While Google is a great tool for finding restaurants and for planning your vacation, you might think twice before you treat patients with information from Google. Here's a tip sheet that shows the pros and cons.
Q: "I need to find a randomized control trial, published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene"
A: Begin this search in the OneSearch Journals List. This will help you find in which database this journal is indexed in order to continue your search within your specified journal.
An abstract is a brief overview of what will be discussed in the research article. It is often found at the beginning of the paper and is separated into different headings: Introduction/Purpose/Subjects, Methods, Results, Conclusion.
Author Affiliations and Credentials
For scholarly articles, the author’s affiliation and credentials are usually listed in the article, either as a footnote or in a section at the end. Here are a couple of examples:
Funding or sponsorship for the study is always located in a footnote or near the end of the article, under the section called Funding or Acknowledgements.
In this JDH article, you will notice the last sentence about a conflict of interest. Authors have to declare if they have a conflict of interest for this research (for instance, if the author is also on the board of directors for the company who makes this product, he would have to make that known).
When reading a scholarly article, always look at this section for a potential bias. For instance, there are times where the company who makes the product may also be helping in the study design, which would create a bias (the company could design the study to benefit the outcome in their favor).
If you look at the Acknowledgements section of the article above, you will see that it was supported by a grant from Phillips Oral (who makes Sonicare). This would create a bias if the article was comparing Sonicare to Oral-B and Sonicare funded the project. However, since it was comparing one Sonicare product to another Sonicare product, the bias is not as much of a concern.
PubMed is the National Library of Medicine’s web interface for searching the MEDLINE database as well as other related citations. MEDLINE contains citations and abstracts to the world’s literature in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, public health, allied health, health administration, and the pre-clinical sciences.
Getting to PubMed
Use the videos below to help begin your search in PubMed, or check out our PubMed tutorial guide. As always, contact your librarian to schedule an appointment for a one-on-one PubMed searching consultation.
When searching databases, take time to design your search strategy thoroughly.
Focus on one concept at a time; list your main idea for concept #1 along with synonyms, abbreviations, and alternate spellings. Everything in Concept 1 should use the OR Boolean. Do the same thing for your other concepts.
Use the AND Boolean to combine your concepts together.
Using a Venn Diagram can be useful in your search strategy design:
Additional searching tips:
* (asterisk) - Most databases recognize this as a truncation tool. Use it to truncate your word and search a variation of the words. For example: smok* will search for smoke, smokes, smoking, smokers, smokeless, etc.
" " (quotations) - Most databases will search your words as a phrase when they are placed in quotation marks. For example, a database will search for the words alcohol and addiction together when they are placed in quotations, like this "alcohol addiction". If you search for alcohol addiction without the quotation marks, the database will search for the words alcohol and addiction, but they won't be next to each other. In other words, the paper you find may be about alcohol in one paragraph and addiction [of any kind] in another paragraph.
Here's a video from B.D. Owens Library (Northwest Missouri State University) to help explain Boolean operators, asterisks, and quotation marks: