Intended for healthcare professionals

Filler Research

The haiku as a research medium

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 18 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7391

For several years the BMJ has been successfully tweeting the results of research articles in 140 characters or fewer. But would their message survive the even greater contraction needed to fit the conventions of the haiku (a Japanese poetic form that is rendered in English in three lines of text of five, seven, and five syllables)?

Here we publish the winning entries and runners up in our competition to describe the findings of six recent research articles as haikus. Altogether we received 293 entries. The judges were Sandy Goldbeck-Wood and Richard Lehman.

Use of caffeinated substances and risk of crashes in long distance drivers of commercial vehicles (BMJ 2013;346:f1140)

Long and winding road,

decaffeinated trucker:

No happy ending

—Francis Toolis

Alert! Truck driver!

Coffee or Red Bull may well

Make a safer drive

—Simon Power

Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke (BMJ 2013;346:e8539)

To your heart be true

An egg with your morning kiss

May help not harm you

—Wendy-Jane Walton

What a stroke of luck

An egg a day’s safe, but still

One egg is un oeuf

—Andrew Fox-Lewis

Accuracy of the “traffic light” clinical decision rule for serious bacterial infections in young children with fever (BMJ 2013;346:f866)

Love, my burning child

signals to winter wisdom

false traffic lights here

—Jo Richardson (joint winner)

Improve the NICE guide

for under 5s with fever


—Brian Attock (joint winner)

Medical school gift restriction policies and physician prescribing of newly marketed psychotropic medications (BMJ 2013;346:f264)

Drug reps pay for lunch.

Goodwill gesture, or a bribe?

Leave gifts for Christmas

—Jonathan Hackett

If they can’t bribe you

You won’t sell their drugs, but still

I hate buying pens

—Andrew Fox-Lewis

Population-wide weight loss and regain in relation to diabetes burden and cardiovascular mortality in Cuba 1980-2010 (BMJ 2013;346:f1515)

Recession saves lives,

says our man in Havana,

by slimming waistlines

—David Strachan (joint winner)

Easy come, easy

Go. A moment on the lips

An early MI

—Andrew Fox-Lewis (joint winner)

Unhealthy behaviours and disability in older adults (BMJ 2013;347:f4240)

For healthy old age

Be active, eat greens, don’t smoke

Carry on drinking

—David Grant

Fit, fruit-fed, no cigs:

Old able. Autumn leaves fall

Slowly, gracefully

—Jeremy Holmes


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7391

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