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PubMed

Some Common Types of Scientific / Health Sciences Articles

Clinical Trial: From the National Institutes of Health, "Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses."

Meta-Analysis: A quantitative analysis that reviews data from previous research done on a particular topic to better draw conclusions about that research and topic. See Meta-analysis in Medical Research for more information.

Randomized Controlled Trial: A clinical trial or study where participants are randomly assigned to different groups. See Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) from the National Library of Medicine for more information.

Systematic Review: A literature review that not only compiles, but also analyzes all the pertinent literature on a specific topic. The review attempts to answer a research question and it can be a very valuable source of resources for your work. See Cochrane's What is a Systematic Review for more information.

What is Evidence-based Practice?

Utilizing the best research and evidence to support decision making or claims made in the field. Also referred to as Evidence Based Medicine when specifically applied to the Medical Sciences.

UNM HSLIC Program Specific Guides

Evaluating Studies

Studies need to be funded. Think about asking yourself these questions to evaluate the information presented and to check for any biases

Accuracy/Bias  Does the information presented appear truthful / impartial or incorrect / biased?

Funding

Who funded this study? Was it government funded, private donations, a private company? Hint: Government-funded, private donations?
Leadership Who was in charge of the study / who runs the entity that funded it? What Information can you find on them? Hint: Can you find more through a web search?
Mission What is the stated purpose of the study and mission of the entity  that funded it?
Reputation What is the reputation of the authors and the funders? Are they well-known, well-regarded? Have you heard of them before? What information can you find on them?

Image of a check markQuick Tip: Many times clicking on an author, publication, or organization name in a database (like PubMed) record will take you to more information on the entity. However, you can also find information by running a web search.

Not All Scientific Studies are Created Equal

This video gives an overview of why not all scientific studies are created equal and why studies like Randomized Controlled Trials are considered the gold standard.

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