Tools for assessing the quality of scientific evidence
In biomedicine very rarely a single scientific article can provide sufficient evidence, whether of a pathogen, a metabolic process or the effectiveness of any therapy. In this regard, researchers and clinicians should rather rely on the synthesis of evidence provided by systematic reviews and meta-analyses. However, the recent exponential growth of 'preprints' on alleged therapies against covid-19 (and the hasty dissemination in the media of unreliable information taken from them) has shown that the reliability of each article must also be assessed individually, in order to assess whether the minimum quality required to be included in the aforementioned summaries is met. In this presentation I will cover which elements are essential for evaluating scientific publications and knowing which ones to discard immediately and which ones meet minimum standards to deserve more attention, or at least until proven otherwise.