Scientific journals and evidence: What does the future hold?

To challenge participants to consider what the ideal journal should be doing in 10 years’ time to provide reliable and truly usable evidence to help them improve health.


  • Introduction (5 minutes).
  • Exercise 1 (10 minutes): Participants, in groups of 2-4 people, will discuss and list their four greatest frustrations with finding evidence they can actually use to inform their management of health problems.
  • Feedback to full group from exercise 1 (5 minutes).
  • Presentation (15 minutes): Trish Groves will explore how the future of evidence dissemination might look, and the possible role of journals, focusing on:

○       the need to tackle research waste and make published studies and data more relevant, useful, usable and reusable for clinicians, patients, service providers and policy makers.

○       who needs (or will pay for) journals if readers really only want bite-sized, free information at the point of care?

○       what types of research will readers want or need over the next decade?

■      how will they differentiate objective evidence from conflicted or fake news?

■      will ‘big data’ and evidence become more aligned?

■      where will ‘real-world evidence’ and evidence for precision medicine fit in?

  • Presentation (15 mins): Christine Laine will discuss how journals can handle living evidence. He will focus on:

○       living (continuously updated) and digital systematic reviews and guidelines

○       how the nature of evidence may change over the next decade

○       how journals can help make clinical practice guidelines more useful, reliable, trustworthy, timely, while reflecting clinical uncertainty

  • Exercise 2 (20 minutes): participants will break into groups of up to 8 people to answer these questions:

○       will journals that publish original research evidence be needed at all in 10 years?

○       what are the two most important things that journals will have to do to remain relevant sources of ‘evidence’?

  • Feedback to full group from exercise 2 (10 minutes).
  • Discussion and conclusions (10 minutes).


Target audience: 

Clinicians, patients, and others needing usable, timely health research evidence. Basic and intermediate levels.

Type of session: 


Other contributors:


Saturday 16 September 2017 - 11:00 to 12:30