DH 2221W : Periodontology

PubMed search

Literature Review Process


  1. Create your research question (PICO)
  2. Search the literature
  3. Select relevant articles
  4. Organize your articles

Framing the research question with PICO. 

  • P (population, problem, patient)
  • I (intervention)
  • C (comparison)
  • O (outcome)

The PICO framework can help you identify your clinical question. In most circumstance you will only have a P, I, and O. When searching for articles start by searching for the P (population, problem, patient) and I (intervention). Then browse the article abstracts for the O (outcome). More details, including how to create a PICO, are on our Evidence-Based Practice Guide. 

Resources for Searching

Ovid Medline Help for more information check out our online guide.

PubMed Searching for Dental Students tutorial (4:08 minutes) . This short video will walk you through the steps of searching PubMed for dental information. 

Organizing Your References

As you search the journal literature you will want to collect and organize your references, or article citations. The easiest way to do this is by using a citation manager such as Mendeley or EndNote. These tools allow you to:

  • Export citations from databases and store them
  • Collect and store PDFs
  • Insert and format citations in MS Word

Zotero is a free citations manager that will help you collect and organize your citations, save PDFs, insert citations into MS Word and Google Docs, and help you organize your research projects.

For more information:

NLM Citation Style, 2nd ed

Citing Medicine provides assistance to authors in compiling lists of references for their publications, to editors in revising such lists, to publishers in setting reference standards for their authors and editors, and to librarians and others in formatting bibliographic citations. This is the citation style that you will need to use for this course. 

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2023 11:45 AM