Knowledge Translation – CMAJ series

This series began in 2009, when CMAJ was still an Open Access journal.  Link to free full text for Parts 1-5 below at

  • Part 1:
    Straus SE, Tetroe J, Graham I. Defining knowledge translation. CMAJ 2009;181(3-4):165-8.
  • Part 2:
    Brouwers M, Stacey D, O’Connor A. Knowledge creation: synthesis, tools and products. CMAJ 2009 Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Part 3:
    Kitson A, Straus SE. The knowledge-to-action cycle: Identifying the gaps.  CMAJ 2009 Nov 30. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Part 4:
    Harrison MB, Légaré F, Graham ID, Fervers B. Adapting clinical practice guidelines to local context and assessing barriers to their use.  CMAJ 2009 Dec 7. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Part 5:
    Wensing M, Bosch M, Grol R. Developing and selecting interventions for translating knowledge to action.  CMAJ 2009 Dec 21  [Epub ahead of print]
  • Part 6:
    Davis D, Davis N.  Selecting educational interventions for knowledge translation. CMAJ 2010 Jan. 5 [Epub ahead of print; subscribers only]

Medical Education: Annual JAMA theme issues

JAMA Every September JAMA publishes a theme issue devoted to medical education (available by subscription only). The 2009 issue appears on September 23: 2009

Here are the tables of contents of these issues for the past few years:

20082007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003; 2002; 2001; 2000 

See also Series or Collections: an index

Check out the free JAMA patient pages.

Evidence-informed Health Policy: a series from Implementation Science

Here is a new series from Implementation Science, a BioMed Central journal (Open Access):

John N Lavis, Andrew D Oxman, Ray Moynihan, Elizabeth J Paulsen. Evidence-informed health policy 1 – Synthesis of findings from a multi-method study of organizations that support the use of research evidence. Implementation Science 2008, 3:53 (17 December 2008)
Conclusions: This synthesis of findings from a multi-method study, along with the more detailed findings from each of the three phases of the study (which are reported in the three following articles in the series), provide a strong basis on which researchers, policymakers, international organizations (and networks) like WHO can respond to the growing chorus of voices calling for efforts to support the use of research evidence in developing health policy.

John N Lavis, Elizabeth J Paulsen, Andrew D Oxman, Ray Moynihan. Evidence-informed health policy 2 – Survey of organizations that support the use of research evidence. Implementation Science 2008, 3:54 (17 December 2008)
Conclusions: The findings from our survey, the most broadly based of its kind, both extend or clarify the applicability of the messages arising from previous surveys and related documentary analyses, such as how the ‘principles of evidence-based medicine dominate current guideline programs’ and the importance of collaborating with other organizations. The survey also provides a description of the history, structure, processes, outputs, and perceived strengths and weaknesses of existing organizations from which those establishing or leading similar organizations can draw.

John N Lavis, Andrew D Oxman, Ray Moynihan, Elizabeth J Paulsen. Evidence-informed health policy 3 – Interviews with the directors of organizations that support the use of research evidence. Implementation Science 2008, 3:55 (17 December 2008)
Conclusions: The findings from our interview study, the most broadly based of its kind, extend to both CPG-producing organizations and GSUs the applicability of the messages arising from previous interview studies of HTA agencies, such as to collaborate with other organizations and to be attentive to implementation considerations. Our interview study also provides a rich description of organizations supporting the use of research evidence, which can be drawn upon by those establishing or leading similar organizations in LMICs.

John N Lavis, Ray Moynihan, Andrew D Oxman, Elizabeth J Paulsen. Evidence-informed health policy 4 – Case descriptions of organizations that support the use of research evidence. Implementation Science 2008, 3:56 (17 December 2008)
Conclusions: The findings from our case descriptions, the first of their kind, intersect in interesting ways with the messages arising from two systematic reviews of the factors that increase the prospects for research use in policymaking. Strong relationships between researchers and policymakers bodes well given such interactions appear to increase the prospects for research use. The time-consuming nature of an evidence-based approach, on the other hand, suggests the need for more efficient production processes that are ‘quick and clean enough.’ Our case descriptions and accompanying video documentaries provide a rich description of organizations supporting the use of research evidence, which can be drawn upon by those establishing or leading similar organizations, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

See also:
Jane L Hutton, Martin P Eccles, Jeremy M Grimshaw. Ethical issues in implementation research: a discussion of the problems in achieving informed consent. Implementation Science 2008, 3:52 (17 December 2008).

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.

Qualitative Research series from the BMJ

This excellent series on qualitative research (under the direction of Ayelet Kuper of the University of Toronto) was published online in the BMJ lin August 2008; subscription required.

  • Kuper A, Reeves S, Levinson W. An introduction to reading and appraising qualitative research. BMJ 2008; 337:a288
    This article explores the difference between qualitative and quantitative research and the need for doctors to be able to interpret and appraise qualitative research.
  • Reeves S, Albert M, Kuper A, Hodges BD. Why use theories in qualitative research? BMJ 2008; 337:a949.
    Theories such as interactionism, phenomenology, and critical theory can be used to help design a research question, guide the selection of relevant data, interpret the data, and propose explanations of causes or influences.
  • Hodges BD, Kuper A, Reeves S. Discourse analysis. BMJ 2008; 337:a879.
    This articles explores how discourse analysis is useful for a wide range of research questions in health care and the health professions.
  • Kuper A, Lingard L, Levinson W. Critically appraising qualitative research. BMJ 2008; 337:a1035..
    Summary points:
    – Appraising qualitative research is different from appraising quantitative research
    – Qualitative research papers should show appropriate sampling, data collection, and data analysis
    – Transferability of qualitative research depends on context and may be enhanced by using theory
    – Ethics in qualitative research goes beyond review boards’ requirements to involve complex issues of confidentiality, reflexivity, and power
  • Reeves S, Kuper A, Hodges BD. Qualitative research methodologies: ethnography. BMJ 2008; 337:a1020.
    Key features of ethnographic research:
    – A strong emphasis on exploring the nature of a particular social phenomenon, rather than setting out to test hypotheses about it
    – A tendency to work primarily with “unstructured data” -that is, data that have not been coded at the point of data collection as a closed set of analytical categories
    – Investigation of a small number of cases (perhaps even just one case) in detail
    – Analysis of data that involves explicit interpretation of the meanings and functions of human actions; the product of this analysis primarily takes the form of verbal descriptions and explanations
  • Lingard L, Albert M, Levinson W. Grounded theory, mixed methods, and action research. BMJ 2008; 337:a567.
    These commonly used methods are appropriate for particular research questions and contexts.

ROAR & DOAR: Registry / Directory of Open Access Respositories

writing.jpg  I started to look for open access repositories and was getting absolutely overwhelmed until I discovered ROAR and DOAR.
See also eScholarship Respository (California Digital Library)

Directory of Open Access Repositories – OpenDOAR
OpenDOAR is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. Each OpenDOAR repository has been visited by project staff to check the information that is recorded here. This in-depth approach does not rely on automated analysis and gives a quality-controlled list of repositories.
United States    Canada    Search or Browse for Repositories     FAQ   
Example: Health and Medicine/English/Multimedia

Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)
We are promoting open access to the research literature pre- and post-peer-review through author self-archiving in institutional eprint archives. Open access to research maximises research access and thereby also research impact, making research more productive and effective.
Search     Google Custom Search    Help (WIKI)

eScholarship Respository (California Digital Library)

   Here is an Open Access resource I just discovered, from the California Digital Library (CDL).

The repository is a service of the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library, and is an open-access publishing platform that offers UC [Universiy of California] departments, centers, and research units direct control over the creation and dissemination of the full range of their scholarship, including pre-publication materials, journals and peer-reviewed series, postprints, and seminar papers. These materials are freely available to the public online. As of today there are  21,040 papers in the repository.  Advanced search   

Sample paper:
Kravitz RL, Duan N, Braslow J. Evidence-based medicine, heterogeneity of treatment effects, and the trouble with averages. Milbank Q. 2004;82(4):661-87.
(View all articles with evidence-based in the title.)

The 10 Most Popular Papers in the eScholarship Repository; The 10 Most Popular Recent Papers in the eScholarship Repository

Other services:
eScholarship Editionsincludes almost 2000 books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction.
Mark Twain Project Online: a groundbreaking digital critical edition of Mark Twain’s works that applies innovative search, display and citation technology to more than four decades of archival research by expert editors at the Mark Twain Project.