Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK.
We publishing the wrong research and funding too many of the wrong studies. This was the general message from Adrian Bauman’s keynote address - "What gets published in physical activity research and why it seldom has an influence on policy" - at the Health Advancing Physical Activity (HEPA) conference.
The talk might have been about physical activity research but the message has resonance across medicine. If we really want to change medicine we really need to understand how researchers produce evidence and how policy makers interpret, or misinterpret, what is published. There is a significant mismatch between researchers’ objectives and policy makers’ needs. And, rarely heard in a medical context, Adrian was quite sympathetic to the needs of policymakers. ...continue reading
Susan E Connolly is a first year PhD candidate at the MRC Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge, UK. She holds degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Statistics from University College Dublin. She is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, as well as a coach of public speaking and competitive debate.
It was with great interest that I listened to Domhnall MacAuley’s recent Bradford Hill Seminar on The Future of Medical Publishing, particularly the area of his talk that discussed opportunities and efforts made by journals to widen the reach and spread of published articles. The ventures ranged from tweeting, Facebooking, and other social media avenues to companion blog posts and short video introductions. My first thought was that this sounded like substantial work for no doubt busy academics and researchers. My second was that while these avenues might be useful at making people aware of a particular paper, if the goal was to have a paper actually be read, they were likely insufficient. No matter the publicity given to a piece of work, if the actual content is not engaging, then the browser window is closed or the physical page turned over. ...continue reading