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Using CINAHL: Searching

This guide is intended to teach users how to use the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL).

Accessing Full Text

Look for PDF or HTML links but if they are unavailable, try using the  button.

Having Problems?

Step by Step Help Sheet

Example 1


Prevention of Smoking

Step 1:

Using CINAHL, conduct a search for smoking and make sure these boxes are checked: Suggest Subject Terms, Apply related words, & Also search within the full text of the articles, before hitting the Search button.

(Screenshot of Step 1 attached below)

Step 2:

Check the box next to Smoking and choose Prevention and Control from the list of Subheadings. Click on the green Search Database button.

(Screenshot of Step 2 attached below)

Step 3:

Notice the number of results and change Date Descending Sort to Relevance Sort. This will bring the most relevant results to the top of the list.

(Screenshot of Step 3 attached below)

Step 4:

To access the full text of an article click on the PDF or HTML links. Contact the Reference Desk for assistance locating and opening full text articles!

(Screenshot of step 4 attached below)

CINAHL Subject Headings

CINAHL assigns Subject Headings to every article to help the user figure out what the article is about.

For example, "cancer" may also be referred to as "neoplasms," "tumors," "carcinoma," etc.

In CINAHL the official subject heading for articles about "cancer" or "tumors" is Neoplasms.

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Once you are looking at your search results screen, notice the options to refine your results on the left side of the screen. 

In this column, you can limit to:

  • Peer Reviewed articles
  • Research articles
  • Publication Date
  • and much more!