Brian Haynes, Paul Glasziou

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearch


What we should teach students about searching, and in particular, which resources we should teach them to use? Obviously the EBM journal is vital, but what else? A recent discussion on the Evidence-Based Health Care email list ( raised several issues. Brian Haynes’s 5S model is very helpful (see the December 2006 issue) here—neatly describing the layers of information. But how much should we teach about each layer and in what order? I think Jo Hunter summed the issue up nicely when she wrote:

" ... without recognising what constitutes a ‘good’ or even appropriate primary study for your search question it would be difficult to appraise a secondary source, which itself summarises and evaluates primary studies. It would be slightly foolhardy to assume that their methods are always completely unbiased. Also it may be necessary to search for primary studies that have been written after any secondary source(s) that you find, in case anything new has been discovered since."

If you enjoy Richard Lehman’s Evidently ..., you might like to know he has a weekly summary of the big 5 journals which you can access for free at As with Evidently ..., this is written in Richard’s erudite and entertaining style. So if you don’t have time to read these journals, but you want to be alerted to major studies while waiting for the definitive account in the EBM journal, then bookmark this. And if you’re bored with the clinical studies, you can jump straight to the plant of the week; this weeks was actually the Fungus of the Week: Amanita muscaria, about which Richard tells us, "Groups of Siberian tribesmen would get their women to chew the fungus—ensuring that they absorbed most of the water-soluble muscarine and got most of the muscarinic poisoning. The men would then swallow the chewed remnants and go into trances caused by muscimol, the main hallucinogen. Then they would drink each other’s urine to prolong the pleasure."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2
Number of pages1
JournalEvidence-Based Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


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