Evidence based medicine is "the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients."
Source: David Sackett, William Rosenberg, Muir Gray, Brian Haynes & Scott Richardson. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t [internet]. BMJ; 13 January 1996 [cited 23 May 2013]. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/content/312/7023/71
Levels of evidence by study type
Level I - Evidence from a systematic review or meta-analysis of all relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
Level II - Evidence obtained from well-designed RCTs
Level III - Evidence obtained from well-designed controlled trials without randomization
Level IV - Evidence from well-designed case-control and cohort studies
Level V - Evidence from systematic reviews of descriptive and qualitative studies
Level VI - Evidence from single descriptive or qualitative studies
Level VII - Evidence from the opinion of authorities and/or reports of expert committees
Source: Melnyk BM. Implementing the Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Competencies in Healthcare : A Practical Guide to Improving Quality, Safety, and Outcomes. ; 2016. (Table 1.1, p. 11)
Article types explained
Empirical study (or primary article):
Study design resources and reporting requirements
CONSORT Statement is an evidence-based, minimum set of recommendations for reporting randomized trials. It offers a standard way for authors to prepare reports of trial findings, facilitating their complete and transparent reporting, and aiding their critical appraisal and interpretation.
The PRISMA Checklist is list of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses
STROBE checklists aim to STrengthen the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology
When you search for information, you're going to find lots of it . . . but is it good information? You will have to determine that for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need. More info here: http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf
The PICO Framework can be used to structure and refine your research question. This can then be used to structure your search strategy and your process for identifying articles of interest.