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Critically Analyzing Research Resources


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Critically Analyzing Research Resources

  1. 1. Critically Analyzing Research Resources Professional Practices I October 2008
  2. 2. Outline of Today’s Lecture <ul><li>Why do we do this? </li></ul><ul><li>Dental Hygienists and Research </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence-Based Practice </li></ul><ul><li>What is a Research Article </li></ul><ul><li>Parts of a Research Article </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul>
  3. 3. Principle of Least Effort <ul><li>In our usual day-to-day lives, we will try to solve problems and make decisions in such a way to minimize the total work we have to do </li></ul><ul><li>We need to do this because we don’t have time , the money, or the interest </li></ul><ul><li>Companies, organizations and workers need to recognize this when dealing with the public </li></ul>
  4. 4. Science/Academic Research <ul><li>When you do real research, the goal is not speed, but accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>A different, more sophisticated and rigorous approach is required </li></ul><ul><li>This takes time and effort you would never usually do </li></ul>
  5. 5. Dental Hygienists and Research <ul><li>Because DH was considered women’s occupational work, it was not treated seriously until the 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>As professional organizations build up (CDHA), some people start becoming actively involved </li></ul><ul><li>But, the number of RDH who do research is extremely low, and not much better for reading it </li></ul>
  6. 6. Canadian RDHs who do Research Sandra Cobban, Associate Professor, Dental Hygiene Program, University of Alberta Salme Lavigne, Associate Professor and Director School of Dental Hygiene, University of Manitoba Marilyn Goulding, Niagara College Joanne Clovis, Associate Professor, School of Dental Hygiene, Dalhousie University
  7. 7. Trying to promote research <ul><li>Cobban and Clovis have written about the need for RDHs to use research and become researchers </li></ul><ul><li>So far results are disappointing </li></ul><ul><li>But the CDHA and other bodies are now on the verge of implementing Evidenced Based Practice </li></ul>
  8. 8. Evidenced Based Practice <ul><li>A way for professionals (especially medical) to make decisions by looking at evidence and rate it by how scientifically sound it is </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence comes from scientific literature and clinical practice </li></ul><ul><li>Want to stop using rules of thumb , “the way it was always done” </li></ul>
  9. 9. How does EBD help <ul><li>Research shows what are the best or newest ways of doing treatments, using medications, dealing with diseases, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps you avoid making the wrong decisions! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Focal Infection Theory <ul><li>Good example of how research changes </li></ul><ul><li>A very popular theory in the 1920s and 30s, thought that many diseases originated in the mouth </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of healthy teeth were extracted, until the theory was discredited </li></ul><ul><li>Since the 1990s, new research has been showing oral-systemic connections </li></ul><ul><li>Where will this go? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Will RDHs accept EBP? <ul><li>Obstacles include – not educated enough, can’t access material, hard to communicate with colleagues, too willing to defer to the dentist, demand for profit for business </li></ul><ul><li>Being in independent practice poses new challenges, and new demands </li></ul>
  12. 12. The problems in finding resources <ul><li>There is a huge amount of material </li></ul><ul><li>It is growing fast </li></ul><ul><li>Much of it is useless </li></ul>
  13. 13. How much is there? <ul><li>About 500 dental journals are published each year </li></ul><ul><li>About 43 000 dental-related articles are published each year </li></ul><ul><li>Our rate of published literature is doubling every ten years </li></ul>
  14. 14. Any good news…a little <ul><li>For dental hygienists, there are just a few scientific journals exclusively for them </li></ul><ul><li>Also a few other magazines for dental hygienists </li></ul><ul><li>These will be your core reading materials for the rest of your career </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other Academic Journals <ul><li>Journal of the Canadian Dental Association </li></ul><ul><li>British Dental Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Dental Research </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Medical Association Journal </li></ul><ul><li>New England Journal of Medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of the American Medical Association </li></ul>
  16. 16. What is a Scientific Paper? <ul><li>It shall be this: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>True </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. New <ul><li>It offers some information that is previously unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Can be a very tiny bit of knowledge (and usually is) </li></ul><ul><li>Originality is important – is the paper addressing the issue in a new way, using new methods and new technology </li></ul>
  18. 18. True <ul><li>Are the conclusions coming from reliable observations combined with sound logic </li></ul><ul><li>Can this experiment be done again with the result being the same conclusion </li></ul>
  19. 19. Important <ul><li>Highly subjective </li></ul><ul><li>The key is will this article be useful for further research </li></ul><ul><li>Up to ¼ of all scholarly articles will not be referenced again </li></ul><ul><li>Citation analysis is one way to go – some journals do better than others </li></ul>
  20. 20. Articles have a structure <ul><li>Title </li></ul><ul><ul><li>should be informative, concise and graceful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trend is to present the conclusion in the title </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Author <ul><li>Some authors are better, more famous, come with baggage </li></ul><ul><li>Should have their address for correspondence, questions, feedback </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of articles have multiple authors – who is responsible for what </li></ul>
  22. 22. Date of Submission and Acceptance <ul><li>Was done mostly as a way to give credit to authors that they made the discovery first </li></ul><ul><li>When articles used to be just printed, it could be a long time for them to be ready </li></ul><ul><li>Now with online editions, articles come faster </li></ul>
  23. 23. Abstract or summary <ul><li>An abstract should tell the reader why a study was done, what was done, what was found, and what was concluded </li></ul><ul><li>A Summary focuses on the principle findings and conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Abstracts are becoming more structured </li></ul>
  24. 24. Introduction <ul><li>States what the problem is, what we already know about it, and why we should care </li></ul><ul><li>Often the conclusion of the article can be found here too </li></ul>
  25. 25. Materials and methods <ul><li>This will give the reader enough information they need to repeat the experiment </li></ul><ul><li>What was the strategy behind the research, what problems they had to deal with </li></ul><ul><li>If a paper’s conclusions are seen to be wrong, the usual cause is poor methods </li></ul>
  26. 26. Results <ul><li>Presents the findings </li></ul><ul><li>Often includes data, figures and tables </li></ul>
  27. 27. Discussion <ul><li>This is where they ‘sell’ the paper </li></ul><ul><li>Uses the results and combines with other research to develop conclusions </li></ul>
  28. 28. References <ul><li>Footnotes, endnotes, done in various styles </li></ul><ul><li>Allows the reader to track down other research </li></ul><ul><li>Best way for finding material </li></ul>
  29. 29. Other Types of Articles <ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>examining a particular case or small number of cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually for something new or different </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review of the Field </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Article just looks at what has been previously published </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very useful for scholars </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Biases in paper <ul><li>Who is paying for the study? This is a huge issue </li></ul><ul><li>Also be aware of national, ethnic, and personal biases </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Rush to publish’ can also effect the paper’s quality </li></ul>
  31. 31. Non-Academic Journals <ul><li>RDH, Hygienetown, JPH, Oral Health </li></ul><ul><li>Mix of articles, some with research </li></ul><ul><li>Good for reviewing information </li></ul>
  32. 32. Using the Internet as a source <ul><li>Dental Hygienists’ don’t use it enough – yes , you read that right </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in finding the right sources is the main problem – can you trust the source or not? </li></ul><ul><li>Certain websites are just the online version of print material </li></ul>
  33. 33. How to judge web pages <ul><li>Author – who created the site </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy – does it provide references, peer-review process </li></ul><ul><li>Currency – is the pages updated, revised, have a date </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivity – is this real content or advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage – when it comes from a print source, does it have all the same material </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose – why does this site exist – educate, sell, entertain </li></ul>
  34. 34. Why can’t Google find me an article <ul><li>Search engines like Google don’t tell you what is the best site, just the most popular </li></ul><ul><li>Google Scholar is better </li></ul><ul><li>Some journals have free material, others you need to pay for </li></ul>
  35. 35. Further Resources <ul><li>Critical Thinking: Understanding and Evaluating Dental Research , by D.M. Brunette (RK 80 .B78 1996) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Research Fundamentals,” by S. Cobban and J. Clovis, CJDH 40:4 (July-August, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Knowledge Sources Used by Alberta Dental Hygienists: A Pilot Study, by S. Cobban and J. Profetto-McGarth, CJDH 41:4 (July-August, 2007) </li></ul>