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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.

Step Four: Document a search

Each database provides 'save search' or 'RSS' features in order to document your search, and so that you do not have to repeat it each time you access the database. Using a citation management software will also help keeping track of: 

• Databases searched

• Dates

• Subject headings or Keywords

• Search history (how terms combined)

• Search results

Create an email alert in different databases

Email alerts are useful for those interested in staying uptodate on a particular topic or working on a long-term project. Whenever a new article that meets your search criteria is added to the database, an email will be sent alerting you that it is available. The instructions to sign up are as follows:

Ovid Databases

Not all the databases available in Ovid have the AutoAlert option, MEDLINE and EMBASE do.

  • Create a personal Ovid account and log in
  • Run a search (make sure you do not limit the search or remove duplicates, as AutoAlert will not capture these limits)
  • Select the search from the search history box and clink on 'Save Selected'
  • Name your Search name and in the drop down menu for 'Type' select 'AutoAlert (SDI)'
  • Select the preferred frequencies and click on Save


  • Create an account with NLM or Sign in with one of the Partners
  • Wait for email confirmation 
  • Log in and run a search
  • Click on 'Save Search' underneath the main search field in the results page
  • Name your search and select the frequencies of alerts
  • Click on ''Save'


  • Create a personal with MyScopus
  • Log in and run a search 
  • Click on 'Set Alert' in the top of the search result page
  • Name your search and select frequency preferences
  • Click on 'Save'

Web of Science

  • Create an account with Web of Science
  • Log in and run a search
  • Click on 'History' at the top of the page
  • Beside the search you want to save, click on the Bell Icon representing Alerts
  • Fill out the Name field
  • Select if you want to save with an alert or just the search only
  • Click on Save

Manage citations

Please check this guide Citing Sources / Create Your Bibliography to learn more about how to manage your citations and create correct citations for your bibliography.