Medical practice now relies very heavily on evidence obtained not only from individual randomised clinical trials but from synthesis of the data generated from such trials into meta-analyses and systematic reviews. Systematic reviews are quite different from the review articles that veterinary readers are familiar with in that the former rely on a pre-planned and structured approach to identifying and re-assessing previously published literature, whereas the latter, rely on the ad hoc and subjective appraisal of the literature by an author, admittedly usually one who can be said to be expert in the field.

In the July issue of EVJ, Dr Martin Burton, Director of the Cochrane Commission challenges the equine veterinary profession to take this important step forwards and robustly examine the literature on which clinical practice is based. And, in the same issue, Dr Allen and colleagues have produced EVJ's first systematic review, addressing the efficacny of interventions for dynamic intermittent displacement of the soft palate. Hopefully, this systematic review will be the first of many.

Dr Burton's Editorial and EVJ's first systematic review are available to read at Wiley Online - If you are a BEVA member, why not login to read more.