Using systematic reviews to reduce research waste—who really cares?

The global spend on biomedical research and development is estimated to be about $250 billion (£203 bn; €233 bn) each year—a not insignificant figure. In fact, it roughly equates to the amount that the UK government spends each year on its combined education, defence, and welfare budget. But suppose you heard that the UK government’s … More Using systematic reviews to reduce research waste—who really cares?

‘Spin’ in reports of clinical research

Based on a previous blog and now published in the BMJ Evidence Based Medicine Journal . Abstract Clinical research is frequently hampered by flaws in its design or conduct. Such biases have been well documented. However, reports of clinical research may also be biased and present results in a more favourable way than they deserve … More ‘Spin’ in reports of clinical research

NIHR Adding Value in Research: ensuring that all new primary research is set in the context of a review of existing knowledge

As part of the “NIHR at 10” celebrations, I’ve been working with with some of the team from the NIHR Research on Research programme on updating the Adding Value in Research initiatives. Specifically: “Pillar 2: Appropriate Research Design, Conduct And Analysis”. The second way to add value in research is to ensure that new research is … More NIHR Adding Value in Research: ensuring that all new primary research is set in the context of a review of existing knowledge

Can randomised controlled trials be more efficient?

In a previous blog, we discussed the value of reducing waste by conducting appropriate and timely systematic reviews. But how might we increase research efficiency? Well-conducted randomised controlled trials remain the most reliable way to demonstrate the true efficacy and cost-effectiveness for the majority of medical treatments. However, they are not without limitations. The average … More Can randomised controlled trials be more efficient?

How often are outcomes switched in clinical trials? And why does it matter?

Kamal R. Mahtani and Ben Goldacre, part of the COMPare project, write about the prevalence of outcome switching and why it matters. We have been monitoring outcome switching in five top journals, and writing letters to correct the record wherever we have found misreporting. You can read more about our project here, here and here. One peculiar response has been: “you’ve … More How often are outcomes switched in clinical trials? And why does it matter?

Research methods & reporting tools

I noticed this on twitter from the Research to Publication eLearning programme at the BMJ. A really helpful resource for research and teaching: (thanks BMJ)   How to estimate the health benefits of additional research and changing clinical practice Published November 25, 2015 Three simple rules to ensure reasonably credible subgroup analyses Published November 04, 2015 STARD … More Research methods & reporting tools