How to Read a Scientific Study

scientific study guide

This guide has been reposted with permission from Examine.com

Why learn to read a scientific study?

Marketing claims backed by “scientific evidence” pervade the health and fitness industry. Supplement manufacturers sell compounds like green coffee extract (on which there is barely any human research) as if their effects were as well-established as those of creatine (on which there are hundreds of human trials). Sometimes, following the paper trail of a marketing claim does lead to a real, published study — but not all studies are created equal. To avoid wasting money on ineffective products, you need to be able to assess different aspects of a study, such as its credibility, its applicability, and the clinical relevance of the effects reported.

Poorly conducted trials can lead to exceptional results. It is usually best to wait and see if those results can be replicated before drawing a conclusion.

To understand a study, as well as how it relates to previous research on the topic, you need to read more than just the abstract. Context is critically important when discussing new research, which is why abstracts are often misleading.

Types of Studies

There exist numerous types of studies. This guide was designed to help you better understand all of them, with a special emphasis on experimental research.

Pages: 1 2


Did you find this article helpful?


Latest News

Fish Oil and Semen, Belviq, HPV for Adults, Abortion Reversal Medicine

Fish Oil and Semen, Belviq, HPV for Adults, Abortion Reversal Medicine

Just when you thought you’d aged out of having to decide about HPV vaccination, more options are back for those up to 45 years old. Politics are driving a misinformation campaign on the so-called abortion reversal drug and risking women’s lives. What to do about declining semen quality in men?…

Hypertension, IBS, Hip Fracture and Multiple Meds

Hypertension, IBS, Hip Fracture and Multiple Meds

Two ways to avoid using drugs in the New Year: Lowering high blood pressure is a family affair and a nerve stimulator relieves the pain of IBS. Plus a bonus — 21 drugs that increase the risk of falls and subsequent hip fractures in seniors. Check the list! Hypertension, Blood…

  • Advertisement