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NS-532 Evidence Based Practice and Leadership

Course materials and resources for NS-532


For NS 532, you will be asked to use research evidence to write your discussion posts. This will require searching library databases for scholarly articles and may need you to describe your search process. Use this course guide to help you with finding evidence for your discussion posts.

Enroll in our D2L Library Workshops

Our D2L workshops are self-paced and asynchronous. They are a combination of videos, readings, activities, and quizzes. Learn some new (or refresh your existing) research skills in just a couple of hours!

Click on a workshop below to self-enroll. Or see the complete list of available workshops.

Test Search

(influenza OR flu) AND (handwashing OR “hand washing” OR “hand hygiene”) AND (prevention OR prevent OR intervention) AND (children OR students OR schools OR pediatric)

Search Across All Databases

MGH OneSearch

OneSearch is a library tool that searches all of our databases at the same time. You can search for journal articles or e-books.

Are you looking for a specific article or e-book? Type the title into the search box. When you click the search button, the results page will tell you if we have the article or e-book in full text.

Look for the PDF Full Text or Get it from MGH eTreadwell icons on the results page. Click on them to get to the full text.

PDF Full Text icon Get it from MGH eTreadwell icon

Are you searching a topic? Type your keywords into the search box and click the Search button. Results will be ranked by relevancy. Use the limits on the left hand side to narrow down your results.

Peer Review

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This term refers to a method of vetting articles or other materials most commonly for inclusion in a journal.  

It involves having colleagues who are knowledgeable in a discipline examine articles before they are published, and it is a way to help verify that the research an article presents is sound and its conclusions logical.  

Primary Sources

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In the health and social sciences, most often a primary source is a report of the results of an experiment or research study.  The most common source format these take are published articles found in scholarly journals or conference papers.

Why Choose Primary Sources

Primary Sources represent the best evidence to support an argument.  When you examine a primary source, you get to see all of the relevant information about the study as well as the authors' interpretation of the results of that study.  You can then come to your own conclusions about the significance, relevance, and meaning of those results as they apply to your topics of interest.  If instead you rely on the interpretations of another author, say from a literature review or other secondary source, you can run into trouble, because their point of view might cloud their interpretations and could lead you astray. Therefore, when you can, you will want to select primary sources to cite in your papers and other academic work.  

Identifying Primary Sources

However, not everything published in a scholarly journal or presented at a conference will be a primary source.  Here are some things to look for.

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  • Details about the experiment/study
    Look for a methods section with details about study participants, instruments, and procedures.  

  • Details about the results
    Look for raw and analyzed data gathered during the study.  Frequently these numbers will be displayed in charts or graphs.

  • Don't be fooled by literature reviews where authors talk about other peoples' research.