This tutorial gives tips on searching in AltHealthWatch and other helpful kinesiology and health science research databases. The tutorial covers:
  • What's in Alt-HealthWatch
  • Search tips
  • Narrowing results
  • How to access full-text of articles
  • Adding other databases to your search

Use the arrows below to move through the tutorial.

What is Alt-HealthWatch?

Alt-HealthWatch is a specialized library database that focuses on multiple perspectives of complementary, holistic, and integrated approaches to health care and wellness.

Here you’ll find academic journal articles (including peer-reviewed articles) as well as descriptions of books and dissertations.


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Let’s say you’re interested in doing research on alternative medicine. Let’s begin searching in AltHealthWatch by putting alternative medicine in the top search box and hitting Search. What happens?


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Wow! Over 20,000 results! This is fewer than you’d get in Google Scholar, but still too many. Luckily, there are ways we can narrow this down.

How can we narrow our results to something more relevant to our interests? 


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Correct! Adding additional search terms is a great way to narrow our results. Let’s say you want to focus on the use of alternative medicine in pediatric care. Type in pediatrics in the second search box.

We still get over 450 results, but the results are starting to focus more on the topic we’re interested in, the impact of alternative medicine in pediatric care. But we need to make our results more relevant, since that's still pretty board.


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So, now we need to ask ourselves what specific area of alternative medicine in pediatric care are you interested in? To find search terms that will increase the relevancy of your results, scan through the Titles and Subjects listed under each article.

Alt Health Watch article about acupuncture in pediatric medicine

Let’s say this article stands out to you because you are interested in acupuncture specifically. You’ll notice this article’s subject headings lists “acupuncture” and “alternative medicine.” This means similar articles will also be tagged with this heading.


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To find similar articles that are more relevant to your interests, let’s add acupuncture to our search by entering the term into the third search box. Click search.

What happened?


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In many cases your instructor will ask you to only use recent scholarly or peer-reviewed research. From the left hand bar, let’s limit our search to peer-reviewed by checking the "Limit to: Peer Review" box.

Limit To: Peer review and 2012 to present

Then use the date slider to limit to academic research from 2012 to present.  

A few dozen results are a great place to settle with an initial search in a research database. You have enough results that you can skim a few pages to get a sense of subtopics in your topic!

Getting the Article

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Now the fun part! You've found something great and want to dive into it. But wait, even if you click on the title of the article, what you are viewing isn't the whole article…

If the article is available in this database, you will see either a "html full text" or a "pdf full text" icon on the left side of the page. Clicking on those icons will take you to the full article.

But what if those icons aren't there?

Getting the Article

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In place of the full text icons, you may see an ArticleLinker icon.

article linker icon

ArticleLinker is a guide that will help you find the full article if it's not in this article database. Follow the steps to get to your article.

Note: In some cases you may need to Click to open the full text in a new window

Useful Tools

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AltHealthWatch has some other useful tools, including the option to get you started with citing the articles you’ve found.

Click on the title of an article to open its article record. On the right side, you’ll see an icon that looks like a sheet of paper and says Cite.

Click on it to see your article formatted in a number of citation styles, including APA. Scroll down to find the one you need, and then copy and paste it into your bibliography.

Useful Tools

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Look at the other options below Tools (on the right side of an article record).

What other great things does AltHealthWatch allow you to do with an article?

Searching Beyond Alt-HealthWatch

Finally, if you have a topic that fits into multiple disciplines – like sports psychology, sports medicine, or education– you can add databases to your search to expand the pool of articles you’re searching in.

To add databases, click on Choose Databases above the first search box. 


Recommended additional databases for KHS include:

  • SPORTdiscus: Useful for topics pertaining to athletics, sports psychology, and sports medicine.
  • Education Source and ERIC: Articles and more having to do with education topics. 
  • Health Source Academic: Articles geared toward health and medicine.

Once you’ve finished exploring the list of additional databases, click the Okay button at the bottom of the screen.

The End!

Want more ideas? Need some help?

Go to the next page if you need to e-mail a completion certificate to your instructor. Happy researching!


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