What is it about?

To avoid waste of research, no new studies should be done without a systematic review of existing evidence.

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Why is it important?

Whether or not today’s medical researchers, like Isaac Newton, see themselves as “standing on the shoulders of giants,” they might still be expected to build systematically on previous research when planning new studies. Even though this issue was highlighted as early as 2005, numerous studies indicate that researchers do not use a systematic methodology to identify and refer to earlier research when justifying, designing, or discussing new research.


The task of identifying and addressing the challenges for all stakeholders can only be confronted efficiently through international collaboration. The EBRNetwork has prepared a road map for publications (including a systematic review into the current status and effects of evidence based research itself) to raise awareness of the challenges for different stakeholder groups (implication papers) and to suggest how to deal with the tasks identified in or implied by the evidence based research statement (how-to papers). For more details, see ebrnetwork.org.

Dr Bertil F Dorch
Syddansk Universitet

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This page is a summary of: Towards evidence based research, BMJ, October 2016, BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/bmj.i5440.
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