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Nursing Resources: Research Help


Wikipedia can be a good starting point for an overview of a topic or to get research ideas, but it is NOT considered a reliable or scholarly source!

"Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles."

What is "p-value?"

Categorical (nominal) tests
This category of tests can be used when the dependent, or outcome, variable is categorical (nominal), such as the dif­ference between two wound treatments and the healing of the wound (healed versus non­healed). One of the most used tests in this category is the chi­squared test (χ2). The chi­squared statistic is calculated by comparing the differences between the observed and the expected frequencies. The expected frequencies are the frequencies that would be found if there was no relationship between the two variables. 

Based on the calculated χ2 statistic, a probability (p ­value) is given, which indicates the probability that the two means are not different from each other. Researchers are often satisfied if the probability is 5% or less, which means that the researchers would conclude that for p < 0.05, there is a significant difference. A p ­value ≥ 0.05 suggests that there is no significant difference between the means.

Halfens, R. G., & Meijers, J. M. (2013). Back to basics: an introduction to statistics. Journal Of Wound Care, 22(5), 248-251.

What is "Confidence Interval"?

A confidence interval (CI) can be used to show within which interval the population's mean score will probably fall.  Most reseachers use a CI of 95%.  By using a CI of 95%, researchers accept there is a 5% chance they have made the wrong decision in treatment.  Therefore if 0 falls within the agreed CI, it can be concluded that there is no significant difference between the two treatments.  When 0 lies outside the CI, researchers will conclude that there is a statisticallyHalfens significant difference.

Halfens, R. G., & Meijers, J. M. (2013). Back to basics: an introduction to statistics. Journal Of Wound Care22(5), 248-251.

Google Scholar

The difference between Google and Google Scholar is that Google Scholar focuses on the scholarly literature available on the Internet.  This includes, articles, theses, books, abstracts, U.S. court opinions, and patents, found on the websites of academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and more. 

Google, on the other hand, has a broader scope, and is looking for resources regardless of where they come from.  Resources in a Google search do not have to be scholarly, and do not have to be based on research.

Personalize Google Scholar to show UW-Madison's "Find It" button to retrieve full text. Go to "Settings", Click on "Library Links" Enter University of Wisconsin Madison. Select all. Save


Plagiarize: "to steal and pass off (the ideas and words of another) as one's own" or to "present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source."1 The University of Wisconsin takes very seriously this act of "intellectual burglary," and the penalties are severe. 
1. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1993), 888.

The UW's Writing Center's page on plagiarism and common writing assignments will help you avoid plagiarism by teaching you how to properly integrate information from published sources into your own writing.  If it's not your idea or words, cite it!

Fora additional individual help writing a paper, check out