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Nursing: Getting Started


This Research Guide is designed to aid students in using Iona College Library resources to complete projects and assignments for the Nursing program and includes important reference works, articles in databases, and journals.

View the department's website and find information about course offerings, program faculty, curriculum requirements, etc.

Start Your Research

Search by DOI, article title, journal name and more

What is a Primary Source?

Primary Source in science is a document or record that reports on a study, experiment, trial or research project. Primary sources are usually written by the person(s) who did the research, conducted the study, or ran the experiment, and include hypothesis, methodology, and results. Primary sources include historical and legal documents, eyewitness accounts, results of experiments, statistical data, pieces of creative writing, audio and video recordings, speeches, and art objects. Interviews, surveys, fieldwork, and; Internet communications via email, blogs, listservs, and newsgroups are also primary sources.

Primary Sources include:

  • Pilot/prospective studies
  • Cohort studies
  • Survey research
  • Case studies
  • Lab notebooks
  • Clinical trials and randomized clinical trials/RCTs
  • Dissertations

What is a Secondary Source?

Secondary sources list, summarize, compare, and evaluate primary information and studies so as to draw conclusions on or present current state of knowledge in a discipline or subject. Sources may include a bibliography which may direct you back to the primary research reported in the article. A secondary source is a summary or description of a research study written by someone other than the study investigator(s).  You can identify a secondary source by determining whether the author(s) of the article did not investigate (conduct) the research described in the article, and instead, is describing research done by others.

Secondary Sources include:

  • reviews, systematic reviews, meta-analysis
  • newsletters and professional news sources
  • practice guidelines & standards
  • clinical care notes
  • patient education Information
  • government and legal Information
  • monographs
  • entries in nursing or medical encyclopedias

Google Scholar (Search and Export Citations)

Google Scholar ( provides a simple way to search for relevant scholarly information across many disciplines and sources, such as articles, books, theses, and court opinions, from academic publishers, universities, and other websites.

If you search Google Scholar on-campus, you will be automatically linked to full-text articles which are in the Library databases. From off-campus, you must link to Iona College Library Databases from Google Scholar:

  • Go to Settings (three bars on top left of the page)
  • Click on Library Links
  • Type in Iona College

To export from Google Scholar to Refworks

  • Go to Settings (three bars on top left of the page).
  • Locate the Bibliography Manager
  • Select RefWorks from the drop-down menu next to Show links to import citations into.
  • Click on Save.
  • When searching, click on Import into RefWorks underneath each article you want to import.


Nursing Associations