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Reading the ACTUAL Studies

Equus5374Equus5374 Posts: 462Member Member Posts: 462Member Member
I am probably more bothered than I should be about these repeated and in my opinion, ridiculous studies that end up becoming social media posts blasting the dangers of artificial sweeteners and other food additives. I get that most people are actually sheeple and will believe anything they see in writing and that it's useless arguing with sheeple. However, I would like the opportunity to read the studies for myself and judge the methodologies and outcome based on my own knowledge of research methods. I'd also like to be able to read the peer reviews of such studies. The question is, WHERE do I look to find the actual studies (in full, not just the abstracts)? If anyone can give me some direction, I'd appreciate it.
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Replies

  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,636Member Member Posts: 1,636Member Member
    I generally have to access peer-reviewed journals through a state university or our outstanding public library system, which allows you to access full articles through various scholarly databases.
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    Best place to search is PubMed. You'll find the abstracts there, and links to the journals. Some journals are free to read. Some you'd have to pay to access the paper, or pay for a subscription to the journal.

    If that fails, and it's an older paper (couple of years, anyway) you have a semi-decent chance of finding a copy online if you Google the title and look for a link to a pdf. It's not that unusual for someone to have posted a copy even though it violates copyright.

    As a last resort, you can sign up for ResearchGate (free). There are a good number of scientists on ResearchGate, and a lot of us keep our publication lists up-to-date on there. We can upload copies of papers we've authored for other ResearchGate members to download. If the author of a paper you are interested in is on ResearchGate but doesn't have that paper uploaded, you can request that they upload the full text. Obviously, they may or may not comply.
  • aub6689aub6689 Posts: 354Member, Premium Member Posts: 354Member, Premium Member
    Agree that if you don't have academic access, pubmed is probably the best place for you to start. Not all journals are free to read, but at least the abstract gives you more than a news article. I also love Cochrane summaries (http://www.cochrane.org/evidence) because they don't simply give you one study, but as a team of researchers they do systematic reviews of a topic to find out what the literature finds overall, not just in one study.

    Side note: I'm glad your bothered. I am someone who studied epidemiology and does scientific research and I am ridiculously annoyed by how the media latches onto a study and misinterprets it or gives the main finding without a discussion of all the limitations and biases. I am even more bothered by all the people that take one study and the media's interpretation as the truth. If one more person starts criticizing me on the sucralose in my drink.... lol

  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    I believe there is also a reddit group that is dedicated to publishing papers that end up in headlines and discussing them as they happen.
  • JLG1986JLG1986 Posts: 198Member Member Posts: 198Member Member
    If you live near a university, many of them are quite friendly about offering passes to the community to use the university library resources.
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.
  • emdeeseaemdeesea Posts: 1,827Member Member Posts: 1,827Member Member
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Haha yeah. I think it is more important to dig around and find who funded the study, before placing any importance or trust in said study..
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

    Hehe I knew you'd be the first to jump on that one :smile:

  • emdeeseaemdeesea Posts: 1,827Member Member Posts: 1,827Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

    It may not invalidate results, but it does raise a question to me of confirmation bias. I'll still read it, but definitely with a very skeptical eye.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Posts: 8,917Member Member Posts: 8,917Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

    Hehe I knew you'd be the first to jump on that one :smile:

    Let me be the second then.
    There's preciously few people who f***ed up their reputation by lying enough to be completely disregarded from the getgo. Mercola, Oz, etc.
  • williams969williams969 Posts: 2,561Member Member Posts: 2,561Member Member
    JLG1986 wrote: »
    If you live near a university, many of them are quite friendly about offering passes to the community to use the university library resources.

    Yep. Even if you're not too close, some state universities offer guest/public access to their online databases for state residents. Call or email the librarian at your closest preferred uni. They will gladly help find what your looking for.
  • snikkinssnikkins Posts: 1,282Member Member Posts: 1,282Member Member
    senecarr wrote: »
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

    Hehe I knew you'd be the first to jump on that one :smile:

    Let me be the second then.
    There's preciously few people who f***ed up their reputation by lying enough to be completely disregarded from the getgo. Mercola, Oz, etc.

    I'll jump on that as well. Research is expensive and so a lot of times it'll only get done if someone is willing to pay for it.
  • T1DCarnivoreRunnerT1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 9,598Member Member Posts: 9,598Member Member
    I generally have to access peer-reviewed journals through a state university or our outstanding public library system, which allows you to access full articles through various scholarly databases.

    Same here. I'm a grad student and have access to many of the same scholarly databases you do - Ebscohost, ERIC, and so on. Some community libraries may be able to give you a login to these with your library account. Some can be found for free with Google Scholar.
  • Christine_72Christine_72 Posts: 16,074Member Member Posts: 16,074Member Member
    snikkins wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

    Hehe I knew you'd be the first to jump on that one :smile:

    Let me be the second then.
    There's preciously few people who f***ed up their reputation by lying enough to be completely disregarded from the getgo. Mercola, Oz, etc.

    I'll jump on that as well. Research is expensive and so a lot of times it'll only get done if someone is willing to pay for it.

    Especially if the result will show the "funder" in a favourable light.. :wink:

    My gut instinct has never steered me wrong.
  • mccindy72mccindy72 Posts: 7,020Member Member Posts: 7,020Member Member
    snikkins wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

    Hehe I knew you'd be the first to jump on that one :smile:

    Let me be the second then.
    There's preciously few people who f***ed up their reputation by lying enough to be completely disregarded from the getgo. Mercola, Oz, etc.

    I'll jump on that as well. Research is expensive and so a lot of times it'll only get done if someone is willing to pay for it.

    Especially if the result will show the "funder" in a favourable light.. :wink:

    My gut instinct has never steered me wrong.

    If your gut instinct is to never read a scholarly medical research paper that's been linked on here, you're being steered wrong. There's something to be said for educating yourself and learning everything you can about your own health and well-being. It's important to learn consistently throughout life; and we aren't learning anything from sponsored sources like television spokepersons. Trusting scientific studies is going to be the best bet; that's why people above have recommended sites like PubMed or university libraries.
  • senecarrsenecarr Posts: 5,377Member Member Posts: 5,377Member Member
    emdeesea wrote: »
    senecarr wrote: »
    emdeesea wrote: »
    I can't say I've ever read a study that's been posted here :blushing: , my eyes just glaze over and reminds of my school day's. I just go by common sense and my own personal experience.

    Same here. If I don't have time to read the paper, I'll just read the abstract. But a good rule of thumb to me is just to find out who funded the study. Like that one I read last year I think that Diet Coke is healthier than water. Funded by - you guessed it - Cola Cola. :neutral:

    Actually that is not the way to understand studies. Funding and conflict of interest should be transparent, and it raises wariness for looking at study design, but it doesn't invalidate results.

    It may not invalidate results, but it does raise a question to me of confirmation bias. I'll still read it, but definitely with a very skeptical eye.

    My generally inclination is that if the funding might be an influence, I look hard at the raw data - rare, especially with peer review process and statistical analysis that someone completely fakes data - and check if supports the given conclusion - if the trends are as strong as the language used to describe. My prime example would be the Seralini rat studies - he concudes very strongly that glyphosate was giving rats tumors but looking at the data shows that the rate of cancer is a loop down horse shoe - a little glyphosate in the diet and male rats had less tumor rates than those that had a diet high in it, or a diet with none. Yet Seralini's conclusion was glyphosate causes cancer, not, he, let's all get a little glyphosate to prevent cancer, but not too much.
  • fatfudgeryfatfudgery Posts: 449Member Member Posts: 449Member Member
    snikkins wrote: »
    I'll jump on that as well. Research is expensive and so a lot of times it'll only get done if someone is willing to pay for it.
    Especially if the result will show the "funder" in a favourable light.. :wink:

    My gut instinct has never steered me wrong.

    If the study results agree with your preconceived ideas, you trust it. If they don't, it's clearly an issue of scientific corruption and the study is garbage. And you know this without even reading the study in question because doing so reminds you of *gag* school, where, you know, actual inquiry and learning take place.

    Yeah, I see no problem here.
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