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Evidence-based dental practice: searching the literature and writing a report

This guide will help you search and assess literature to support dental research questions.


This guide was written in collaboration between the librarians at the Dentistry Library and the former Director of the Health Sciences Writing Centre, Dr. Dena Taylor. For the literature search part, this guide only provides a brief introduction to the steps involved. If you are conducting a knowledge synthesis project, please refer to this guide: "Knowledge syntheses: Systematic & Scoping Reviews, and other review types", or you can book a consultation with a librarian at the Dentistry Library. 

Searching for dental literature

The steps to search for literature can be complex. Here we attempt to break the process down into five steps for simplicity:

1) Identify the main concepts or keywords for your topic

2) Determine the right database for your information needs

3) Planning a search

4) Document the search

5) Evaluate what you find

Look through the tabs of this guide to find more information on each of these steps. If you have any questions about the content of this guide or searching for literature, please don't hesitate to contact us.