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A changing world
In the modern technological age, practitioners are exposed to a wealth of information from many diverse sources. Social media has resulted in rapid distribution of research evidence. As soon as an article appears on the journal website, those with the fastest fingers and thumbs will have the paper ‘posted’, ‘tweeted’ or ‘blogged’. Without doubt, social media has assisted researchers to distribute their findings to (hopefully) enhance translation to the ‘real world’. But how well does a single 140-character ‘tweet’ encapsulate the findings of a complete research study (which may range from 3000 to 5000 words)?
The cyclical continuum of evidence
Often research evidence is equivocal; for every study there will be another study reporting an opposing view, and quite often, factors other than empirical evidence shape our beliefs.1 Wherever possible, practitioners should examine their beliefs and the sources those beliefs are formed upon. We should try to ascertain what is a hypothesis, what is evidence (myth, story, empirical), and based on the strength of the hypothesis or evidence, how much weight should be placed on each. Below, we have provided some examples of how people obtain information and …
Contributors TJG drafted the original paper. PB provided feedback on subsequent drafts.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.