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Library Tutorials: Health Sciences

A collection of tutorials and resources for getting the most out of the Spokane Health Sciences Library

Find Articles

Image of bookshelfArticles are shorter-length pieces that are published within a larger journal or magazine. There are many different types of articles, including newspaper articles, research articles, magazine articles, and more. You will probably need to find many articles throughout your time on campus, and there are a number of ways to find relevant materials. 

Newspaper Articles report on current events. You can find many newspaper articles by using Search It.

Journal Articles may be written by and for researchers reporting on studies or experiments they have conducted, but they can also be published for a certain trade or industry. You can find journal articles by using Search It, or by looking at our many databases individually. 

Magazine Articles are generally written for the general public, rather than experts in a field. You can find many magazine articles by using Search It. 




Databases are collections of electronic materials. Most of the journals and other periodicals (publications that are published on a periodical basis) that we have access to come to us through one of our many databases. Washington State University subscribes to many databases, each one of which gives us access to the journals and books in their collection. Search It searches many of our databases simultaneously, but you will get the best search results by searching the databases individually. This is because they come with functions that don't always translate well when searched by Search It. 

We have tutorials and instructions for many of our most commonly used databases. Take a look!

CINAHL is a definitive resource for nursing research

Cochrane Library is a set of high-quality systematic review articles, which are studies that evaluate the research in a particular area of study and draw conclusions on what we can learn from the research studies that have been conducted. 

PsychInfo is a database focused on psychological research.

ERIC is a database of educational research

PubMed is a definitive resource for research in the field of medicine

 Web of Science allows you to search the references used by an article, or were cited by another article.

Finding Databases

Finding Databases on the Health Sciences Library Homepage

From the WSU Health Sciences Library homepage, you can quickly access a selection of Recommended Databases. View the lists of databases, including databases that hold articles and journals, books and ebooks, and point of care resources.

Spokane Academic Library webpage

Finding Databases on the Health Sciences Library Homepage

Just below this section, you can select "All Databases" to browse or search the full list of available databases.

All Databases link highlighted below the Recommended Databases heading

List of All Databases

To view more databases, click "All Databases" and view the full alphabetical listing of WSU databases. Use the dropdown menus at the top of the page to browse databases by subject area, type of database, or vendor. There is a search bar at the top right for keyword search. In addition, you can browse alphabetically through the list of databases by clicking the letters below the dropdown menus. Popular databases are listed on the right side of the screen. Scroll down further to view new or trial databases.

List of all databases.


Image of journals on a library shelfJournals are publications that are issued periodically. Some journals may be published annually, while others may be weekly. You will probably need to find academic or scholarly journals most often. 

  • Academic journals are focused on academic subjects, and are likely to report on research studies conducted by scholars. 
  • Trade journals are focused on a particular industry or trade, and are written for people within that industry.

Journals can be within databases, which is how we have access to most of our electronic or online journals. Journals can also be received in print. We receive many fewer print journals than we used to, but some do still come to us this way. Print journals are shelved in the library, and can be used within the Library. Online journals can be accessed from anywhere using your WSU credentials.

Accessing Journals from the SAL Homepage

Accessing Journals from the Health Sciences Library Homepage

From the Health Sciences Library homepage, select "eJournals" from the "Recommended Databases" section.

Searching or Browsing for Journals

You can either search for a journal title by keyword in the search bar, or browse by subject area using the links on the left of the screen.

Screen shot of ejournals search page, highlighting the search bar and the subject areas for browsing

Accessing a Journal Title

When you locate a journal you would like to explore, select the title link.

Screen shot of results list, highlighting the first result

Accessing a Journal Title

Select the link under "Access Options" to access the full-text articles from that journal. Or, search directly within the journal with a keyword search in the provided search box.

Screen shot of journal record, highlighting search box and database link.

Sharing a Journal Link

You can select "Permalink" under the "Send to" box to retrieve a consistent URL to the Search It catalog entry for the journal title.

screenshot of Search It permalink menu for JAMA

Search It

Search It allows you to search many of our resources simultaneously. It will search a number of our databases, the catalog of our physical items, and our ebook collections with a single search. Search It is a great place to start your research, but it is not comprehensive, so there may be some additional places to look depending on how many articles you find, and whether your topic is represented in the resources that Search It does search. 

Using the Search It Catalog

Using the Search It Catalog

In Search It, you can look for articles, physical books, and ebooks in the library collection. It is recommended to use Search It for books and ebooks, but not for articles. It isn’t updated as frequently as databases like PubMed and it doesn’t offer as many filters. So for articles, it’s better locate them within the literature databases. 

screenshot of Search It home

Basic Search

You can use the basic search function and type in the title or title keywords for the item that you are looking for.

screenshot of Search It with "Atlas of Human Anatomy" in search bar

Advanced Search

You can also use the advanced search function, which lets you enter multiple fields and limit by the material type, language, and publication date.

screenshot of Search It advanced search narrowed by eBooks

Locating an Item in Search It

Once you see the item that you are looking for in the results list, you can select the title to retrieve the full-text version of the item.

screenshot of search results for "Atlas of Human Anatomy" with arrow pointing to first result

Accessing an Item in Search It

Select the link under "Access Options" to access the item. You may need to sign in with your WSU Network ID and password first.

screenshot of record for "Atlas of Human Anatomy" with arrow pointing to access link

Citation Tool

Under the "Send to" box, you can select "Cite This Item" to reveal a citation for the item in APA, Chicago, Harvard, or MLA format. Be sure to double-check the accuracy of the citation before using it.

screenshot of "Send To" menu options with "Cite this item" selected

Permalink Tool

Under the "Send to" box, you can select "Permalink" to reveal a consistent URL for the item. You can use this to retrieve the item at a later time or to share it with others.

screenshot of "Send To" menu options with "Permalink" selected

Access Problems in Search It

If something is not working for you in Search It and you need help, you can report your problem by going to the Search It homepage and selecting “Report an Access Problem”. 

screenshot of Search It home with "Report an Access Problem" link outlined

Access Problem in Search It

Complete the form in as much detail as possible and select "Submit" at the bottom of the page. The Libraries Systems Office will respond as soon as they can.

screenshot of Online Access Issues form
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