About Epistemonikos database

What is Epistemonikos database?

Epistemonikos is a collaborative, multilingual database of health evidence. It is the largest source of systematic reviews relevant for health-decision making, and a large source of other types of scientific evidence.

Who is behind Epistemonikos database?

Epistemonikos was founded by Gabriel Rada and Daniel Pérez. Many institutions and hundreds of collaborators are involved in different aspects, and most of them contribute without an economic retribution.

It is now maintained by Epistemonikos foundation, a not for profit organization based in Santiago, Chile.

What does the word 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) for health decision-making.
  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.

What does Epistemonikos logo mean?

The original diagram to show how articles interconnect in Epistemonikos included 5-categories and resembled a neolithic dolmen (don’t know what a dolmen is, go to Wikipedia. Want to see more dolmens, go to Pinterest to see our selection).

Two categories (structured summaries of systematic reviews and structured summaries of primary studies) were merged afterwards, and then the category of structured summaries was removed from the diagram, even though it is still accessible from the search and through the connections between articles.

So, the diagram has now 3-categories, but the logo remained.

What is the objective of Epistemonikos database?

The main aim of Epistemonikos is to gather scientific information (i.e. evidence) that might be relevant for health decision-making, and to provide rapid and reliable access to the best available evidence for real-life questions.

To whom is Epistemonikos database aimed?

Epistemonikos is aimed to health professionals, researchers and health decision-makers. It is not intended for the general public, even though it has been used by well-informed lay people and journalists successfully.

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