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Thekeywords searched: The word entered in CINAHL database is neoplasms.The results of the word neoplasms in the database produce differenttypes neoplasms. The results include abdominal neoplasms, adrenalgland neoplasms, anus neoplasms, bladder neoplasms, bone marrowneoplasms, brains neoplasms, breast neoplasms, and Bronchialneoplasms. Clicking on any of the types of neoplasms listed yieldsresults for detailed information about its diagnosis and ways oftreating it, symptoms, and other details. On the left side of thedatabase search page, there is a tab for subheadings related to thekeyword, neoplasm. To refine the search, one can select on the listedsubheadings under the tab to find relevant information aboutanalysis, chemically induced, classification, diet therapy, drugtherapy, and embryology in regard to neoplasms (Cadogan, 2013). Thereare more tools on the page that guide the user to find more specificsearches about neoplasms.

Onthe right of the page, there is a search term builder box that allowsthe user to add more terms to the keyword. For instance, aftersearching the word “neoplasms”, one should click on the specifictype of neoplasm they intend to search. For example, one can click on“brain neoplasm”. Clicking on the search term builder willproduce results indicating the complications, diagnosis, diettherapy, and drug therapy depending on the individual’s search. Ifone wants to get more headings, they click on browseadditional terms tofind more subheadings such as microbiology, and mortality. Theexplode button the far right of CINHAL page retrieves the referencesrelated to the searched keywords and the indexed terms that havenarrow details about neoplasms.

Thebutton called “explode” retrieves all documents that have termsbelow the word “neoplasms”. Clicking on majorconcept createsa search query retrieves only records that have the keywords “brainneoplasms” as the major point of the document (EBSCOhost ResearchDatabases, 2015). Under “majorconcept”, thesearch is limited to the subheadings so that they are more precise.They records are also limited the main subject so that only articleswith the main concept are extracted from the records. Combining bothExplodeandMajorConcept retrievesall the documents that have indexes related to the keywords, “brainneoplasms”. All the articles retrieved have “brain neoplasms”as the main subject matter. Clicking link retrieves specificinformation about the terms used in each of the listed articlesrelated to the keywords.

Howthe information was helpful in locating the most relevant information

Theinformation was an important guide for finding journal articlesdifferent types of neoplasms. Specifically, the assignment requiredscholarly information about brain neoplasm. Exploring the topic inthe Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL)was interesting. I visited the institution’s website and reachedCINAHL as a stand-alone database (Wilczynski, Marks, &amp Haynes,2007). The search parameters in the database are alphabetical, basedon keywords, ranked based on relevance, and with default option. Ichose the “relevance” option and inserted the words, “neoplasms”. The database provided different alternative phrasings for the term.The controlled terminologies for the word “neoplasms” were thespecific types of neoplasms. The descriptors on the left-hand-sidecolumn arranged alphabetically and hierarchically helped narrow downthe search to more specific details. The “history note” hasdetails the changes that the topic has gone through in terms ofresearch.

Responseto classmate I

UsingBoolean operators are effective and different researchers attest tothe techniques as flexible and accurate.

Responseto classmate II

Addinga secondary to the keyword produces specific records about the topic.However, chances are that the results are likely to more generaluntil other alternatives are used.

Responseto classmate III

Itis true that using search headings would retrieve many documentsabout the topic. Using the names of authors narrows down the searchto specific articles about the topic. However, for comprehensiveresearch one may not be able to know the names of all the authors whohave written articles about the topic.


Techniquesused to narrow or broaden a search

Thereare two techniques that one can use to narrow or broaden a search forinformation in a database (Gerald R. Sheratt Library, 2015). The twomain search techniques under consideration are searching by topic tobroaden the search results and using keywords.

Searchingby topic

Searchingby topic to broaden the search results-Searching by topic willretrieve different database records about the topic of interest on abroad scale. The records in the database have different headings butthey are related in one way or another to the main topic (Pravikoff,Tanner, &amp Pierce, 2005). For example, searching for word,“neoplasms” yields many records of articles on neoplasm ingeneral, different types of neoplasms. The CINAHL database providestopic terms and suggested terms to help the user narrow down thesearch to find records on a specific subject matter about the topic.

Advantagesof searching by topic

  1. It is suitable for finding general information about a given topic

  2. It provides a wide range of records that possibly reveal more unknown details about the topic.

Disadvantagesof searching by topic

  1. Searching by topic is not suitable for retrieving documents about a narrow subtopic.

  2. It may be cumbersome for databases that lack assistive tools.

Searchingusing Boolean Operators: AND-OR-NOT

Booleanoperators are also a very effective search technique to narrow orbroaden the search. The word “AND” is for narrowing the search(Shoop, 2006). For example, if one wants to get information aboutexercise and health. The results will produce records from thedatabase with both the terms exercise and health present. The word“NOT” excludes other words in the search. For example, if onewants to search for the word “bears” and not “grizzly bears”,they will write, bearsNOT grizzly. Theresults will produce records with only the word bears without theword grizzly.


  1. It is flexible in narrowing and broadening the search.

  2. It allows the user to exclude irrelevant information


  1. It is quite technical and may require some training for the user.

Formy case I would adopt the searching by topic method. It is aneffective method as it enables one to search by topic, thus beingable to retrieve different database records about the topic ofinterest on a broad scale.

Responseto classmate I

Theuse of alternative terms after searching the keyword and truncationare also very effective techniques of refining the search in theCINAHL database. Both methods are as effective and they can serve tocomplement the Boolean operators. It is worth noting that researcherscan use several methods to find more refined results when using thedatabase. From the comments, it is clear that CINAHL offers numeroustools through which students can be able to get more results. This isalso critical in ensuring that proper citations are used when writinga paper.

Responseto classmate II

Usingan asterisk at the end of the word is an effective way to broaden thesearch. In some cases, one needs to get a range of articles thatdiscuss a particular topic. While the Boolean operators help narrowthe search, putting an asterisk on the word is the same as finding abroad research perspective. The main hindrance to this is the factthat articles which do not pertain to the topic of interest arehighlighted, a factor which make the whole venture very timeconsuming.

Responseto classmate III

Itis agreeable that using e keyword(s) in the search engine is the bestway to get broad details while deleting some key concept words wouldnarrow the search. However, the two methods may not be very effectiveif the researcher intends to be quite specific during the search. Themain advantage of the later is based on the fact that , the search isgreatly broadened. As a result, one c learn that, out of this method,more content is obtained, although it is wise to employ the searchtechnique to broaden the search.


Cadogan,D. (2013). PsycTESTS via EBSCOhost.&nbspTheCharleston Advisor,15(2),39-42.

EBSCOhostResearch Databases (2015). CINHALComplete. Retrievedfrom:

GeraldR. Sheratt Library (2015).Retrieved from:

Shoop,J. (2006). Chapter 8: UsingDatabases. SeattleCentral Community College Library. Research Methods and Strategies

Pravikoff,D. S., Tanner, A. B., &amp Pierce, S. T. (2005). Readiness of USNurses for Evidence-Based Practice: Many don’t understand or valueresearch and have had little or no training to help them findevidence on which to base their practice.&nbspAJNThe American Journal of Nursing,&nbsp105(9),40-51.

Wilczynski,N. L., Marks, S., &amp Haynes, R. B. (2007). Search strategies foridentifying qualitative studies in CINAHL.&nbspQualitativehealth research,&nbsp17(5),705-710.