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Faculty of 1000 (aka F1000): Trials

Posted on September 3, 2013 by Donatas Zailskas

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faculty of 1000

In my previous review of F1000 I mentioned that a part of it – F1000Trials [1] – was still in its beta phase. Well, not anymore, it‘s time to go through it and finish the review!

The front page of F1000Trials briefly introduces you to the website and its main features. F1000Trials, most importantly, is a continually updated database of RCTs (including early phase oncology studies), systematic reviews and meta-analyses, drawn from over 300 medical journals. For those of you interested, the list of the journals covered is provided at the bottom of the “About” page.

If you haven’t read my previous post or checked out F1000 at all, let me just mention that F1000 in large part depends on expert opinions: Faculty experts recommend articles in F1000Prime and perform post-publication peer-review in F1000Research. F1000Trials is no exception and, as the website describes, it “…provides clinicians with a unique way to be alerted to new clinical trial-related articles in their field, with accompanying reviews and recommendations by F1000’s Faculty of experts”. Faculty experts can tag the articles as Recommended, provide brief commentaries and give an assessement via star system if the article is worthy: * (Good), ** (Very Good) and *** (Exceptional). Then the articles are ranked accordingly by the total number of stars awarded, and you can check out various “Top 10s” on the Rankings page.

In order to search for articles, check out the Rankings or just browse through F1000 Faculty you need to register and sign in. At the moment the access to the articles is free, but for a limited time only, so make sure to check it out while there’s time! I have and this is what I found:

  • At the top of the page you can see, yet again, a brief introduction to F1000Trials and, most importantly, you can start searching for articles of your interest by clicking on the “Jump to articles in your specialty” button. You then are taken to a list of articles where you can see the name, citation, number of reviews made, type of the article (RCT, Meta-analysis/Systematic Review, etc.), Rankings, recommendations and various other information. Clicking on the article takes you to the reviews page, if there are any. You can also check out the abstract DOIs and PMID links provided at the bottom;
  • The left side of the page shows the Recent Top articles. These are mainly articles that have a high total score;
  • The middle of the page informs you about the subscriber benefits – a feature that, in my opinion, could dissappear in time after the user has subscribed, and be replaced by something more useful. A bit lower you can see an important or just generally interesting Quoted article, a feature that could easily catch your eye if it weren’t at the bottom;
  • The right side of the page shows some statistics. At the moment of my viewing, there are 400 trials that warant a change in clinical practice, 6071 RCTs reviewed, 622 early phase oncology articles reviewed and 1277 Systematic review/Meta-analyses articles reviewed.

Again, they did it again! As with their other websites, it’s obvious that the F1000 crew puts a lot of thought into making F1000Trials an easy-to-use resource with a lot of helpful features. I’m sitting here clapping my hands, because it’s the small things that we all love:

  • Articles reporting negative or null results are highlighted;
  • Studies or systematic reviews that warant a change in clinical practice are highlighted as well;
  • The website serves as a drug search engine;
  • There’s an option to search the database for relevant articles by disease/condition;
  • Whenever possible, links to the article registry data are provided;

Aesthetics, convenience and access to relevant information is there. Only time and additional research will show if the Ranking system really does highlight articles that make the biggest impact in evidence-based healthcare. For now, I’m hooked and I really advise you to take some time and check F1000Trials out.

References:

[1] Science Navigation Group. F1000Trials [Internet]. London: Faculty of 1000 Ltd; 2013 [cited 27 August 2013]. Available from: http://f1000.com/trials.

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Donatas Zailskas

Donatas Zailskas

Hey! I'm from Lithuania, I'm a 6th year medical student in the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, head of the Neurology group in our Student Scientific Society. I'm hopefully starting a Neurology residency in September, very interested in Neuroscience and extremely keen on improving the current state of healthcare and student education in my country. Evidence-based medicine, critical thinking are extremely important, so I feel a strong need to strengthen this type of education. View more posts from Donatas

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