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Implementing evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) into clinical practice requires not only the ability to retrieve, interpret, and apply the results of published scientific studies, but also the ability to critically evaluate the quality of the literature. These skills, however, are not widely taught in the veterinary curriculum. The objective of this study was to test a literature evaluation form (LEF) designed to assist veterinary students in appraising the quality of literature on animal reproduction and to compare their ability to do so with that of students who were provided with a control form (CF). The 68 participants were in their fifth year of study and attended a clinical rotation at the Clinic for Animal Reproduction. Students in the LEF group determined the quality of two scientific papers, considering statements about study design, information content, and objectivity, and determined rating points to obtain an overall score. Participants using the CF ranked the quality of the article without the assistance of the quality assessment form. The LEF group was able to more correctly assess the quality of the literature and the variability of the chosen evidence levels was higher in the CF group. The questionnaire was found to be a useful tool for the systematic assessment of the quality of publications within a reasonable period of time. Seventy-eight per cent of the participants agreed that the LEF helps them evaluate the quality and validity of biomedical scientific information. We conclude that courses that introduce EBVM should be taught in the first semesters of the veterinary curriculum so that students can develop competence in defining a clinical problem, retrieving information from the literature, and developing independent critical thinking.