Off Campus Access

Current students, faculty, and staff can access electronic library resources off campus, it’s easy!  When prompted, just enter your MCC username and password and you’re all set to explore your selected resource. 


Strategies for Database Searching

There are two key steps to take when searching for research articles in an academic database. 

  1. Make a list of keywords.
  2. Use Boolean operators between your search terms when using the database. 

Step 1: Keywords are the main ideas represented in your research topic or question and/or the main words you would use to describe the topic to another person. 

  • Determine which words or phrases represent the main concepts of your research question. Example: What is the relationship between children drinking diet soda and weight gain? (keywords are underlined)
  • Determine synonyms or related words for those concepts. If you are having trouble, try looking the term up in a thesaurus to help you generate a list.



Diet Soda

Weight Gain


low calorie soda



diet beverage



diet pop

increased body mass


Step 2: Once you've determined the keywords, combine them in the database using the Boolean operator AND to narrow your search results. Essentially you're "telling" the database to retrieve only those documents or records containing both words or phrases; for example "online programs" AND "student success;" or the keywords "endangered" AND "birds". The more terms added to the search, the narrower the results will be. 

Boolean image obtained from The Boolean Machine courtesy Rockwell Shrock 

For example successful keyword search phrases relating to nursing may include:

  • nursing AND primary care AND United States
  • Advanced practice nursing AND nursing role
  • Patient safety AND hospital
  • medication errors AND intervention AND adolescent
  • medication errors AND intervention AND geriatric
  • medication errors AND intervention 

Example search using CINAHL

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Lakeland Community College. (2014). Anatomy of a Scholarly Article [Video]. YouTube.

What is PubMed?

PubMed is a free web-based interface for searching MEDLINE.

  • PubMed is created by the National Library of Medicine, and contains the MEDLINE database.
  • It covers journal articles in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the health care system.
  • PubMed has information about journal articles(currently over 24 million) published in 5,600 journals in 30 languages dating back to 1946.
  • It does not include information about meeting abstracts, conference proceedings, dissertations, patents, or websites.
  • NLM indexers add words called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to the information about each article. Searching with MeSH words helps you find more relevant articles.

PubMed Homepage

  • You can learn more about PubMed by exploring the links provided on the PubMed homepage.
  • Go to PubMed



Sample PubMed Article Article 

Below is an image of a PubMed article record. Labels were added to explain the information that PubMed provides about the article:

  • Journal Name Abbreviation
  • Publication Date
  • Volume/Issue#, pages 
  • Article title
  • Author last name with first and middle initials
  • Author affiliation
  • Abstract
  • Links to comments 
  • Links to assigned index terms.

Remember: PubMed does NOT include the full-text of articles in its database--it links out to them. PubMed only searches the information about the article(including title and abstract), not the full-text of the article.  



How to Create a PubMed Account

Advantages include:

  • Save searches & automatic e-mail alerts
  • Display format preferences
  • Filter options
  • Highlighting search terms
  • Recent activity searches & records for 6 months

Click on the Log In button as it as appears below, in the top right of the page


You may Log in using a variety of different methods, including your Google login (I used my personal Google account). Or you can also select "New here? Sign up" at the bottom of the login page. 





Using PubMed in Evidence-Based Practice Training Course 

by NIH National Library of Medicine

When conducting research, evidence-based practice is a method for framing clinical questions that will help yield optimal search results.  is a free research tool from the National Library of Medicine®. This course will show you how to use evidence-based practice when searching clinical questions using PubMed®.

This course includes:

  •  Scenarios

  •  Try-It Exercises

  •  Additional Training

To access the PubMed Evidence-Based Practice Training Course go to or click on the image. 


CINAHL Databases - Basic Search Tutorial

This tutorial demonstrates the basic searching features of the suite of CINAHL databases on EBSCO.

CINAHL Databases - Advanced Searching Tutorial

This tutorial demonstrates the advanced searching features of the suite of CINAHL databases on EBSCO.

CINHAL Databases - CINAHL/MeSH Headings 

This video tutorial demonstrates how to create a search using the CINAHL/MeSH Headings functionality.

PubMed - Need the Full Text Article?

A tutorial on how to get full text articles for PubMed citations, both free and for a fee by the NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine

Use MeSH to Build a Better PubMed Query

This tutorial shows how to build a targeted PubMed search starting in the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

database. It includes very brief background on MeSH terms and indexing by NIH U. S. National Library of Medicine