Understanding forest plots – seeing the wood for the trees!

Meta-analysis is a statistical technique for combining the results of individual studies.   A meta-analysis is often carried out as part of a systematic review, and in such a review, you may find a forest plot being used to present the results of the meta-analysis.


In our latest meeting of the Writing Club, Dr Laura Gray, Reader of Population and Public Health Sciences from the University of Leicester, showed us how to read a forest plot, specifically how to interpret odds ratios, confidence intervals, weighted averages, and p values. We also looked at heterogeneity, that is, how similar the individual studies are.

View Laura’s presentation here – Wood for the trees



Where to get your case reports published

Writing up case reports is often an entry into writing academic papers for many junior doctors, and the number of options for submitting your case reports is on the rise. Dr Katherine G. Akers writes in the latest edition of the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) on the rise in journals that are solely for publishing case reports.

J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Apr; 104(2): 146–149. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4816468/ (Free full text.)

This article contains a really useful grid of which journals are available, and whether or not they are indexed, or follow non-traditional methods of peer review etc.

UHL Libraries and Information Services also hold a fellowship number for BMJ Case Reports, which is indexed in Pubmed/MEDLINE, and d0es not follow questionable, “predatory” publishing practices. Please contact the library directly for our fellowship number, which will allow you to submit for publication without paying a fee. This is open to UHL staff only.

Beyond a paper; How to get your research (and you) out there!

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are hosting a webinar titled ‘Beyond a paper; How to get your research (and you) out there!’ on Thursday 12 May at 11am. 


This one hour webinar will examine how social and other new media can help researchers communicate their research, from TV to twitter and everything in between. The webinar is aimed at aspiring and current NIHR trainees as well as other researchers who wish to learn more about the opportunities that social media and other new media channels provide.


This webinar will include:


·  practical advice on social and new media tools

·  ideas on how to include new media tools in research communication plans

·  a live Q&A session


The webinar will be presented by Professor Michael Trenell from the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University and NIHR Senior Research Fellow.


You can register for this webinar via the following link: http://bit.ly/NIHRsocialmediawebinar


Anyone with issues around registering for the event should email tcc@nihr.ac.uk

Data Management in Clinical Audit

Clinical audit is a fundamental part of reflective clinical practice.  It allows a comparison of current clinical practice with guideline / evidence-based practice.

An understanding of audit methodology and undertaking clinical audit is an integral component of training at all levels.

In this session, we covered the principles of audit and components of good audit.

Here’s the presentation from Dr Amit Mistri, delivered to the UHL Writing Club at our March 2016 meeting:

Data Management & Analysis March 2016