November 17, 2018

Partnership between the BMJ and Pfizer: Learn and change to improve the evidence

Partnership between the BMJ and Pfizer: Learn and change to improve the evidence

People do health research for many different reasons. Most, we hope, try to answer questions that are important to patient care or policy, with a chance of informing service development or improving health. This is particularly urgent in lower income countries, where there is still not nearly enough locally derived evidence to drive and support healthcare development and improvement.

Yet research too often starts with suboptimal questions or loses its way, leading to rejection or retraction from journals and skewing the evidence base for health. One study, for instance, showed that, among 312 papers retracted from Medline, 40% were withdrawn owing to errors or non-replicable findings.

How can we meet these challenges, and ensure that the resources for health research yield the greatest possible value?

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