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Annotated Bibliographies (IUSD)

Welcome to the IUSD Annotated Bibliography Guide

Annotated bibliographies can either lead into a larger, more formal research project like a paper or poster or stand alone as a research assignment/experience.  They supplement the usual search process by giving a framework for explaining why certain resources are most appropriate to answer a question, thesis or problem.  They allow the researcher to organize their thoughts, evaluated the sources critically based on their inherent merits as well as the usefulness of the source in the context of the research project.  This page gives a general overview of annotated bibliographies as well as some sources for additional help.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between evaluating an articles's overall content and quality vs. it's quality as an evidence base dentistry resource.  You may need to do both.

Be sure to consult the EBD Research Guide for additional information.

Several IUSD courses include an annotated bibliography as a course assignment.  Make sure you consult your assignment and the specific course tabs within this guide as, while all annotated bibliographies have some things in common, the expectations differ significantly among classes.

Annotated Bibliographies 101

Annotated Bibliographies Infographic

Sample Annotations

Annotated Bibliography for Electronic Cigarettes PICO/Search

[CITATION - make sure the citation is in the proper style (AMA, APA, etc.)]

Franck C, Budlovsky T, Fillion KB, Windle SB, Eisenberg MJ.  Electronic cigarettes in North America: history, use, and implications for smoking cessation.  Circulation. 2014; 129(19): 1945-52.

[DESCRIPTION & EVALUATION - every annotation should include information about the resource, why it is inherently good and why it is good in the context of your research.  It should not just be a restating of the abstract.]

This study is a systematic review of the literature on electronic cigarettes and the use of electronic cigarettes in smoking cessation, published in 2014 in the peer-reviewed journal Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.  The authors are associated with the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. The intended audience is health care specialists and in particular physicians, nurses and others interested in cardiovascular medicine.  The authors clearly outline their search strategy as well as inclusion and exclusion criteria. The review was limited by the fact that only 7 studies met the inclusion criteria, and of these only 1 was a randomized controlled trial.  One of the authors disclosed funding from a company that manufactures a tobacco cessation drug, which could lead to bias against the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a cessation adjunct.

[CLINICAL APPLICATION - NOT EVERY ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ANNOTATION WILL HAVE THIS!!  Only include this if you actually have a scenario and PICO question as your research objective.]

I selected this study/article for inclusion in my annotated bibliography because it was the only systematic review that I found with my search.  While only one of the studies included in the review was a RCT, other studies did assess the possible modification of smoking behavior among selected populations. The authors included discussions of limitations to generalization, including the populations studied and overestimated power calculations, and conclude that there is insufficient research on electronic cigarettes to determine their contribution to smoking or to smoking cessation at this time. While the evidence may look somewhat promising, I would not recommend an electronic cigarette to my patients as an effective cessation aid.