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Improving standards of medical and public health research
  1. G A Colditz
  1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor G A Golditz, Harvard Medical School, Channing Laboratory, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-5889, USA;

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The need for application and dissemination of best practices

In his essay, Feinstein reiterates many of the themes he pursued over the past 20 years as he called for greater scientific rigour in the evaluation of clinical medicine. His call for the application of standard clinical epidemiological research rigour to the evolving field of molecular markers in clinical medicine emphasises his prior writing in this area,1 and similar calls to improve standards for evaluation of diagnostic tests research.2 This follows on the tradition of content analysis of published studies to improve the quality of research. Studies that evaluate the methods used in the conduct and reporting of studies have contributed over the years to improved standards for clinical research in surgery and medicine.3,4 For example, DerSimonian et al surveyed all 67 clinical trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and the British Medical Journal from July to December 1979 and in the Journal of the American Medical Association from …

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