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Introducing the EBM Verdict: research evidence relevant to clinical practice
  1. Carl Heneghan1,
  2. Jon Brassey2,
  3. Jeffrey Aronson1,
  4. Jack William O’Sullivan1,3
  1. 1 Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Trip Database Ltd, Newport, UK
  3. 3 Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Carl Heneghan, Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, University of Oxford Oxford UK ; carlheneghan{at}

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The BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine Journal was launched in 1995, with the purpose of alerting clinicians to important advances in medicine, by selecting original articles and reviews whose results were most likely to be both accurate and useful.1

When the Journal was launched, about 10 500 randomised trials were indexed on PubMed. Identifying the trials that affect practice has become harder: 20 years later, over 30 000 trials are published annually. If we focused purely on systematic reviews, we would face similar problems: over 19 000 systematic reviews were indexed on PubMed in 2017. Identifying the evidence that matters, keeping up to date and applying evidence in practice is a significant challenge for busy clinicians.

As a result, we as a journal have set out to identify, and focus on, the research evidence that provides definitive conclusions and research that confirms, refutes or improves current practice.

We have focused on two questions: (1) does this research apply to the patients we see in practice? and (2) what difference could this evidence make to my patient? In doing so, we can remove a substantial amount of research that does not matter. Much of it does not include patients typically seen in clinical practice, …

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