Article originally appears in the March 15, 2018 issue of the SNEB eCommunicator.
Now more than ever understanding research studies is important. Social media and the sharing of inaccurate nutrition and health information often coming from questionable research makes it imperative to understand the scientific process and explain it to others.
Why does nutrition advice contradict itself?
Overview of factors such as media, evidence-base, bias and source.
DETAILED INFO – TYPES OF STUDIES
**Academic research and studies: how they work, why journalists should care
Intended for journalists, addresses types of studies, how to read a paper and more.
**8 questions to ask when interpreting academic studies: a primer for media
Intended for journalists, questions to ask and different types of studies explained.
**The one chart you need to understand any health study
The different experimental and observational studies explained as well as the strength of their conclusions.
**Correlation and causation
A brief overview of correlation and causation.
**Understanding research study designs
Different clinical studies explained – with visuals!
**How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists
Primary research articles vs. review articles – how to read each section of a primary research article and what questions to ask.
MORE DETAILED INFO
**Statistical terms used in search studies: a primer for media
Intended for journalists, extensive explanation of statistical terms.
**Advanced Internet research techniques: 5 key lessons from Google
5 lessons on Internet searching provides insight and detail as well as a 40 minute video on using Google Scholar.
HANDOUTS, INFOGRAPHICS, ONLINE HELP
**How to understand and interpret food and health-related scientific studies
(PDF, 12 pages, 2001)
Different studies described as well as detail about each section of a primary research article and what questions to ask as you read each section. Some definitions provided.
**Hierarchy of science evidence – EUFIC infographic
The strength of evidence for meta-analysis reviews, randomized control trials, observational research, animal studies and anecdotes.
**Why do researchers do different kinds of clinical studies? – NIH infographic
Comparison/description of observational studies and Phase I – IV clinical trials
**Understanding health research – a tool to help you read and interpret a public health research paper