the metablog

Posts written by Daniel Jolley.
Daniel Jolley

About the author

Daniel Jolley is an anesthesiologist, founder and CEO of metajournal, providing personalized medical research recommendations to fellow doctors.

Read more from Daniel or follow on twitter.

How to read a journal article

One of the great classic introductions to critical assessment of medical research is Trisha Greenhalgh’s series in the British Medical Journal ‘How to read a paper’. Although the practical aspects of critiquing a paper are better served by newer tools like CASP, Greenhalgh’s work has stood the test of time and is still worth recommending.

The best place to start is with ‘Getting your bearings — deciding what the paper is about’, and then have a look at ‘Assessing the methodological quality’, and ‘Statistics for the non-statistician I’ & ‘II’.

"It usually comes as a surprise ... to learn that some (perhaps most) published articles belong in the bin, and should certainly not be used to inform practice." — Trisha Greenhalgh.

Feeling more informed?

My goal with metajournal is that with each issue you will not only feel more informed, but actually be more informed — and with that greater level of knowledge and awareness, then apply your understanding of the medical evidence to the people in your care everyday.

Many issues of your personal metajournal will be filled with actionable articles that immediately change what you do in important ways. Sometimes though issues may only contain a mere sprinkling of interest for you and your practice. With metajournal I aim to search out the most relevant and actionable evidence for you, but even these 'lesser' articles are equally important in contextualizing your knowledge and highlighting the important place your practice has within the greater world of your and other specialties.

Highly personalized and relevant evidence targeted to your interests and professional needs is very valuable — in fact it's one of metajournal's core goals — but there is a real cost to only being exposed to research that confirms your interests. Articles that metajournal suggests primarily because of their quality and broader signficance are important for this reason, even if they fall outside ares of your normal clinical interests.

Okay, let's jump in!

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