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Welcome to the Nursing Research Guide! Here you will find inforamtional resources to support the Students, Faculty, and Staff of the School of Nursing and UCI Health.

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a map with a compass on topPresearching, also known as preliminary, exploratory, novice, or naive searching, is the type of searching you will need to do if you are brand new to a research topic. Presearching helps build necessary context and background information to understand a topic before searching for articles in databases.

How to Presearch

Presearching will look different for every researcher, depending on your style. Here are a couple tips on how to get the most out of your presearch:

  • Avoid rabbitholes: you want to cast a wide net while you build context behind your topic.
  • Document: keep a document/spreadsheet/piece of paper to write down relevant keywords and subtopics as you read.
  • Keep an eye on key players: do you notice specific people, organizations, or frameworks that keep coming up? Those may be necessary to dig deeper into later on.

Where to Presearch

A Note on Terminology

Resources you might find on Google or Wikipedia are often called "Popular Sources" because they are written for the general population. Reading popular sources before looking for scholarly sources can be helpful if you are unfamiliar with a topic because scholarly (aka academic, peer-reviewed) sources tend to use very specialized language that can be difficult to understand if you do not already have a general background.