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Book: "How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine" (available free online)

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Tom Kindlon, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member

    I'm trying to increase my overall knowledge and understanding of scientific and medical matters so have been reading fewer ME/CFS papers and using the time and energy that has been freed up to read more general books.

    I've just finished reading, "How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine" which Ben Goldacre had recommended in two of his books ("Bad Science" and "Bad Pharma"). This is a book that seems to be used in a lot of educational courses (undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education). I thought it was interesting enough. I would have liked more information on some topics but she does give links to further books and papers.

    I had picked up a lot of the ideas previously so didn't find it a demanding read. Possibly some people who are newer to the topics might want a few more examples than are given in some cases.

    There are plenty of reviews of it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Read-Paper-Evidence-Based-Medicine/dp/1444334360

    A good thing about it is the second edition can be downloaded for free here: http://neurologiahu.ufsc.br/files/2...r_Evidence-Based-Medicine_Greenhalgh_2011.pdf
    alex3619, Wally, Esther12 and 7 others like this.
  2. Denise

    Denise Senior Member


    I am glad you have enjoyed this book @Tom. I agree - it is good. :)

    I re-read sections from time to time because I am no where near as good as you are when it comes to examining articles. o_O <-- that's me, reading articles.
    Wally, Esther12, barbc56 and 3 others like this.
  3. Simon


    Monmouth, UK
    Thanks for this inc the link to the pdf of the older version. Also of interest might be this BMJ page that links to the original articles behind individual chapters of that book:
    How to read a paper | The BMJ

    I thought this 2-page pdf of 'how to read a paper' for a Harvard univ course looked good too.

    Finally, Vincent Racaniello ran a TwiV podcast How to read a scientific paper complete with transcript. From memory, the best suggestion I thought was to read the methods section, then skip the results write-up and head straight to the tables/graphs/figures, so that you interpret the result fresh for yourself. Then read how the authors describe things...
  4. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member

    From the Powerpoint file on this page:
    I think the CBT and GET CFS studies tend to fall down in these areas.
    Esther12 and barbc56 like this.
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Her talk, 'Real vs Rubbish EBM' is on youtube:

    It's there with a few others from an Evidence Live event. I've had them on in the background and found them interesting-ish. Thought others might be interested too.... easier than reading a book!

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