Evidence Based Medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.
Sackett, D. L., Rosenberg, W. M. C., Gray, J. A. M., Haynes, R. B., & Richardson, W. S. (1996). Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. British Medical Journal, 312 (7023): 71-2.
Evidence-Based Nursing - A way of providing nursing care that is guided by the integration of the best available scientific knowledge with nursing expertise. This approach requires nurses to critically assess relevant scientific data or research evidence, and to implement high-quality interventions for their nursing practice. (NLM PubMed MeSH)
...research is one of the pillars of evidence-based practice.
|Type of Reference||Pros||Cons||Examples||Evidence-based?|
Easy to find
Can be very current
|Quality variable||MedlinePlus Child Development
|May lead to evidence-based sources of information in traditional literature it the references.
Quick and easy to use
Can be expensive
Can be slow to update
|The Lippincott Manual of
|May summarize evidence and lead to evidence-based sources of information in the references.
|Reviews (Narrative)||Provide summaries of what is known on specific topics||Methodology used in compiling the summaries may not be scientific or systematic||May lead to evidence-based sources of information in the references.
|Provide systematically derived summaries of research studies on specific topics||
Addresses a single research question
Requires some research to already have been done on the research question
Evidence-based, secondary research
References individual research articles
|Provide systematically derived summaries of research studies on specific topics and applies statistical methods of analyses||Requires considerable amounts of research to have already been done on the specific research question||Prevalence of, and risk factors for, chronic idiopathic constipation in the community: systematic review and meta-analysis||
|Describes original research studies and reports on results||Can be time-consuming to read, interpret, and translate into clinical practice||Double-blind, placebo-controlled antibiotic treatment study of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in children with chronic abdominal pain||
What is research?
Research can be categorized in many different ways:
What do all types of research have in common?
Examine the Title of the Article
Sometimes the authors indicate the study type or design in the title of the article.
Abstract: Look for key phrases such as the following.
"This study examines..."
"The purpose of this study was to..."
"The study's findings support..."
"The results of this study confirm..."
Examine the article for a structured outline such as the IMRAD format (see more details under tab Evaluating Sources: Types of Sources Primary)
Introduction (Background, Objective)
Library bibliographic databases usually identify the publication type of a given article. Type of publication or subject headings can often include the type of research methodology used in the article. NOTE: there is a delay before an article is indexed in a databases, so this may not work with very recent articles.
Important note: Research articles are the primary means of developing new clinical knowledge, but ... vary in the level of detail given about the study. You may need to do your own evaluation.
Peer review is a generic term for a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility. In academia the term is often used to denote a prepublication review of academic papers; reviewing an academic paper is often called refereeing.
a process by which something proposed (as for research or publication) is evaluated by a group of experts in the appropriate field
How CINAHL deals with peer review
CINAHL does record whether or not a publication is peer reviewed. View the full record of a citation to see the Journal Subset field which contains this information.
CINAHL defines peer-review to include the following degrees of review:
Tip! A useful technique is to speed the process of gathering peer reviewed publications is to select Peer Reviewed in the CINAHL advanced search limit options. This way all of the search results will already be filtered to show only publications that are peer reviewed.
advanced search limits include peer-reviewed & scholarly articles (but nothing more specific); review articles (but not research in same way that CINAHL does)
Most of the journals indexed in PubMed are peer reviewed. However, unlike CINAHL, there is no way to use PubMed to make this distinction for you.
Here are two options for determining if a journal is peer reviewed.
Option A: Find the journal home page and look for specific wording regarding this. This can be found on various pages of the journal website such as the About page.
Option B: Use a periodicals (another term for journals) directory such as Ulrichs international periodicals directory (in print at Kelowna Reference collection PN 4832 .U45 2010.) Note: Ulrichs uses the term 'refereed' instead of 'peer reviewed.'
Literature Review: A survey of information found in scholarly articles, books, and other literature related to an area of study.
Describes, summarizes, evaluates and clarifies prior research.
Not only summarizes other research, also examines the relationship.
Determines what has already been investigated, identifies potential relationships, defines key concepts, and relates to research already completed.
Considers different disciplines topic may cover.
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