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December 18, 1987

Principles and Practice of Research: Strategies for Surgical Investigators

Author Affiliations

USAF USAF Hospital Bitburg West Germany

USAF USAF Hospital Bitburg West Germany

JAMA. 1987;258(23):3446. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400230106045

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The reluctance with which I began reading Principles and Practice of Research rapidly changed to delight as I realized that this review was to be a "treat instead of a treatment." I reflected on how I had entered the surgical laboratory 30 years ago, not unlike other surgical trainees taking time out for research, totally unprepared for the challenge. How does one begin the research process? What are the available strategies? What ethics apply? How does one critically review the work of others? Why animal experimentation? Why human? How does one report the work? Is there more to this than χ2 or the t test?

The authors in a most readable form begin with a historical and philosophical perspective on surgical research. From this point on, nothing is missing. Excellent sections are devoted to literature review; statistical analysis, including the use of computers; choosing an applicable technique of study;