Understanding and Evaluating the Evidence

One excellent starting place to begin learning to understand and evaluate medical literature is the How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine series (log in to the Digital Library first if off campus; also available in sections from BMJ). This series covers various types of papers and studies, introductory statistics, and guides to assessing the methodological quality of papers. CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) provides a statement of best practices for reporting trial results, including more advanced discussion of what to look for in well-reported studies and a checklist for authors.

The Eskind Biomedical Library also provides subscription access to JAMAevidence and the Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, which provide information on understanding and evaluating published studies.

A number of other resources are provided by the library which may be of assistance, including works on biomedical statistics, clinical trial design, and evidence-based medicine. To locate these, search the Digital Library (online resources) or Acorn (print materials), or contact us for further assistance.

Learn More

The Eskind Biomedical Library offers in-person training on a number of specialized information resources, including PubMed, CINAHL, and other sources of medical evidence. You can view a complete list of on-demand in-person educational sessions, request training via our online form, and view online tutorials and resource guides.

For Vanderbilt Clinical/Research teams

Get information about our evidence-based and research support services.