About Epistemonikos

What is Epistemonikos?

Epistemonikos is a collaborative, multilingual database of research evidence and knowledge translation products that are usually referred as "evidence", according to the meaning given in Evidence-Based Health Care.

Epistemonikos was developed and is maintained by systematically searching electronic databases and other sources for relevant systematic reviews and broad syntheses of reviews. The search strategies that are used and the methods that are used to screen the search results and select records for inclusion are described here: Epistemonikos database methods

The aim of Epistemonikos is to provide rapid access to systematic reviews in health. A unique feature of Epistemonikos is that it links together systematic reviews, broad syntheses of reviews and primary studies, thus providing a highly efficient method for searching. In addition, it includes translations of the titles and abstracts of included records to facilitate searching in different languages and it is continually updated by searching multiple sources of systematic reviews and broad syntheses of reviews.

Epistemonikos is not a comprehensive database of health research. It only includes primary studies that have been included in a systematic review.

What does Epistemonikos mean?

The greek word epistemonikos was used by Aristotles, meaning "What is worth knowing". This word was later translated into latin as scientia. We have picked this name because of several reasons.

  1. The intention to separate "the wheat from the chaff" in Health research: We are not saying that the chaff is not important, but we do believe some information has more weight than other (there is a hierarchy of evidence).
  2. The pretension of emphasizing real and endurable scientific knowledge: Episteme is a root derived from the Greek word ἐπιστήμη for knowledge or science, from the verb ἐπίσταμαι, "to know". It is usually opposed to doxa (common belief or popular opinion). Is has also been contraposed to techne (craftsmanship, craft, or art) but we are not referring to this meaning (this is a rough simplification of a huge philosophical issue. Apologies to philosophers and knowledgeable people in general).
  3. The importance of using a universal language: Even though the English has become the lingua franca of health sciences, it is known that language is still a major barrier for many clinicians and policy-makers in the world. Our vision is to create a site where users don't see the difference between using English or their own language.
  4. Users build knowledge: Another translation of epistemonikos is "the one who generates knowledge". We firmly believe that everyone can be part of this process and will continuously intend to engage users in finding, creating, appraising or disseminating new knowledge. We want to emphasize that epistemonikos is a work in progress. What you are seeing is the beta version, with the basic functionalities and a restricted amount of information available. We will work hard in order to perfecting this version, incorporating more information and developing new functionalities. Feedback is most welcomed at contact@epistemonikos.org

How to use Epistemonikos

Epistemonikos can easily be searched by typing terms into the search box and clicking on the “Search Epistemonikos” button. The nine languages of Epistemonikos are supported, including combination of terms in different languages.

Articles will appear at the top based on an algorithm developed by Epistemonikos team. For instance, articles including all terms entered in the query will appear first, and those including some terms will appear later. As you move away from results at the top of the search results, you will find less pertinent articles.

Additional articles can also be found by opening the abstract for relevant articles that are found and then clicking on one of the boxes on the right ("the dolmen") showing evidence related to the article. This will show

For more details and tips about searching see How it works

By clicking on “Advanced search” it is possible to restrict the search to specific fields (title, abstract, title and abstract, or author) and to use Boolean logic; i.e. choosing whether to search only for articles that include more than one term (using AND) or to search for articles that include any of two or more terms (using OR).

Who are we?

Epistemonikos was founded by Gabriel Rada and Daniel Pérez. Many institutions and individual people are involved in different aspects. The vast majority of them collaborate without an economic retribution.

The following people have contributed to the development of Epistemonikos:

Epistemonikos foundation is a not for profit organization based in Santiago, Chile, and Epistemonikos database follows its policies. All the content and features of Epistemonikos database are available for free. See details in Terms and conditions