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Dental Hygiene

Please visit the website for the University of South Dakota's Department of Dental Hygiene for more information about this program.

Assignment Help

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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.

  1. In OneSearch, select Journals List. In the search box, enter the journal name. In this example, the Journal of Dental Hygiene 
  2. Click on the title of the journal you need from the list of journals provided.
  3. You will see that this journal is available full text from 2001-present via EBSCOhost CINAHL Complete. Click on the link for EBSCOhost CINAHL Complete. 
  4. Click "Search within this publication", located toward the top left hand side of the page.
  5. The first search box will be filled in with the search term: JN "Journal of Dental Hygiene"
  6. In the next search box below your journal title, enter your other search terms.
  7. In the right hand column of search limiters, select the publication dates required, for example use 2014-2019 to only search for articles published within the last five years or so. You may also leave this blank, and limit your search once the results have been returned. (This option will be in the left hand column, use the sliding scale)
  8. In the right hand column of search limiters, select the box in front of Randomized Controlled Trials. If do not check this box, you can add a randomized control trial search concept to your strategy.
  9. Select "Search".  


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.

Q: "I need to research a medical condition and relate it to oral health."

A:  Try the database CINAHL

Getting to CINAHL

  • Start from the Libraries home page
  • Scroll to the black bar ( Books & More | Databases | Journals/E-books | Research Guides | Interlibrary Loan)
  • Click on the "Databases" tab.  Then click "A-Z Databases"
  • When the A-Z databases page opens, click "C"
  • Click on CINAHL Complete (via EBSCOhost)

Searching CINAHL

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

  • Start from the Libraries home page
  • Scroll to the black bar ( Books & More | Databases | Journals/E-books | Research Guides | Interlibrary Loan)
  • Click on the Databases tab.  Then click A-Z Databases
  • When the A-Z databases page opens, click P
  • Click on PubMed

Use the videos below to help begin your search in PubMed. 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:

  Venn diagram

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:

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