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1.  Making randomised trials more efficient: report of the first meeting to discuss the Trial Forge platform 
Trials  2015;16:261.
Randomised trials are at the heart of evidence-based healthcare, but the methods and infrastructure for conducting these sometimes complex studies are largely evidence free. Trial Forge (www.trialforge.org) is an initiative that aims to increase the evidence base for trial decision making and, in doing so, to improve trial efficiency.
This paper summarises a one-day workshop held in Edinburgh on 10 July 2014 to discuss Trial Forge and how to advance this initiative. We first outline the problem of inefficiency in randomised trials and go on to describe Trial Forge. We present participants’ views on the processes in the life of a randomised trial that should be covered by Trial Forge.
General support existed at the workshop for the Trial Forge approach to increase the evidence base for making randomised trial decisions and for improving trial efficiency. Agreed upon key processes included choosing the right research question; logistical planning for delivery, training of staff, recruitment, and retention; data management and dissemination; and close down. The process of linking to existing initiatives where possible was considered crucial. Trial Forge will not be a guideline or a checklist but a ‘go to’ website for research on randomised trials methods, with a linked programme of applied methodology research, coupled to an effective evidence-dissemination process. Moreover, it will support an informal network of interested trialists who meet virtually (online) and occasionally in person to build capacity and knowledge in the design and conduct of efficient randomised trials.
Some of the resources invested in randomised trials are wasted because of limited evidence upon which to base many aspects of design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. Trial Forge will help to address this lack of evidence.
doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0776-0
PMCID: PMC4475334  PMID: 26044814
Randomised controlled trials; methodology; efficiency; research waste
2.  Optimal Evidence in Difficult Settings: Improving Health Interventions and Decision Making in Disasters 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001632.
Martin Gerdin and colleagues argue that disaster health interventions and decision-making can benefit from an evidence-based approach
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001632
PMCID: PMC3995669  PMID: 24755530
3.  Sicily statement on evidence-based practice 
Background
A variety of definitions of evidence-based practice (EBP) exist. However, definitions are in themselves insufficient to explain the underlying processes of EBP and to differentiate between an evidence-based process and evidence-based outcome. There is a need for a clear statement of what Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) means, a description of the skills required to practise in an evidence-based manner and a curriculum that outlines the minimum requirements for training health professionals in EBP. This consensus statement is based on current literature and incorporating the experience of delegates attending the 2003 Conference of Evidence-Based Health Care Teachers and Developers ("Signposting the future of EBHC").
Discussion
Evidence-Based Practice has evolved in both scope and definition. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) requires that decisions about health care are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence. These decisions should be made by those receiving care, informed by the tacit and explicit knowledge of those providing care, within the context of available resources.
Health care professionals must be able to gain, assess, apply and integrate new knowledge and have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances throughout their professional life. Curricula to deliver these aptitudes need to be grounded in the five-step model of EBP, and informed by ongoing research. Core assessment tools for each of the steps should continue to be developed, validated, and made freely available.
Summary
All health care professionals need to understand the principles of EBP, recognise EBP in action, implement evidence-based policies, and have a critical attitude to their own practice and to evidence. Without these skills, professionals and organisations will find it difficult to provide 'best practice'.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-5-1
PMCID: PMC544887  PMID: 15634359
6.  Long-term medical management and complications of `resistant' ascites 
Gut  1961;2(4):285-296.
This paper reports the experience of treating patients with hepatic cirrhosis and ascites with an aldosterone inhibitor in addition to conventional therapy. Good results are demonstrated in 13 patients previously resistant to treatment.
PMCID: PMC1413352  PMID: 13918387

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