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Paper: Program Description Abstract

Anatomy of a Clinical Research Paper: IMRAD and CONSORT

Tuesday, May 7
3:05 PM - 3:20 PM
Room: Columbus AB (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : Knowing how medical journal articles are organized and where specific content is likely to be found, improves students’ ability to read articles critically, efficiently, and confidently. Our objective is to demonstrate how a clinical research article is ideally organized according to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations and the CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines for randomized controlled trials. By the end of the presentation, attendees should be able to identify where specific content should be found in a well-written article, and apply this knowledge to instruct students to efficiently read and write clinical research articles
Description : ICMJE has updated widely adopted recommendations specifying what should be reported in a scholarly article published in a medical journal. While much of what is covered by ICMJE is standard across article types, there are some differences based on study design (e.g., for randomized trials ICMJE recommends following CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines). These standards can be successfully used as a reference to become familiar with the organizational structure of medical journal articles. We demonstrate the Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRAD) structure prescribed by ICMJE, as well as the content to be contained in each section per the CONSORT guidelines. This content has been presented to different audiences in various venues, including a library stand-alone class on critical appraisal; guest lectures to MD/PhD students, medical residents, and fellows; and new researchers writing their first journal article.
Conclusion : Becoming familiar with the ICMJE and CONSORT recommendations can aid students, researchers, and librarians in understanding how medical journal articles are organized and where specific content is likely to be found; thus enhancing their ability to efficiently read and critically appraise clinical research articles with confidence. In addition, the guidelines are a useful resource to present to researchers authoring a research article for the first time; as they provide direction to what can be a daunting task, and if followed, they will likely elevate the quality of the resulting journal article.

Terry Kit Selfe, AHIP

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

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Sarah Meyer

Assistant University Librarian
Univeristy of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

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