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Nursing Research for NCK Students


What is peer review?

"a process by which a scholarly work (such as a paper or a research proposal) is checked by a group of experts in the same field to make sure it meets the necessary standards before it is published or accepted."

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Peer review. In learner's dictionary. Retrieved January 8, 2020.

What is Peer-Review?

Created by the North Carolina University Libraries.

libncsu. (2014 May 1). Peer review in 3 minutes [Video file].  Retrieved from

Finding Peer-Reviewed Nursing Articles

1. Start by searching a nursing database available through your library, such as CINAHL, Health Source Nursing & Academic Edition, ProQuest Nursing, or Medline, for example.  You could also use reputable publicly available databases such as PubMed or PubMed Central.

2. Most databases have a filter that limits your search results to only peer-reviewed articles.  Look for words such as Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, or Refereed.

Primary Research Article

What is a primary research article?

An article about a single research study that is written by the people who conducted the study. 

Look for a Methods or Methodology section which explains how the study was conducted, such as the number of subjects and how they were chosen, if they were randomly assigned to groups, what the intervention was, etc.

Contrast with a review article, such as a literature review or a systematic review, in which researchers compile and evaluate a number of studies on the same topic.

A Literature Review is "a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research. The review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research" as it relates to your research question and current study.

A Systematic Review "summarises the results of available carefully designed healthcare studies (controlled trials) and provides a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions. Judgements may be made about the evidence and inform recommendations for healthcare.  These reviews are complicated and depend largely on what clinical trials are available, how they were carried out (the quality of the trials) and the health outcomes that were measured."


Primary Research article: Trappe, T.A., White, F., Lambert, C.P., Cesar, D., Hellerstein, M., & Evans, W.J. (2002).  Effect of ibuprofen and acetaminophen on postexercise muscle protein synthesisAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 282, E551-E556.

Literature Review article: Kaphagawani, N.C., & Useh, U. (2013).  Analysis of nursing students' learning experiences in clinical practice: Literature reviewStudies on Ethno-Medicine, 7(3), 181-185.

Systematic Review article: Hepp, Z., Bloudek., L.M., & Faron, S.F. (2014).  Systematic review of migraine prophylaxis adherence and persistenceJournal of Managed Care Pharmacy, 20(1), 22-33.