Intended for healthcare professionals


Same information, different decisions: format counts

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 05 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1501

Format as well as content matters in clinical information

  1. Jeremy Wyatt, Fellow in health and public policy (
  1. School of Public Policy, University College London, London WC1E 7HN

    Information in Practice p 1527

    The function of information is to help us make better decisions.1 The amount of clinical information, measured by journal articles, has doubled over two decades,2 but thanks to evidence based approaches the content now seems more reliable. For example, the review article has changed from a vehicle to advance the author's reputation3 to a balanced synthesis of evidence we can safely use to inform clinical and policy decisions.4 To justify this special position, much effort is expended on assembling reliable content—from comprehensive literature searches4 to peer review and the editorial process.5 However, just assembling the right words and …

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