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BIO 176 Lab: Resources

This guide has resources to help you with your Responsible Patienthood project.

Responsible patienthood project resources

CINAHL search techniques

This is a labeled screenshot of CINAHL.  See the text that follows for more details.

When searching in CINAHL, take advantage of some of the search features.

1. Full-text: This will show you articles the library has access to.

2. Date:  Your professor might give you a date range in your assignment.  If not, you might have to make your own decision.

3. Peer-reviewed (scholarly):  This indicates the the article went through a peer reviewed process and is a criteria your professor might ask you to include.

4. English language: This will only show you articles available in English.

5. Research article:  This will help you find research articles.  You will still need to look at the article to confirm it is original research.  The easiest way to do this is to look at the methods section and see how the study was set-up.  If the author conducted the study himself, it is probably a research article.

Advanced search strategies

CINAHL search screen: First line has beta blockers listed, Second line as hypertension OR "high blood pressure" listed and the lines have an AND boolean operators betwen them.

Some other suggested tips that might assist you include.

Boolean operators

  • AND:  By default, the database will try to find all of the words you put into the search boxes.  You can see the AND before the second line in CINAHL.
  • OR:  Since hypertension could also be called high blood pressure, you could choose to use OR to indicate that you want results with either hypertension OR high blood pressure.

In the example above, CINAHL would find results with beta blockers AND either hypertension OR high blood pressure.

Quotation marks

Again, by default CINAHL will look for all of the words you listed, but they do not have to be in the order that you listed them.  If you put words in quotation marks, such as "high blood pressure" those words have to be found next to each other.

Need additional help searching, check out this guide.

Primary sources (research articles)

Woman looking through a microscopePrimary sources are ones where you are hearing from someone directly involved with the information.  For example, the author of the article was the one who performed the research experiment.

Look for the Methods section in the article to see what method was used.  You want the methods section to indicate the author was the one doing the experiment and not analyzing the work of others.  If you do not see a methods section or the article title has something like literature review, systematic review, or meta-analysis in it, look for other options.  There is more information on primary sources here: You can also schedule an appointment with a librarian in Starfish for assistance.

Help reading scholarly articles

These sources will help you read and understand the different sections of a scholarly journal article.

This video from Case Western University will help you more efficiently read a scholarly article.

APA help

Need help with APA formatting, references, and citations?  Check out the library's APA guide:  You can also schedule an appointment with a librarian in Starfish.



Please note that many healthcare websites have organizations as authors.  Citation generators might not be able to detect that, meaning you will want to edit those references to include the organizational author.  The organizational author will also be used in the in-text citations.

Logging into library resources

In order to use library resources, you will need to login. PA College and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health users can use their respective credentials to login to library resources.

Have a question? Ask me

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Amy Snyder
Learning Commons

Need more help?

Need some help finding articles?  Questions about APA formatting or citations?  Ask Amy, your class librarian, for assistance.


You can self-schedule an appointment in Starfish.

  1. Go to Blackboard or myPortal
  2. Click on Starfish
  3. This should take you to the My Success Network page. If not, choose My Success Network from the menu (look for the three lines on the top left to open the menu.)
  4. In the Health Sciences Library box, select schedule appointment.


Two people working together over a computerThere are various free tutoring opportunities available through PA College.

  • Faculty drop-in: Some subject areas have faculty drop-in tutoring available.  See the schedule here.
  • Peer tutoring: There might be a peer tutor available for your class.  In Starfish, look for Courses on the menu (three lines on the top left-hand corner) to see if there is a tutor for your course.
  • Virtual: Click here to access Smarthinking, an online tutoring service that provides on-demand tutoring in math, biology, A&P and more.  There is also an option where you can submit your writing to get feedback.
  • ESL support: You can schedule an appointment with an ESL tutor in Starfish.   In Starfish, look for My Success Network on the menu (three lines on the top left-hand corner) to pick a day and time for your appointment.
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