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Pharmacy (PharmD)

Library and web resources to support the PharmD degree program at West Coast University

Find Articles with an Exact Title / Author

There are many ways to conduct your search in order to find exact articles.  When searching a specific title, putting your search terms in quotation marks narrows down the search results.  This method is called "exact phrase searching".

When you are searching for a specific author's body of work, use our "Advanced Search" feature on the library homepage.

Select "author" in the drop-down menu to the left of the search bar.  In the search bar, enter the author's full name.

Search Tips for Article Databases: Boolean Search

Boolean search allows users to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT and OR to help produce more relevant results. For example, a Boolean search could be "Pharmacology" AND "drug interaction". This would limit the search results to only those documents containing the two keywords.

Finding/Researching Qualitative and Quantitative Articles

Qualitative Research:

  • Generally studies human behavior/experience and often involves surveys and interviews as methods.
  • Researchers usually compare qualities, such as "good", "painful", "better", "faster", etc. 
  • Qualitative research often involves a small number of participants (sometimes called a "cohort”) and researchers interview them thoroughly.  It can include numerical data, but it is often comparing results based on perceptions, observations and educated opinions. 
  • Qualitative research is used in healthcare for studying subjective topics, such as “pain” or “the relationships between nurses and patients.”
  • The abstract of a qualitative article will sound more like a persuasive argument, with little numerical data

Quantitative Research: 

  • Quantitative research is numerical, direct and often studies large groups of people.
  • Quantitative research uses statistics to compare precise figures, such as "25% vs. 75%."
  • The researchers often have a theory in advance, and are using scientific methods to prove the theory with numerical data.
  • It is often possible to recognize quantitative articles by the precise numerical results they report in the abstract.

FAQ List: Qualitative and Quantitative Articles

Original Articles

During your studies at WCU, your professors will ask you to look for original research articles.  "Original research articles"  are standard scientific articles.  Often published in scholarly peer reviewed journals, primary research articles report on the findings of a scientists work. They will almost always include a description of how the research was done and what the results mean.  The author(s) of the article are the same people conducting the research.

Students will often pull up "literature reviews" thinking that they are original research, when they are not.  Literature reviews can be easily confused with primary research articles. They are also published in peer reviewed journals, but seek to synthesize and summarize the work of a particular sub-field, rather than report on new results.  Essentially, they are reviewing original research from a variety of academic journals and performing a data analysis on them, comparing and contrasting results to explore a common theme.  Review articles will often lack a “Materials and Methods” section.

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