How to read a paper: BMJ


The basics of evidence based medicine
Second edition
Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences
Royal Free and University College Medical School
London, UK
© BMJ Books 2001

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First published in 1997
Second impression 1997
Third impression 1998
Fourth impression 1998
Fifth impression 1999
Sixth impression 2000
Seventh impression 2000
Second Edition 2001
by the BMJ Publishing Group, BMA House,Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 0-7279-1578-9
Cover by Landmark Design, Croydon, Surrey
Typeset by FiSH Books, London
Printed and bound by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin

Foreword to the first edition ix
Preface xiii
Preface to the first edition: Do you need
to read this book? xv
Acknowledgments xvii
1 Why read papers at all? 1
Does “evidence based medicine” simply mean
“reading medical papers”? 1
Why do people often groan when you mention evidence
based medicine? 3
Before you start: formulate the problem 8
2 Searching the literature 15
Reading medical articles 15
The Medline database 16
Problem 1:You are trying to find a particular paper
which you know exists 17
Problem 2:You want to answer a very specific
clinical question 22
Problem 3:You want to get general information quickly
about a well defined topic 25
Problem 4:Your search gives you lots of irrelevant
articles 29
Problem 5:Your search gives you no articles
at all or not as many as you expected 30 Continue reading How to read a paper: BMJ