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Nursing & Midwifery

Guide to quality nursing and midwifery information

What kind of texts am I reading?

In your studies you will explore health care and the professions in the local, national and international context. You will do this with support from information and literature from varied sources and in different forms. To help you understand the different terminology, and what each source means, we have provided some explanations for you:

Chapters in a book

At times you will be asked to read a chapter in a book. This might be a scanned chapter that is uploaded to your course readings, a chapter in an eBook or a chapter in a print book. For eBooks, you will find a link to access this in your course readings. For print books, check the location details in course readings and then find this in your local campus library. 

Chapters in an edited book

An edited book will normally have chapters by a number of different authors as well as editors for the entire book. If you are just using one chapter, you would reference this as a chapter in an edited book.

Discussion paper

A discussion paper is a document that puts forward some ideas or opinions that form the basis of a discussion on a particular topic,

Editorials in journals

An editorial can include critiques of articles published in the journal, reviews of interesting topics or very recent developments that may be important to readers of the journal. This should be a discussion of an important issue or policy with critical observations by the editor rather than being focused only on the editor's personal opinion.

Fact sheets

A fact sheet is a short document that contains the most relevant information about a particular subject in an easy and quick to read format.


An infographic is a collection of imagery, data visualizations like pie charts and bar graphs, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic.

Journal articles

A journal is a scholarly publication intended for specialists to learn about the latest research, news and views in a field.

See All about journal articles

Hint: reading the abstract and conclusion will give you a good overview of the article.

Narrative Review

A narrative or traditional literature review is a comprehensive, critical and objective analysis of the current knowledge on a topic. 

Position statements

A position statement lets people know where you stand on a topic or debate. It can be used in a variety of areas like policy, literature, ethics and legislation.

Government and Organisation publications

Government and organisation publications are official documents that include reports, policies, codes of conduct, charters, standards and papers.

White papers

A white paper is an authoritative guide that discusses issues on a certain subject, along with a proposed solution for handling them.

The big question is, ‘Can I use all of these as a reference’?

Academic sources such as textbooks and peer reviewed journals are usually preferred as references in an assignment. However, other types of sources may be used for particular purposes or in specific assessments. Your assessment information and/or rubric will normally detail which resource are required for your assessment. If you are not sure, check with your tutor or lecturer.

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