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Journals are the way of knowledge disseminating generated from research, in order for this to be utilized to improve nursing care or to serve as a springboard for further studies. The most reliable journals to be used when obtaining research evidence are those that are peer-reviewed.  This category of journal articles goes through stringent review and evaluation by a panel of nurses who are experts in their respective fields and are referred to as blind reviewers because they do not know who the authors are and can therefore render impartial judgments. The aim of the process is to obtain expert opinion on whether the submitted work meets professional research standards in terms of sampling, methodology, analysis and conclusions so as to merit publication. If not, work is either returned to the author/s for revision or rejected outright. This ensures that only quality research material is published and used by consumers. 

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Peer-reviewed journals are easily distinguished from non-nursing health or medical journals: as they bear “nursing” in their titles and can also include different areas of professional nursing practice. Examples are Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, Journal of the Association of Operating Room Nurses, Journal of Family Nursing, or Journal of Advanced Nursing. Peer-reviewed nursing journals follow a standard format, namely background of the study, literature review, methodology, results, analysis/discussion, and conclusions/implications. Lists of references appear at the end of the articles. They further list all of the authors’ names, credentials, affiliations and often their contact details.   Both these features lend credibility and scholarliness to the research done.

In searching the University Library for a research study in relation to obese children with diabetes, appropriate key search words are obese/obesity, children/childhood and diabetes. Key words are then combined into the following phrases: “obese children and diabetes,” “childhood obesity and diabetes,” and “obese and diabetic children”. The use of the conjunction “and” to connect the key words into a phrase will generate results wherein all key words are present. This significantly narrows down the search, especially, when thousands of studies bearing either obese children only or diabetes only are available. It ensures that studies in the list of search results focus both on both obesity and diabetes specifically in pediatric patient population.

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