Pop quiz: What’s your go-to review when you’re looking for a summary of high-quality evidence on your research topic?
If you answered “systematic review,” you get a (metaphorical) gold star. This study design collects, evaluates and analyzes the literature – often, randomized controlled trials – to see whether the best evidence supports a given hypothesis. Because of their rigor and attention to detail, well-executed systematic reviews are heavy hitters in medical, environmental and sociological research. They challenge assumptions. They change policy.
This New York Times essay from March 14* gives a glimpse of how systematic reviews are shaping medicine and medical education. McGill subscribes to the Cochrane Collaboration Library – so users have access to the full systematic reviews discussed in the piece – and thousands more.
So go forth. Ask questions. And answer them with evidence.
*Stable link to be posted shortly.