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Evidence-Based Medicine these 7 years: time for the editor to go on permanent sabbatical
  1. Richard Saitz1,2
  1. 1Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, and Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2BMJ Publishing Group, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Richard Saitz
    , Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, and Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, USA; rsaitz{at}bmj.com

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Seven years seems the right term for an editorship. It is a time for the land that has been sown and reaped to remain uncultivated for a while (see Exodus or Leviticus, The Bible)—time for a sabbatical. When I came on in 2010, Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) was already well established (for 15 years, its adolescence)1 as was the field of EBM (>3 years earlier, its birth).2 At the beginning, the journal aimed to serve this ‘emerging clinical discipline by providing easier access to high-quality evidence that is ready for prime-time clinical application’. The journal scanned a list of 29 other journals regularly, re-reported articles published in another journal as half of its content and added coverage beyond internal medicine. In the subsequent decade, it had published ‘notebook jottings’ on EBM, some of which reported on codified practices in the field.3 But it was time for the journal to branch out and for EBM the field to move from its establishment and definition to its real-life translation at the bedside.4 With a new editorial board, we aimed to support that transformation. We also aimed to be a home for EBMers, those who teach, study and practice EBM. To that end, we added a number of article types of relevance, beyond critically appraised articles and occasional musings.

During the past 7 years, we published ∼1000 summaries and critical appraisals of original research studies selected systematically for clinical relevance and methodological strength. All were relatively brief but meaty enough at around 750 words to provide a bit of background and context, methods, main results (magnitude and precision), assessment of internal validity and applicability, and implications for research and practice, written by invited experts and edited by EBM-savvy clinician specialists in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, and paediatrics.

EBMers, EBM …

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