HOW TO RESEARCH YOUR DENTISTRY ESSAY
One way to find key resources on your topic is to follow relevant references given in books
and articles. Of course you wouldn't want to follow every reference; but if you find a good book
or article on your topic, it may well lead you to other relevant articles or books.
9. Following the trail
Say you're reading the 2001 article "The use of fluoride varnishes in the prevention of
dental caries: a short review". You come across the following sentence:
"The possibility of preventing baby bottle tooth decay with fluoride varnish
application to the maxillary incisors was investigated by Weinstein et al (1994)."
You might decide you want to read the Weinstein study. If so, you would look under W in the
list of references at the end of the article, where you would find the following citation:
Weinstein P, Domoto P, Koday M et al (1994). Results of a promising open trial to prevent baby
bottle tooth decay:
a fluoride varnish study. ASDC J Dent Child 61: 338-341.
Since this tells you the journal title, volume, and page numbers where the Weinstein
article was published, you could easily retrieve the article.
(For help in understanding the above
citation, including the journal title abbreviation, see Section 8,
Remember that authors are only human, so citations you find in a bibliography won't always be
accurate -- e.g., the year or journal title might be given incorrectly.
If a citation said "Angle Orthodontist 73: 952", and you went to volume 73 of the
journal Angle Orthodontist and discovered that the last page in that volume was page
768 (i.e., there was no page 952), then you would know that something in the citation was
incorrect. You might suspect that perhaps the article actually has a different page number, or
different volume number, or even different journal title.
If a citation doesn't add up, try searching for the article title or the author in Medline, to get a
Retrieving your articles
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© 2004, Margaret Fulford. All rights reserved.