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This short editorial introduces the series on research in emergency medicine that starts in this issue
It was Sir William Osler who said that visiting patients without having read medicine was like going to sea without maps. One might say this of research. Most doctors enter higher specialist training with only a rudimentary knowledge of how to conduct a scientific study. Those that decide to take up an academic post will have a supervisor (or navigator) to help them though planning their research and negotiating the difficulties that arise.
Unfortunately for the majority of those who undertake research in emergency medicine no such luxury is available. They therefore often set off without proper preparation, the ability to deal with difficulties that arise or even a clear destination. Some if not many give up disillusioned.
The objective of this series of 10 articles is to help disseminate the wisdom that is often held in established research centres. Such a series cannot fully substitute for undertaking a course of research under good supervision. It does however provide guidance on how to go about emergency medicine research and discuss solutions to the common difficulties encountered.
We offer therefore a starting point. It is hoped that in time this series will be supplemented with further well informed articles. This then will add to the pool of knowledge available to facilitate high quality emergency medicine research. To provide not only the maps and confidence to approach experienced navigators but also a well founded enthusiasm for going to sea.
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