mins: slides 31–32)

Discuss the different types of referencing (cite/quote/paraphrase), their purpose and how they can be used.

Referencing support (3 mins: slides 33–34)

Direct students to the Library’s referencing guide and ‘Start to finish referencing’ for further support.

Next steps and further help (3 mins: Slides 35–36)
Highlight support which is available via drop ins, workshops and online resources. These students aren’t able to come into campus much as they’re working so stress that they can email us at any time.



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