BoringEM Research Week | Skimming the top off Research/ClinEpi FOAM

In Mentorship by Eve Purdy2 Comments

Editor’s note: This is the final post of BoringEM’s research week. We hope that you have enjoyed all of the research-related material. To end the series on a high note, this post will direct you towards a couple of phenomenal research resources that are, of course, FREE! More than anything we hope that you will comment below with your best resources so that we might start to compile what is available! Thanks to Swapnil (@hswapnil) for some the recommendations. We hope that this week has inspired wannabe researchers and already researchers and those who teach . We also hope that it generates some momentum to create online resources for those looking to improve their research skills. Who will be the Amal Mattu of online teaching of biomedical statistics, epidemiology or research design?  At BoringEM over the next while we hope to identify gaps in online resources available and slowly, but surely work towards filling them. Maybe critical appraisal and research skills aren’t so boring after all! – EP

CEBM Critical Appraisal Tools

This website, associated with the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford, is THE place to start if you are looking for resources to help you begin critically appraising papers. It is also a great tool for teachers who are helping students with the task. Not only are the worksheets for each type of study design freely available, they are provided in multiple languages!!! The site also has some clear examples of commonly run across statistical and epidemiological principles such as pretest probability and likelihood ratios.

You could try flipping your next journal club by having participants pre-appraise the articles using the appraisal sheets from this site!

Rahul Patwari

Dr. Patwari (@rahulpatwari) provides an unbelievable number of explanations available on YouTube that I have found helpful as a medical student and researcher. His videos are the bomb. Check out this explanation of odds ratios and risk ratios. His whole series is a must watch for medical students and anyone looking to learn more about these important concepts!

Prof Montage

This blog, largely dedicated to cardiology, also has an impressive set of fun Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.41.18 PMvideos on clinical epidemiology concepts. They are easy to watch and bring lots of clarity to tricky concepts.


There are a number of MOOCs available for biostatistics and epidemiology. Unfortunately a couple of them are already on the go but keep your eye on this list for new dates that might come up soon!

Awesome but not free 🙁

Though the articles compiled on these websites are not free we decided they deserve an honourable mention because if you do have institutional access there are some complete gems.

 The Bottom Line

There is some awesome Research FOAM but we could use more!

What free research resources would you like to see available? What concepts do you find the trickiest? In what format do you like to learn about these concepts? What resources do you direct students towards? So many questions remain and we look forward to seeing how and being a part of how the FOAM community fills the gaps in this important area.

Please post any other great resources you know of below! Thanks for tuning in to BoringEM research week.

Eve Purdy

Senior Editor at BoringEM
Senior emergency medicine resident and anthropology student-happily consuming, sharing, creating and researching #FOAMed.
BoringEM has been 'bringing the boring' to emergency medicine since 2012. In 2016 this Canadian blog brought its content to CanadiEM.