Since 19 July BMJ ( ) has been publishing a series (in all 10) articles written by Trisha Greenhalgh to introduce to non-experts to finding medical articles and assessing their value. The articles in this series are excerpts from How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine.

I have included the links to the first 9 articles, the tenth article will be included when it is available (only to those assessing these articles through the Internet). The articles begin with

  1. The Medline database – BMJ No 7101 Vol 315, Sat 19 July 1997 ( )
  2. Getting your bearings (deciding what the paper is about) – BMJ No 7102 Vol 315, Sat 26 July 1997 ( )
  3. Assessing the methodological quality of published papers – BMJ No 7103 Vol 315, Sat 2 August 1997 ( )
  4. Statistics for the non-statistician – BMJ No 7104 Vol 315, Sat 9 August 1997 ( ) See Correction ( )
  5. Statistics for the non-statistician. II: "Significant" relations and their pitfalls - BMJ No 7105 Vol 315, Sat 16 August 1997 ( )
  6. Papers that report drug trials – BMJ No 7106 Vol 315, Sat 23 August 1997 ( )
  7. Papers that report diagnostics or screening tests – BMJ No 7107 Vol 315, Sat 30 August 1997 ( ) Correction
  8. Papers that tell you what things cost (economic analysis) – BMJ No 7108 Vol 315, Sat 6 September 1997 ( )
  9. Papers that summarise other papers (systemic reviews and meta-analysis) – BMJ No 7109 Vol 315, Sat 13 September 1997 ( )
  10. Papers that go beyond numbers (qualitative research) BMJ No 7110 Vol 315, Sat 20 September 1997 ( )


In the most recent article published (at the time of writing) in BMJ No 7109 Vol 315, Sat 13 September 1997 ( ) includes a pot-pourri of materials that deal with research methodology of meta-analysis. This includes



The most interesting of these articles is the one titled "An amnesty for unpublished trials". It has been stated that this month over 100 medical journals around the world are inviting readers to send information on unpublished trials. It is urged that all investigators with unreported trial data to register their trials by returning a photocopy of the registration form shown at . We would like to register any unreported controlled trial, including trials that have only been published as an abstract. So all you over-worked researches use this opportunity to register your completed unreported/unpublished trials while you still can. For more information access the above site or get the BMJ issue.

 Recently we had two women who passed away, both of whom will be sadly missed by many. Here are some links where you may express your condolence or read about their contribution to our world.


Princess Diana – Queen of Hearts


Mother Theresa – Saint of the Gutters


Till next month, Happy Surfing.



Dr.M.Vadivale ( Cyberdoc

Locations of visitors to this page

The links to the URL mentioned above are valid at the time of writing this article (16/09/1997). This page can be accessed at or at

  Links last updated 20 April 2005