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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

CINAHL Help Guide

Information about how to use CINAHL

CINAHL Complete

What is CINAHL Complete?

CINAHL Complete provides access to the literature in nursing and 17 allied health disciplines dating back to 1937. Over 5000 journals are indexed including virtually all English language nursing journals along with selected titles in biomedicine, alternative therapies, and consumer health. It also offers access to Evidence- Based Care Sheets, searchable cited references, and over 250 research instrument descriptions.

How is CINAHL Complete different from PubMed?

How is CINAHL Complete different from PubMed?


PubMed CINAHL Complete
Coverage: 1940’s to date Coverage: 1937 to date
Indexes 5600 journals Indexes 5000 journals in nursing and allied health
Includes citations to journal articles primarily Includes citations to journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, AVs, nurse practice acts, Evidence-Based Care Sheets, research instruments, etc.
Focuses on biomedical literature Focuses on nursing and allied health literature
Uses MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) as its controlled vocabulary Based on MeSH with additional CINAHL (nursing and allied health) subject headings
Not possible to limit search to peer-reviewed journals Peer Reviewed journal limit available
Does not include cited references from the end of articles Includes cited references listed at the end of many articles

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