Hot on the heels of my office next door neighbours SoMe course we’re off with a ‘Top Tips’ post. (Anyone who hates the cheesy format can comment below or tweet us @ADC_BMJ.)
Please imagine a racing, 5-years-before-you’re-reading-this-pop-tune as your background music.
1. Know your question
Know what you’re asking. And know why you’re asking it. And know what you think the answer is, before you start looking.
2. Use sensible searches to crack high-quality resources
Don’t waste your life doing a systematic review that might well already have been done, appraised and packaged for you.
3. Appraise things using checklists to help you.
They help. They don’t command and control. And they are a Checklist, they are not The Inviolable Truth.
4. Decide what you think the answer actually is.
Do this on the basis of your appraisal. Now check back to what you thought the answer was (#1).
5a. If you’ve decided to do something – do it.
5b. If you’ve decided not to do something – think.
Are you actively not doing something? Or just not doing because you don’t believe the answer from #4? If so – how great would the evidence have had to be to press you from what you thought the answer was? Just how ‘anchored’ are you to your initial beliefs?