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Using databases for your research BDS1 May 2013 Sonya Lipczynska Research & Learning Support. Presentation slides on the Library web pages. Library icon on internal page Subject support on the left hand menu Dentistry

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Using databases for your researchBDS1 May 2013Sonya & Learning Support

presentation slides on the library web pages
Presentation slides on the Library web pages
  • Library icon on internal page
  • Subject support on the left hand menu
  • Dentistry
  • Induction and subject specific training presentations (under Training)
  • Using Databases for your Research BDS 1
workshop outline
Workshop outline
  • Why databases?
  • Why not Google?
  • Planning searches
  • Using databases to find journal articles - Medline and Web of Science
  • Further useful info and where to find it!
why search for journal articles
Why search for journal articles?
  • Many articles are written by acknowledged experts in your field
  • You can find the latest and most up-to-date information, as well as trace the progression of a particular intervention or technique
  • Peer reviewed
  • You may not find this research elsewhere (e.g. textbooks)
making sense of journal citations
Making sense of journal citations

Author Year Article title

Oosterink FM, de Jongh A, Aartman IH. (2008)What are people afraid of during dental treatment? Anxiety-provoking capacity of the dental setting. Eur J Oral Sci116(1):44-51.

Vol Issue Pages Journal title

why databases
Why databases
  • Properly indexed records
  • Databases (e.g. Medline) only index journals which meet certain criteria
  • You can create complex searches using keywords, language tools and limits (e.g. year or age limits)
  • You can save your searches on the database website to retrieve later
  • Accuracy...
why not just google it
Why not just Google it?
  • Chung, Matthew ... [et al] – Safe Infant Sleep Recommendations on the Internet: Let’s Google It Journal of Pediatrics

  • Looked at the accuracy of recommendations about safe infant sleep on the internet and compared it to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Used 13 key phrases and analysed the first 100 search results for each phrase
what they found 1
What they found (1)
  • Only 43.5% of the web sites found contained information that was in line with the AAP recommendations
  • 28.1% contained inaccurate information
  • 28.4% contained irrelevant information
  • 19% were retail-product review web sites
  • 19% were web sites associated with specific products or interest groups
what they found 2
What they found (2)
  • Product-review web sites were the least accurate. Government web sites the most accurate
  • Educational web sites only had 50.2% accurate information (out of date)
  • The majority of books provided outdated or irrelevant information
how to find journal articles
How to find journal articles

If you need to search for articles on a specific subject, use databases of journal references such as:

  • Medline
  • Embase
  • Web of Science

See the Key Databases for Health Sciences user guide

for information about the databases:

plan your search
Plan your search
  • Before you search for information it is important to develop a search strategy
  • Create a focused question – if it’s too general you’ll get too many results, so make it more specific
  • Identify the key concepts & keywords
  • Identify any synonyms, alternative spellings etc
focus your question or topic
Focus your question or topic

Unfocused topic:

  • The use of sedation in dental treatment

Focused topic:

  • Is sedation preferable to general anaesthesia when providing dental treatment for primary age children?
select the key topics
Select the key topics
  • Dental treatment
  • Sedation
  • Conscious sedation
  • General anaesthesia

Age limit: Primary age children (approximately 4-11)

subject headings
Subject headings

Use subject heading where possible, e.g. in MEDLINE or Embase as it’s an effective way of searching

Applied to articles to provide a consistent vocabulary, e.g. cancer maps to the subject heading Neoplasm

Articles are tagged with subject headings that describe the topics within the article

Not all databases include subject headings, e.g. Web of Science


Retrieves results containing only both terms

This search will find articles only if they contain BOTH terms

e.g. general anaesthetic AND sedation

Makes search more specific


OR - any of the specified terms will be present

Use to describe the same topic using different keywords

e.g. general anaesthetic OR general anaesthesia

Makes search broader

free text searching
Free text searching
  • Free text, keyword, or ‘natural language’ searching
  • The strategy used for searching the web and any database
  • Finds results if the words you are searching for are present in:
    • article title
    • abstract
    • keywords
  • You will find an article if you use the same terminology as the author(s)

Use the ‘truncation’ symbol – an asterisk* to find

alternative word endings:


Use wildcards (?) to search for variations within a word

practical go to the web of science
Practical – go to the Web of Science
  • Repeat the search you did in Medline (demonstration)
find full text
Find full text

Finding full text

Electronically as ‘e-journals’

In print at King’s libraries

In print at other libraries (e.g. other UL colleges)

Document delivery – interlibrary loans

Look out for the SFX@King’s logo – link to full text

group exercise solve a clinical query
Group exercise: solve a clinical query

Get into groups of approximately 4-6

Create a search strategy for your provided clinical scenario

Search for appropriate journal articles to

solve the question

Ask for help if needed!

Be prepared to report your findings at the end

of the class.



Use the provided search template to plan your search

Write down the main keywords in the columns

For each keyword, if you can think of any

alternative terms, write those down as


You could split up within your group

and search different databases


further information and support
Further information and support

User guides on specific interfaces and databases at

available at

Contact the Information Specialist for Dentistry, Sonya Lipczynska