The very definition of "needle in a haystack"...

...is trying to find one particular press release about an acupuncture study amidst the flood of acupuncture-related stuff on the intartubes.

This started out a few days ago because we need a few articles to hold for emergency purposes on L@L in case illness, internet troubles, or life in general causes someone to be delayed in their post. I remembered an encounter online a year or two back in which I was in someone's comments and the subject of acupuncture came up, which I referred to as placebo.* Someone else posted a link to me of a press release for a study that purported to show a positive effect on pain with acupunture. Being a librarian, I looked into it a little deeper and noticed a number of red flags and found the article, which also had red flags.**

This would be an excellent subject for a L@L post, as it would show how to analyze a press release and follow the trail back to the study, and what to look for. Well, if would be if I could find the bloody thing. I asked the person whose journal I thought it was in, and nope, I misremembered. So I asked another person who it might be, and so far no response back, but I'd still be surprised if they remembered it this far out. I've Googled until my fingers fell off*** and can't find the press release in question.

All I remember is: (1) on the effects of acupuncture, I *think* on pain of some sort, (2) done in the US, (3) the press release was put out by a organization of some sort associated with alternative medicine, who ran the study with the aid of a university. I don't remember if the organization was part of the university or just worked with them on the study. (4) The journal the study appeared in was one my library has access to, as I was able to read it.

I might have talked about it under lock here, but the Dreamwidth journal search isn't revealing anything when I search for "acupuncture."

Any more ideas?

* Placebo is very powerful! But I'm not getting into that argument here anyway, at the moment.
** Not to mention a note from the actual journal editors casting doubt on the conclusions, due to problems with the methodology, i.e. most of the participants dropped out before the study was finished.
*** This may not be literally true.

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Tags: librarian @ large
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