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Paramedic Science: Journals, Databases and Critical Thinking

Evaluating Sources

Check the Quality of your BREAD!

A loaf of bread

BREAD stands for:

  • BIAS - Does the author have a particular point of view? Does the article intend to sway you politically? Is the article trying to promote or sell a product?
  • RELEVANCY - Is the article relevant to your topic? Is it relevant to the UK? Is it an academic journal?
  • EVIDENCE - Does the article cite the sources it has used? Are there statistics to back up the research?
  • AUTHOR - Is the author qualified in that research area? Are they experts in the field?
  • DATE - Check the date of the article, if the article is older the information may be outdated. 

Consider each of these issues when searching for articles to find the best available material. 

Critical Thinking

The library offers lots of workshops on critical thinking. We also have recordings of previous workshops which are available on the Academic Skills Hub and dedicated articles to get you thinking critically.

 

Using LibrarySearch to find journal articles

Keywords

Here are some ideas on what makes a good keyword:

Think about who the population/ sample group. Are you looking for a particular age group, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, health issue etc.

  • What is the intervention/issue you want to know more about? This could be a particular type of medication, education, therapeutic technique etc. 
  • Do you have a particular context in mind? This could relate to a community setting, hospital, ward etc. 

It is important to remember that databases will only ever search for the exact term you put in, so don't panic if you are not getting the results you hoped for. Think about alternative words that could be used for each keyword to build upon your search. 

Magnifying glass

Database Searching

The Library has access to several databases, which contain academic journal articles for you to search. Databases are usually the best way to find academic information of a good quality and academic rigor.

You can access our databases via the Portal. Go to the My Learning section and click on 'Online databases and academic journals'. If you have any questions about using or accessing the databases then feel free to get in touch.


The best databases for paramedic topics are:

  • CINAHL Plus with Full-Text
  • Medline
  • PsycInfo

You can also try:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection
  • PsycArticles

All of these databases are available through EBSCOHost. You can also search them collectively by selecting the ‘Health Sciences databases’ option on EBSCOHost

Grey Literature

Grey literature is the name given to any material which is published outside of the commercial/academic circle. It includes reports, guidelines, conference proceedings etc. 

Places to find grey literature:

  • NHS webpages
  • NICE
  • Government webpages
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Charities and other official bodies

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