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Physician Assistant Studies: Getting Started

Research resources and search tips for UAB Surgical PA students

Working Off Campus

You can use almost every online resource off campus. Access them through library website:

Use your Blazer ID and password to log in if off campus and use the Full Text@UAB Libraries button to find full text.

Avoiding Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

According to the UAB Academic Honor Code,

PLAGIARISM means claiming as your own the ideas, words, data, computer programs, creative compositions, artwork, etc., done by someone else. Examples include improper citation of referenced works, the use of commercially available scholarly papers, failure to cite sources, or copying another person’s ideas.

In order to avoid plagiarism, use the "3 Step Rule" in your academic writing:

Information from sources must be:

  1. Paraphrased, summarized or quoted AND
  2. Cited in the same paragraph AND
  3. Included in a reference list at the end of the document

Useful resources on avoiding plagiarism:

The Ethics of Paraphrase (from UAB Graduate School) includes strategies for effective paraphrasing

Is it Plagiarism Yet?  (from Purdue OWL) discusses what needs to be cited and what is common knowledge

Building Your Search

Strategies for Successful Searching

1. Identify key concepts and brainstorm search terms for each

   See the slideshow above or watch this narrated tutorial to learn more

2.  Build search strings using "and" "or" and, sometimes, "not"

  •  Learn more about Boolean operators here 
  • "And" narrows your topic, "or" broadens it

3.  Choose the right resources or databases to search

  • Consider books and e-books for background information. Articles can provide current information and answer specific   questions. Use articles to find evidence for evidence-based health care.
  • PubMed (medicine) and CINAHL (nursing) are good starting points for peer-reviewed biomedical articles

4.  Use search tips or Help files in the database to focus your searches

  • Each database searches differently. Some use subject terms that include popular synonyms.  Others search by  keyword
  • PubMed and CINAHL have "limits"  for language, patients ages, publications types, date, and more

5.  Ask a Librarian if you get stuck!

School of Health Professions Liaison

Megan Bell's picture
Megan Bell
Lister Hill Library
1700 University Blvd.
2nd Floor; 251 J2
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