Research Methods and Reporting – new BMJ series

On October 22, 2008, the BMJ launched a new series entitled Research methods and reporting.

From the editorial:
Groves T. Research methods and reporting: A new section of the BMJ about how to do and write up research [editorial] BMJ 2008;337:a2201.

Nearly 15 years ago Doug Altman, the BMJ’s senior statistical adviser and professor of medical statistics, asked in this journal, “What should we think about researchers who use the wrong techniques (either wilfully or in ignorance), use the right techniques wrongly, misinterpret their results, report their results selectively, cite the literature selectively, and draw unjustified conclusions? We should be appalled. Yet numerous studies of the medical literature, in both general and specialist journals, have shown that all of the above phenomena are common.

The new section will contain “how to” articles—those that discuss the nuts and bolts of doing and writing up research—that will be both actionable and readable.2 We welcome articles on all kinds of medical and health services research that will be relevant and useful to BMJ readers—whether that research is quantitative or qualitative, clinical or not. Because this section is for the “how?” of research, the “what, why, when, and who cares?” will usually belong elsewhere. 

Articles in the series so far [Open Access]:

Improving the reporting of pragmatic trials: An extension of the CONSORT statement
Developing and evaluating complex interventions: The new Medical Research Council guidance

Some more relevant articles:

Rob Anderson. New MRC guidance on evaluating complex interventions. BMJ 2008 337: a1937.

Peter Craig, Paul Dieppe, Sally Macintyre, Susan Michie, Irwin Nazareth, and Mark Petticrew. Developing and evaluating complex interventions: the new Medical Research Council guidance. BMJ 2008 337: a1655. 

Trish Groves. Mandatory disclosure of trial results for drugs and devices. BMJ 2008 336: 170.

D G Altman. The scandal of poor medical research. BMJ 1994 308: 283-284.


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