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EBD Best Practices for Librarians

A guide created for dental librarians by dental librarians.

Basic Librarian Competencies

Basic Librarian EBD competencies

Modified by Irene Lubker from Schardt, C & von Isenberg, M. (2017). Librarian EBM Competencies, Evidence-Based Medicine for the Medical Librarian class handout. Retrieved from


  • The definition of EBD

  • Why EBD is important

  • The different levels of evidence

  • PICO

  • Which databases to search

  • How to search for the evidence

  • How to appraise different types of articles

  • The difference between statistical and clinical significance

  • Where to get additional resources

  • How to teach EBD within the context of EBD

  • The controversial issues with EBP

  • The roles for librarians in supporting EBP education and practice for dental professionals


  • Construct a well-built question

  • Conversant with the different study designs.

  • Collaborate with dental professionals in order to become effective partners


Contributors and Feedback

Contributed and maintained by the Medical Library Association (MLA) Dental Section's EBD for Librarians team led by Amanda Nevius* and Rena Lubker*. Team members included: Elisa Cortez*, Sarah Meyer, Lorraine Porcello*, Nicole Theis-Mahon*, Susan Swogger*, and Maria Zych*

* indicates team members who made significant contributions to the guide.

Comments, suggestions, or feedback? Please feel free to fill out our feedback form.

What is EBD?

"Evidence-Based Dentistry (EBD) is an approach to oral healthcare that requires the judicious integration of systematic assessments of clinically relevant scientific evidence, relating to the patient's oral and medical condition and history, with the dentist's clinical expertise and the patient's treatment needs and preferences."  (American Dental Association).

Image showing 3 aspects of EBD

ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry (n.d.) Evidence-Based Dentistry Venn Diagram [PNG Image]. Retrieved from

Steps of Evidence-Based Dentistry (5 A's)

Ask the question, acquire the evidence, appraise the evidence, apply the evidence, assess the results

The 5 A’s for EBD are identified in:
Richards D, Clarkson J, Matthews D, Niederman R. Evidence-Based Dentistry: Managing Information for Better Practice. London; Chicago: Quintessence Pub; 2008.

This image “The 5 A’s” by the Medical Library Association Dental Section can be reused under the CC BY-NC-SA license