Guides on Reading Research Papers

Here are some links to articles on interpreting research papers.

Ann took a course sponsored by the National Breast Cancer Coalition called Project LEAD. During the 4-5 day training we heard from epidemiologists and 'bench' scientists about what makes up a good paper.

One of my impressions is that any paper can be critized.

Additionally I have noted at meetings and other scientific events, that studies rarely are the final word. There can be almost as many negative studies about a particular subject as positive ones. I also note that it is easy to pick the side you WISH to believe.

Sometimes you just weigh the evidence and make your own decision. Sometimes there really is good evidence.

As a layperson, I read the conclusions first, then go back and read the study through. After a while you will notice that the terminology is familiar and it starts to make to sense.

Good luck. Remember to download anything of interest to talk about it with your healthcare providers.

British J of Medicine on Reading Papers


Estimating Risk of Negative Effects

Letter to the Lancet

How to Read or Listen to Science News


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