Archimedes is the place for evidence-based answers to real clinical questions in paediatrics.
You can read detailed instructions about how to ‘do’ an Archimedes here. But here are some top tips on How To Get A Publishable Archimedes:
- Start with a real question. (Don’t find an interesting paper and invent a question out of it. It’s trite, looks a little desperate and doesn’t do your soul any good.)
- See if it’s been answered. (If there’s a SIGN guideline, NICE guidance, or a CCLG treatment protocol, there’s little room for Archi.)
- Assess the evidence that’s there already. (As Ian Wacogne puts it, there is a Goldilocks rule in Archimedes questions: some are too heavy on evidence – more than 10 RCTs – and need a proper systematic review, some are too light on evidence – just one paper perhaps, and some are just right.)
- Ask yourself if the answer matters to patients or clinicians. (It might be interesting to know that the levels of urinary EGF are low in those patients with severe chemotherapy induced mucositis, but does it help the poor sod who’s mouth is a pit of pain, or their doctor, to know this?)
And here’s some don’ts:
- Don’t send something in that’s not in the Archimedes format. It’s lazy and annoys editors.
- Don’t tell us “more research is needed” unless you can justify why, give us an idea of sample size, study size and expected value of the new information
- Don’t add names to your author list unless they are authors.
- Everyone who is listed as an author should have made a substantial, direct, intellectual contribution to the work.
- All authors should participate in writing the manuscript by reviewing drafts and approving the final version.
I’m in the process of setting up a thread to let folk who have questions they want answering register them so that eager and interested other folk can take on the challenge.
As always, feel free to comment on the questions blogged about, or suggest alternative answers. If you’ve a burning question, then submit your own work – the instructions were linked to here.