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Grey Literature and Statistics for Dentistry

This guide provides a summary of grey literature resources and oral health statistics that are considered important for dental research. On the left hand side menu, the resources are organized geographically by Canada, the US and International resources.

General Search Tips

General search tips for finding grey literature in any of the sources listed:

  • Need to search the content rather than the contributors
  • Use the advanced search function for better precision
  • Take the time to look at any 'search tips' a particular grey literature database or website offers, as they will give you a good starting point for creating your search statement and allow you to search more effectively
  • If the source uses Boolean Operators (and, or, not) be sure to include them in your search statement for greater precision
  • Consider including some of the following terms in your search statements:
          Guidance Task Force Guidelines
  Framework Whitepaper Strategy
  Evidence Care pathway Steering Group
  Policy Evaluation Toolkit
  Strategic Plan    
  • It's important to keep in mind that many grey literature databases don't index everything and some databases will not be up-to-date

Google Advance Search Tips

  • Use different Googles, not just Google.com; depending on what you are looking for, try .uk or .ire, etc.
  • Use the Google Advance Search (which can be found by clicking on this link or using the Google search below)
Google Web Search
  • Domain: choose the domain (typically the last 3 letters in a website address) to help narrow your results. The best choices are:
    • .org: doesn't have as strict a quality control over which organizations can use it; is usually non-profit groups
    • .edu: U.S. educational institutions, i.e. universities; but you will NOT get universities outside of the U.S. in your results
    • .int: international treaty organizations such as World Health Organization
    • .gov: U.S. government
    • .mil: U.S. military
    • .gc.ca: Canadian government
    • .uk: United Kingdom government
  • Limit file types: good bets are PDF, MS Word, and PowerPoint
  • Last update: anytime, past 24 hours, past week, past month, past year
  • Journal Title: include or exclude
  • Remove certain sites which are known to have a lot of scholarly journal articles from the search parameters, i.e. PubMed
  • Search command filters: These phrases will perform the following functions when typed in the text of your search statement. For an example of how some of these filters could be used in a search, see the sample search statement below.
    • Allintext: all of the words in your search statement must be included in the text of the document/webpage in order for it to be included in your search results
    • Cache: will retrieve the backup of a webpage
    • Site: can be used to exclude results from a specific site by putting a minus sign (-) in front of the URL, or can be used to only retrieve results from a specific site
    • Intitle: all of the words in your search statement must be included in the title of the document/webpage in order for it to be included in your search results
    • Allinurl: all of the words in your search statement must be included in the URL of the document/webpage in order for it to be included in your search results
    • Inauthor: the author name specified must be included in the text of the document/webpage in order for it to be included in your search results
    • Related: will find similar websites
    • ~ will find similar terms and phrases; can be U.S.-centric in regards to spelling and terms used
    • Link: will find sites that link to your known URL

Sample search statement for grey literature PDFs produced by the Canadian government on prevention of dental caries that doesn't include hits from PubMed (use the Google Search below):

Google Web Search

Finding Surveys in the Library Catalogue

Dental data and statistics can also be found in surveys available at the Dentistry Library. To search the library catalogue for surveys in our collection, follow these steps:

  1. Start from the Dentistry Library homepage.
  2. Click on Advanced Search at the top right corner of the page, in the Catalogue section.
  3. Select "Subject" from the drop-down menu to the right of the search box to search within the subject field.
  4. Select "Dentistry (Harry R Abbott)" from the Library drop-down menu.
  5. Enter "dental surveys" or "dental health surveys" in the search box (include quotation marks).
  6. Complete your search.
  7. If you are looking for a specific survey or would like to narrow your search results, check the "Search Within" box under the search bar at the top left-hand corner of your results page and enter additional search terms.

There are also a number of dental surveys available in locations other than the Dentistry Library. For example, many materials providing historic statistics on dental and oral health are housed in University of Toronto Libraries' off-site storage facility at Downsview, and may be requested for intercampus delivery. To find a wider array of relevant surveys available through UTL, select "any library" in step 5 rather than limiting to materials located at the Dentistry Library. For additional assistance in finding and/or requesting dental surveys, please speak to a librarian.