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Jottings ...
  1. Paul Glasziou, MBBS, PhD
  1. Oxford University Oxford, UK

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    Where do the articles selected for the EBM journal come from? We scan over 100 journals, and around 50 000 articles per year, to identify the most important and valid 120 research articles. Because of the validity filters we use (see the Purpose & Procedure page), therapy articles generally predominate, but this month’s issue has a good range that includes diagnosis, prognosis, aetiology, clinical prediction guides, and quality improvement. We hope you enjoy this diversity.

    Textbooks of medicine are gradually becoming more evidence-based, and in particular, more often cite the relevant systematic reviews or randomised trials. But diagnostic and clinical skills have lagged well behind therapy, as King et al document in this month’s notebook, which looks at the evidence and probabilistic information in standard textbooks of clinical examination. With the possible exception of the book by McGhee (which we reviewed in the 2001 EBM journal), the coverage is poor. Let’s hope the Cochrane interest in diagnosis will invigorate this neglected area.

    Do you have comments about particular articles, or about the journal generally? We would like to hear from you. To submit an e-letter about a particular article or in response to this Jottings, go to www.evidence-basedmedicine.com and click on the Read eLetters. We’d also encourage you to sign up as a sentinel reader—it’s fun, costs nothing, and you can choose your own dose of articles to read (www.evidence-basedmedicine.com/cgi/content/full/8/4/102).

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