Evidence-Based Research Series-Paper 1: What Evidence-Based Research is and why is it important?

J Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Jan:129:151-157. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2020.07.020. Epub 2020 Sep 23.


Objectives: There is considerable actual and potential waste in research. Evidence-based research ensures worthwhile and valuable research. The aim of this series, which this article introduces, is to describe the evidence-based research approach.

Study design and setting: In this first article of a three-article series, we introduce the evidence-based research approach. Evidence-based research is the use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it is answering questions that matter in a valid, efficient, and accessible manner.

Results: We describe evidence-based research and provide an overview of the approach of systematically and transparently using previous research before starting a new study to justify and design the new study (article #2 in series) and-on study completion-place its results in the context with what is already known (article #3 in series).

Conclusion: This series introduces evidence-based research as an approach to minimize unnecessary and irrelevant clinical health research that is unscientific, wasteful, and unethical.

Keywords: Clinical health research; Clinical trials; Evidence synthesis; Evidence-based research; Medical ethics; Research ethics; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research* / methods
  • Biomedical Research* / organization & administration
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / ethics
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / organization & administration
  • Ethics, Research
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design* / standards
  • Research Design* / trends
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome