Skip to Main Content

Finding EBP Articles in the Databases

Develop a Search Strategy

The AU Libraries have several databases which can help you find evidence based research articles and answer clinical questions using the PICO format. 

After developing your PICO question, follow these steps to develop a search strategy:

  • Consider all possible terms for your topic, including synonyms
  • Use the Boolean operator OR to combine your synonyms and broaden your search
  • Use the Boolean operator AND to look for the intersection of the terms to narrow your search
  • Try different combinations of terms, particularly if you have limited results
  • Review search results; critically appraise retrieved articles
  • Consider using limiters for publication types, age, human, and evidence-based practice, etc.
  • Revise search as appropriate

Always remember that the more terms you use, the narrower your results will be!!!

Search the Databases for EBP Articles

The databases listed below are very useful for finding EBP research: 

CINAHL Ultimate

The best place to start your search or Evidence-Based Practice articles for Nursing is in the CINAHL Ultimate database. CINAHL stands for Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and is the premier database for finding Nursing literature. CINAHL contains a core collection of articles, evidence-based care sheets, and book chapters in the areas of nursing and allied health from 1937 to the present.

An overview of formulating a PICO question and search strategy to find evidence-base practice literature in CINAHL:

Medline with Full Text

Another great database for finding evidence-based information is the Medline with Full Text database. Medline is created by the National Library of Medicine and is the world's foremost database of biomedical literature. Searching in Medline with Full Text is similar to searching in CINAHL Complete, but some of the evidence-based limiters are slightly different.


PubMed is a free, authoritative, database of more than 30 million citations produced by the National Library of Medicine and is one of the largest biomedical databases in the world. PubMed provides free access to MEDLINE, the National Library of Medicine's database of citations and abstracts from around the world, which covers fields such as medicine, public health, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and pre-clinical sciences, biomedical and life sciences literature. PubMed also contains some of National Center for Biotechnology Information books, and some in-process citations and citations that are ahead-of-print.

For EBP literature, select Article Type: Systematic Review or Meta Analysis. Also search PubMed Clinical Queries. 

How to Search a PICO Question in PubMed:

Nursing Reference Center Plus

A point-of-care resource designed for staff nurses, nurse administrators, nursing students, and nursing faculty. Provides access to content which meets a variety of nursing information needs for the purposes of research, evidence-based practice, patient care, learning, continuing education, management and patient education. Search results can be filtered to desired content and material type. Collection includes “Quick Lessons” and “Evidence-based Care Sheets” on diseases and disorders, practice guidelines, patient education sheets. Some available in Spanish. Also contains information on CE research instruments and legal cases.

For EBP:

Search for a disease or condition and Select "Evidence-Based Care Sheets" tab (note- this is not considered a journal article).


Cochrane Library

Cochrane Library is the leading journal and database for finding systematic reviews in health care. It is a powerful evidence-based tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making. Cochrane reviews are systematic reviews undertaken by members of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international not-for-profit organization. Cochrane aims to help people make well-informed decisions about healthcare by preparing, maintaining, and promoting the accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions. Cochrane Library also includes clinical trials and other information.

Cochrane Library Basic Search Tutorial from Drexel University Library:


JBI EBP Database

Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database is an online resource for healthcare professionals to rapidly access the best available evidence on a wide range of clinical topics at the point of care. Globally acknowledged as a leading producer of evidence-based care, practice guidance and other resources, JBI includes 4500+ JBI Evidence Summaries, Recommended Practices and Best Practice Information Sheets.